Prestige interviewed Pattarasuda and Niks Anuman Rajadhon for our December 2015 cover – here are our favourite excerpts.
While many of us spend eight hours a day crunching keyboards behind a desk, there are people who simply can’t play that game. Successful entrepreneurs, passionate artists and consultants are often the types of individuals who take a stand. They just can’t do the corporate thing. It’s a lifestyle burdened with a heavy chain to warrant the security it brings – forcing them to cut their own path.
Brother-and-sister duo “Bua” Pattarasuda and Niks Anuman Rajadhon are two such people.
Bua wasn’t cut out for a 9-to-5…
After just three months in her first full-time job, a teaching gig at the American School of Bangkok, Bua “Pattarasuda” Anuman Rajadhon realised that she was just not cut out for it.
“I can’t do full-time jobs,” says the 31-year-old actress, director and owner of NUNi Productions, a local theatre company specialising in small-scale operas and plays. “You travel to work at the same time every day and you leave at the same time. It all becomes a boring routine. I don’t like it.”
…and neither was Niks
Before graduating university, Niks walked away from a management position at a well-established bar because he didn’t want his career path “figured out for me.”
Despite being in his early 20s, and earning a tasty salary, the idea of starting his own company with next to no capital backing was more appealing than working with a business owned by someone else.
“For me, you can always earn your money somewhere else,” says Niks, who holds a BA in political science from Chulalongkorn University. “It is the experience that matters most. You need to go out and explore life. That’s always more important than easy money.”
Niks: The Entrepreneur
Since stepping out on his own, Niks has championed three successful businesses. His first venture, Vice Versa Cocktail, is one of Bangkok’s most successful cocktail catering and bar consulting services. He also owns one of the country’s prominent mixology schools, Drinks Academy. The latest addition to his portfolio, Teens of Thailand, is the country’s first and only gin bar, and is enjoying media praise from every nightlife journalist in the city.
Bua: The Thespian
Since starting NUNi production company in 2007, Bua’s company has become one of the most well-respected houses in town, and consistently churns out some of Bangkok’s most intriguing operas and plays. It’s produced several noted shows, including Les Mamelles de Tirésias by Poulenc at La Fête festival, and Hero & Villain at Phayathai Palace.
Bua recently performed in the acclaimed Silence of Insects, which enjoyed citywide media acclaim, and also works as a part-time lecturer for Chulalongkorn University and Silpakorn University. She teaches managerial skills through role-play at Chula, using acting to help students understand leadership, communication and team-building. At Silpakorn, Bua teaches acting, aesthetics and criticism in film and television. She also directs plays for both universities.
Niks’ Unexpected Start
Niks started his first day on the job without even knowing it. “I got tricked by one of my high school friends, who is now my business partner,” he laughs. “He said he was having a party for Chivas Regal, and told me to drop by, but he wanted me to wear all black. I was like, ‘What?’”
His friend didn’t want him to join the party, he wanted him to work, and artfully duped Niks into bringing his own uniform. Surrounded by movie stars, celebrities and a vibrant hi-so party, the 19-year-old Niks got his first taste of bartending in an environment sure to make any teenager wide-eyed. He never looked back.
Bua’s Serendipitous Decision
While Niks was hired for a job without knowing it, Bua’s foray into performance arts began with her disdain for waiting in line. She originally planned to follow in her mother’s footsteps and pursue an English major at Chulalongkorn, only to become annoyed when she saw how long the queue was.
“I looked over and saw another queue that was so short,” she says. “I didn’t know what it was, but I just wanted to get out of there, so I chose ‘whatever this one is’, and it happened to be dramatic arts.”
“We respect each others’ privacy,” says Niks. “We are very real to each other. We only talk when it is necessary. I’m not going to be like, ‘Hey! How was your day?’ with fake enthusiasm. That’s not me, and that’s not even her.”
Bua concurs: “We might not talk that much, but we have common ground. We share principles, and we have an understanding. We leave each other some room to be. I think that is really cool.”
“I’m not into cars. I’m not into clothes,” says Niks. “If it [life] is simple, you can die without worrying about the stuff you leave behind. If you carry a lot [with you], it’s heavy. You have to let go. Living life is about letting go.”
“You need to live every day as if it is your last,” adds Bua.
Watch our behind-the-scenes video of the cover shoot.
Photographer: Vatcharasith Wichyanrat
Stylist: Sarunya Ariyakul
Makeup Artist: Nichakan Sungwian
Hair Stylist: Narongsak Yiamlaengamkool
Venue: The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok (ICONSIAM)