Cristina BazavanFrom: Alexandria Born on: 4 Octomber Occupation: Journalist
More than the majority, Cristina Bazavan, uses a disarming sincerity in her activities and throughout her presented picture. If, in the case of many, we have doubts about their authenticity, these don’t exist in the journalist’s case. Through the things she did or didn’t do, by what she said or didn’t say, what she showed or didn’t show, Cristina gradually built the admired and followed human being by many of us.
Her professional activity ranged from Tabu’s editor-in-chief, part of the team that created the Europa FM brand and which has formatted and re-launched Radio 21 in the late 1990s, a consultant for the launch of Radio Guerrilla and a presenter of the tv show Ca-n filme (Like in movies) (Digi 24 TV). Now she, beside many other things, she is responsible of the communication strategy of artist Loredana Groza.
Her career is brilliantly shining as the emerald green of the trench with which she appeared in the restaurant on the interview day.
After she took a sit on the chair in front of me, I noticed the two rings. One was like a story. It had written all around the following words: Limpede vezi doar cu inima (You can see clearly with the heart only). The fact that she was carrying the Little Prince on his left hand I didn’t believe it is a coincidence. And the other, from the right hand, was thin, and at first sight you would have categorized it as ordinary. But a small cross has been suspended in the inner part of her finger synchronized with her gestures. She’s carrying God in his hand, I said. And then, by her simple way of being, she offered me one of the greatest lessons of life: beliefs of all kinds should be worn discreetly, in both ways, either literally or figuratively.
Bob Knight, a well-known basketball coach, has defined the discipline as follows: Do what you need to do; strive to do your job as best you can, do this at the right time, and do the same thing every time. Four rules. This is all!
It is a quote that I think fits her well because she has made discipline a personal obsession. And she doesn’t hide it, admitting whenever she has the opportunity, that yes, she gives and gave a great importance to the rigor, being convinced that a healthy relaxation truly pulls his roots from the rigor.
During my documentation, I found a confession of Cristina from her childhood that surprised me: I have a 10-year-old memory when, coming back from the market with a very heavy plastic bag, I said “no matter how much it will hurt, I will not move the bag to the other hand. What can happen?! The hand cannot fall out of my shoulder. Let’s see how long I resist.” I don’t know how much it hurt, but I know the marks on my fingers lasted a few days. What can make a child of that age to be so eager to test her limits – naive as it is, but profound?
She came from a very modest family, where the wealthiest relatives were the uncle – a composer who lived in Bucharest and his wife – a ballerina. It seemed to me then that what their life is heaven on earth.
She smiles and pauses. It seemed like in two seconds she relived his uncle’s extraordinary life movie that as a child she directed it.
Her favourite short movie is The Lamp with the Hat (Lampa cu căciulă), where Radu Jude exposes in a very sensitive way a child’s greatest desire – to work the old TV so he can escape to a world he does not have access to. Cristina didn’t escape by television but through books. She knew that education was the only way, that if she didn’t learn, she could not get out of the house where she lived in Alexandria.
– Are out there any worlds to which you don’t have access to and where would you like to escape? I ask, looking at how she puts her cup of coffee exactly in front of her, after the waiter left it somewhat near.
– In present, no. Fortunately for me, I can get everything I want. Obviously, I do not have extravagances like a private plane or a yacht, but a holiday in Tokyo tomorrow is feasible, financially speaking. Instead, I want more quiet, she says, highlighting the final word.
– Have you ever been afraid of poverty?
Without eyebrows raised at the hearing of a slightly brutal question, without rebukes and with the clearest possible voice, she says to me: Fear not. But when you’re poor, you think about making more money. You are looking for a mental comfort and once you touched it you will find peace. I have come to the point where I am aware of the fact that I can make money, that I have a certain level of professionalism and a certain recognition. I’m not scared of work no matter what the level is. If need, I could be a maid and clean up without any problems. But I really want the continuity of comfort.
One side of comfort is surely Wonderful Grove; not the story, but one as real as possible. Cristina Bazavan lives in a house near Verdi Park. Occasionally a squirrel appears on the terrace. She rent it. (Cristina, not the squirrel). That’s the best option for her and her family. It seems to me that the material things and a house gives me more freedom. If it were after me, I would sit all day on the terrace and write. But because life is not just what we like, we also do other things.
– And what is life about?, I found myself wondering.
– It’s about empathy, about being careful and listening to the others, about listening to music or having a posture. “Triffles” like that.
Bazavan had confessed some time ago in an interview that if she could give back time she would take ballet classes and give more time to education in the artistic area. But in that text was no mentioned the reason. Maybe it is among the “little things” she presented above?
Generally, I really like dancing. Dance gives you something that we don’t learn in school – the consciousness of our own body. And it should be received as education, not necessarily in school, but at least from parents. The posture, the gestures, the coordination between the upper side of the body and the lower one have to be learned. There is often a contradiction between what we say and what we present through our bodies. For there to be harmony, exercise is needed, just as in gymnastics were we do not succeed from the first time, we train a lot to be olympic. I did some contemporary dance lessons, followed some courses with Răzvan Mazilu and I realized the needs of my body to reach the goal of knowledge.
Life led me to journalism!
She started to work from his first year of college and was a presenter of the European Top 100 radio show for Radio 21. Because she didn’t see it an appropriate job on the long term, the radio DJ job was one suitable for young people, especially in the context of that period, she decided to attend a BBC radio and television course. Se went 3 times a week and learned from a journalist how to do and write a news story or how to make a reportage, while continuing college and having a job on the radio. I did the school and finished first because I was a warrior, if I went there, I had to give it all.
And because she gave it all, she received the proposal to be editor-in-chief of the news section in the radio. After 2 weeks of responsibility and earned skils analysis, she accepted. And from there, life led me.
And because she saw my eyes when she said warrior she wanted to clarify things. She took the phone moving it from her way and put her hands on the wood table as if she wanted to smooth an empty sheet of paper before filling it with words. She was saying indirectly: “forget everything, listen to me and think about it.” She wanted to be understood. She ensured that I catched the essence of her years of experience.
Society urges you to force yourself over. It’s up to you how you react. At first you do not learn, at your age I also constantly repeated to myself “Let’s do it! Me and me and me! Let’s do it! “Then I realized that it is more important for me to honestly do what I can best at the time, with all my training years, and do it both in my private life and in my professional life. And allow me not to harshly judge myself when I’m wrong and also not pushing me anymore. Of course you have to do a little more than you think you can go, but there is a limit. Maybe you do not want to, but you have to get up and do what you promised.
For example, it has happened to me to face a tough text I have been struggling with for a month. I spin around it and I cannot catch it in its essence. “I have reached the upper point of incapacity, incompetence – from here I can not.” I said.
But I do not leave it for now, and I read related things with the hope that I will find that element that will give it a structure, it will put it in a certain way.
What I want to highlight is that, after many mornings awakened by the desperate thought of that text, I realized that: “Hey, I am not able to do it! I’m not able at the level at which I project the text should be. But no one knows what I’m designing there.” From that moment of awareness and relaxation, new things began to appear in what I was writing.
I think it’s a limit, both in forcing yourself and relaxation, but this balance you learn in life. That is, you have to go to the bottom, either by push or laziness, in order to lift up then with your own forces and extract what was good and what was wrong.
Europe FM – number 1 in 6 months since launch
– What was behind this performance?
– The concept on which Europa FM was built is: First Private Radio with National Coverage for Millions of Romanians. Therefore, from the presentation we highlighted the 2 big assets:
It was a private radio. We mentioned that french financiers – Lagardere Active Radio International wew behind it. They own the former Radio 21, the current Virgin Radio. In a communist background, fresh air from outside the country was doing well at that time for the public, in 2000.
And it had coverage all over Romania. There was a significant investment in infrastructure and a whole department was responsible for it. I think that this radio has the best transmission structure in Romania even in this moment. And to hear foreign music on an international radio format in every corner and hill of the country was extraordinary and very different.
Beyond that, it was the fact that we had the financial resources to be present in any city with outdoors or banners – super creative but simple and personalized on local frequency. Normally, the world felt important when they saw such a personalized approach. And with some local press, the team activated the local patriotic feeling. I remember that I was faxing with the town halls to ask for the necessary approvals. Sometimes it took a while to receive an answer from there, so it was at the begining more of a monologue, then a dialogue.
In addition, it went on to the idea that the station is important and not the DJ. It wasn’t the concept nowadays that it is important who makes the morning show or any other section. Then it was a conglomerate. They all were the same voice. For three or four years, I was not allowed to promote any DJs. I often thought they were testing and that they didn’t know who they were going to keep and who they were not, but I’m not even now sure that was the reason. They currently have some personalities there, but not all of them built from zero.
The conclusion is that it was a good context and a good product dressed into the right strategy.
Tabu was a landmark
My only merit in Tabu magazine was that I had the ability to bring in people who were from very different areas and somehow to unite them, to mount them so that we could get a certain format.
Isn’t she too modest? …
No, she not only brought those people into the team, but she also train them and for some of them payed writing lessons as well. As a character strength, she also wanted then that the things provided to be of high quality. At that moment achiving that involved also people beside her, not just her own.
It went through meetings in which publishers and shareholders screamed individualy or all at once at their initially aberrant ideas, then unconformist but never bad. She remembers the conversation with the supreme sheriffs where she had the idea of publishing the Brokeback Mountain book alongside the magazine. It was a love story between two men, it touched the taboo concept and the movie had just taken the Oscar, she tells me. They were afraid they would not sell this new idea-to offer a book alongside the magazine, especially one with such content. She laughs when these memories appear.
When I got there, I didn’t know much about the print media, I worked in the radio, I had some related notions, but I was not ready for what a magazine meant.
At one point, they had to prepare the flat plan (the detailed structure of the page-by-page magazine). She didn’t know at all how such a document should be conceptually structured, but she wanted to give up on how it was done by then, by hand, with the paper and pencil. I took 4 or 5 international magazines and split the pages, making notes: how is the content placed, what the target is, where the advertising is positioned, and so on. You had no place to learn this, which is why I had to compare them every month for three months. And because it was not relevant just the current month, I had to take magazines on seasons and identify the evolution from one season to another. It was only in 6 months that I obtained a complete and correct flat plan for the Tabu’s identity.
All her work has been worth it, and there are times when she feels stronger this confirmation than when she was working on the magazine:
I met a couple of years ago with Andrea Bădală (owner Murmur) and after we saluted she told me she knew me. In my head there was something like it’s normal for me to know her, not she to know me. And she confessed that in her high school period Tabu magazine was a landmark. When you hear that, and you think about how much you put your soul into such a project, your heart grows.
I was curious about how the heart feels when you give up work that has brought you so much satisfaction. So I asked how she spent the last day in the magazine’s office in 2011. She does not remember exactly what that day was, but she assumes, knowing her style, that she wanted to leave everything in order and that time was dedicated to administrative issues. But, difficult was to train the mind in order to work outside of a job, to be her own boss in the world of freelancing.
And she succeeded with grace!
This is the stake of the interview
I like the most to do interviews, write profiles of people I have seen different than what the world knows about them.
She attended a few years ago at Nokia School for small bloggers, where one of the little audience topics consisted of an interview with the worst teacher in the school. So the question was born naturally:
– Have you challenged yourself to overcome and limit this, to interview a person whom you consider unpleasant?
– Yeah! For sure I did some interviews with people less agreeable.
But you take it as a challenge because there is no definitively good or definitively bad human. And if I do not like a person, maybe it comes from not resonating with me. He surely has something good, and the stake is to make the interview in such a way that allow you to identify that good things and make it stand out. What I want to write is not investigation to show the bad side of things. We live in a world with many evil things, ugly, misfortunes presented in front of the people, and I think if a human takes a few minutes with something written by me, at least be something constructive, beautiful, possibly motivational. It seems to me a nice bet to read about a person about whom you know or imagine only bad things and you see that he is actually a very cool individual.
From this category, where I knew he was a cool man, is Mihai Bendeac. I insisted for two years because he does not do interviews at all with the journalists. And I asked him for an interview through all my friends. I realized he was a very technical actor, given the roles he played. I also knew what roles he had played as a student and I wanted to show the world how the man behind the show ” În puii mei ” is. That he is not a superficial man, but that he is an educated man.
After he agreed, I told him that he has to wait for me for a week too. I read, for the second time, “O carte despre Toma Caragiu” (A book about Toma Caragiu), the reading of which led him to the decision of becoming an actor when he was a child. I wanted to speculate details in whatever he said, not to miss something.
Then he said, “You are crazy, Bazavan!”
But it was how it was supposed to be because I wrote a text, “El, Mihai Bendeac, cum e?” (He, Mihai Bendeac, how is it?). The interview was read by many people at that time. And I think I got my stake because there were a lot of comments where the audience surprise related to how Mihai really is, was present. They understood that what they saw on TV was just an extraordinarily well-prepared character.
For me, the most beautiful compliment was when, after a year on his birthday, he once again posted the interview on his Facebook page, commenting that it was the nicest thing ever written about him.
The responsibilities of a life advice
In the context in which not all young people have a family home or close people with perspective, knowledge and education, I have brought into discussion the need (I think of many young people) of personal counseling and mentoring.
I think that these advices and mentoring depend very much on what you need because something that is generally valid and has an impact is hard to find.
We have neither in cinema, theater nor magazines, profiles of people to be your example. Because if you knew the life and activity of Angela Gheorghiu, for example, who left a small town in Transylvania and succeed to sing on the biggest scenes of the world, you realize that there is no need to hear from her: “Work!” or “Read!”, being clear what you have to do.
Perhaps for us it is not so clear because we have only 30 years of freedom, of which the first 10 were somehow a wandering. No one knew on what world he is living on. We didn’t consume what was supposed to be entertainment, and after you had a lifetime of certain examples: ” tovarășa și tovarășul ” no one wanted a template. Everyone wanted to try what he was thinking.
So we have 15 or 20 years of exercise to try to show some models. And only your generation now, who has grown somewhat clean, without communism, feels the need for mentoring and modeling.
But the advice of life is something delicate, because what suits you doesn’t fit another person. And I think the school should learn the synthesis capacity – to show you a lot of things and in the end keep what you need for yourself. But it still doesn’t do that, because it for you, as it was for us and unfortunately for my parents.
What you have to do is learn to extract, for example, from a book that illustrates the life of a valuable person, just what you need. In this way it is no longer necessary to here the steps from someone.
And be careful because life tips come, and that amuses me a little, inversely proportional to the experiences and wisdom of human. The more exquisite and educated you see him, the more he refuses to give life advice. He is aware of all the nuances and responsibilities of a life advice and realizes that it is not generally valid. It offers you, if you are in a face-to-face conversation, but otherwise, to put in a magazine tips from x, who is 90 years old and has gone through all … you will not get if he is a very educated individual.
Cristina Bazavan knows people and she is able to see the real character of a person. Over time, she learned to quickly identify human’s way of being, even when he is struggling to display another image of his personality. This means that when she finds people she appreciates and keeps close to, they really deserve it. I said two names to her, and pleased to tell me the first thoughts that rise to her mind. These are Eduard Enache and Cristian Manafu.
When I think at Edi, I think of his power to fight with himself to be better. As well as the occasional surprises he lived because he has reached a point of equilibrium, and the acquired balance does not stay there in the whirl of life.
And Cristian has a great power of work and the desire to build for online and press. Everything he does, from conferences to written press, has a positive purpose: to educate and build for the industry in which he works. He could have been a good teacher.
Cristina Bazavan lived different, gaining a lot of experience over time. I wonder how she sees all these things, and if she would give them the form of a story, how would that sound? She is surprised by the question, but somehow delighted at the same time. She moves his eyes to the window like she is searching for someone – she mislead everyone. Under her expressions, the synapses rush to get a response to which the journalist, not just the perfectionist human Bazavan, would be satisfied. More to herself: I am tempted to say something bad … but no …
She turns to me and says quickly, in one breath, looking in my eyes: It’s about leaving with enough force and enough arrogance, knowing that just so you can succeed and how life grind you so the ego doesn’t matter so much! and then firmly tightens his palms, one to the other, like she put a full stop punctuation mark.
She recommends the book “Potoleşte-te o să cazi”, (Stop it, you will fall) which she gave to the actor Marius Manole, saying based on a friendship of over 10 years: Take this and read, you will understand why you become an artist.