On Tuesday, 31 July I sat down with Natalie Becker at La Vie, Seapoint, Cape Town, for my first audio podcast interview. This is a full transcript of the interview.
RT: What is your claim to fame?
NB: Well, what I do for a living, is I’m actress, I’m present a radio and television show, I’m a writer, an MC and a public speaker.
RT: What kinds of things make you laugh?
NB: Absurd humour. Humour without a victim. Unexpected incidents of humour and generally odd and nutty things. For example just situational humour. When something happens out of the ordinary. I wish I could give you a tangible example of something that’s happened recently. Comedy definitely makes me laugh. The absurdity of life. I like to look at the lighter side of life. Even in very dark situations sometimes I find myself laughing or smiling because there are two sides to everything. (RT ? So you would enjoy things like Gary Larson?) …I love Gary Larson, the 5th Wave, movies like War of the Roses, Running with Scissors. I almost always find reality funnier than fiction.
RT: What is your relationship status?
NB: Well, it’s easy to say I’m in a relationship or I’m single. Ultimately we’re always engaging with people. We’re always in a number of relationships. And NO I’m not trying to dodge the question. I guess if you want a simple answer: Yes I’m single and enjoying it. And enjoying spending time with myself; quality time with my family and friends. Just engaging life. But I think we’re always engaging in relationships on a number of different levels with a number of different people. You know we’re creatures like that, we’re social creatures. We are always in a relationship. Relationships or when you call yourself a ?couple? it’s a specific construct. Lot’s of people think you’re either in a relationship or not in a relationship with anyone else. (RT ? I like what you said because it’s like using a label like husband, wife, it limits us.)
RT: What are the kind of things do you find attractive in a man?
NB: I find a sense of humour, attractive. Why, because it usually denotes somebody who is intelligent. Somebody who’s thought about life and who has some sort of philosophy about life. I find many things attractive in many people. I’m interested in life and I’m interested in people. I’m interested in engaging people so I can’t say that I have a list of specific things because I’m continually surprised by what I encounter in people. And I love engaging so I can’t…I don’t have a stereo type, a specific type…sense of humour..perhaps confidence. There’s different types of confidence. Sometimes you have to scratch beneath the surface and people are surprising. You can never judge a book by it’s cover. That’s what I’ve learned. So I’d like to say that I have an open mind when it comes to what’s attractive. (RT: You sound like a wine connoisseur. When it comes with relationships.) lol.
RT: When you are in a relationship, how do you go about getting what you want out of a relationship?
NB: I’d ask for it. Okay. I think emotional honesty is very important. It’s not always easy. I haven’t always found it very easy. And sometimes you get to know someone and then you feel comfortable asking. But I find generally that emotional honesty, and sharing and it asking for what you want is the best way to communicate your needs to someone. (RT ? I think so many people try to get and that’s where they go wrong.) I agree. I’m there as well sometimes. I don’t always have the confidence to ask. I like to get to know someone. And also to feel my way around. Communicating verbally is fantastic also just to sense things about people. To probe at the mystery of other person. In my experience asking for what we want is best. (RT: Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to ask for what we want.) Of course! We’re afraid of rejection. We’re afraid we will come across as demanding or needy. If we don’t show who we are, then we are not being honest with the other person. And frankly if the other person doesn’t like who we are, then at least we know that we can move on. So emotional honesty is very, very important. (RT: I think there is a direct link between emotional honesty and emotional intelligence and emotional maturity. It’s something that comes with time. You can’t expect a 16 year old to have the same outlook.) Absolutely. I agree. How would you get what you want out of a relationship? (RT: I ask questions based on their value systems as you know.) There we go. That sounds very “Dr Demartini”. I saw your website and I see you’re a fan. (RT – I’m a big fan) So I am I.
RT: What kind of things turn you off and what turns you on in a relationship?
NB: I think I’m still discovering what turns me off. I don’t really have a list. Emotional honesty turns me on because it denotes confidence and openness. I like that because with openness comes growth and evolution. I like a sense of adventure. I like someone with an open mind, willingness to grow together and discover new things. I think that every one is different and every person is a balance of traits that I guess you could find positive and negative. So you have to accept that and if you want to be with someone you have try and look at the whole person, and accept that if you want to be with them. Get to know those things about them. (RT – Was there anything in a recent past that was a common thread that you picked up that was something that you didn’t like?) That’s such a loaded question! I guess what would turn me on is emotional honesty, and what turns me off is emotional dishonesty because you can see it coming a mile on. I don’t like to judge people. I believe that if you can judge something negative or positive in a person, then there is definitely something there that you can learn and grow from. You learn as much about yourself, as you do from the other person. Coming back to Dr. Demartini, who you’re a great fan of, he says, ?We seek not relationships that make us happy, but relationships that balance us out. So they often display the disowned parts of ourselves.? So I think that it’s about balance and retaining balance perspective when you look at people.
RT: What’s your perspective on opposites attract?
NB: I think definitely. I’ve been there. I’ve seen lots of opposites attract and it comes back to what I said previously, and quoting Dr Demartini when he says, ?we attract people in relationships who we think are going to balance or complete us, so we attract people who may display the disowned parts of ourselves, the parts of ourselves that we don’t like.? So they press our buttons in all the right ways and in all the wrong ways. So we learn something about them from them and something about ourselves.? (RT: So you think It’s a good thing?) I think it’s a great thing! (RT: I like what he says when he says when he says that when two people have similar traits or values, then the other one isn’t necessary!) Laughs out loud! That’s hilarious.
RT: So tell me, do you believe in love at first sight?
NB: I would like to, but then it would depend on how you would define love. (RT: Romantic love!) Then it would be infatuation. I think you can be infatuated at first sight! I think it happens to most people a number of times a day., and of course it’s based on a number of things, based on the other person, based on the other person and what you see and project from the other person.
RT: What is the worst pick up line used on you and did it work?
NB: Probably the worst pick up line used was, ?Don’t I know you from somewhere?? and NO! It didn’t work. (RT: I think that that guy needs to hang himself! (Natalie laughs out loud!)
RT: Have you ever messed up on a 1st date, and did they want to see you again?
NB: Yes! I’ve had first dates who’ve never called me again and then haven’t called or wanted to see me again, so I don’t know what I did that was wrong. So yes, and no they haven’t seen me again. Laughs. (RT: For all we know, you could still be doing it.) I’m trying to improve my hit rate.
RT: When you’re out socialising, do guys react differently when you are alone vs. when you are in a group setting when you’re out and about?
NB: Generally no, because I give out a pretty consistent vibe. When I’m in a group setting I’m usually more relaxed with my friends having a good time, so I imagine I’d be perceived as being more approachable. When I’m alone there are people who approach me, but not often. I think it’s more about me and the vibe that I give off. Sometimes I’m approachable, but when I want to be alone, I can very easily project that. People are generally full of love and are very warm towards me and I’ve not yet had a negative experience with people approaching me. (RT: I really like this quote from Einstein that says: ?The most important question you can ask yourself is, is this a friendly universe?? and you whole outlook in life , your entire experience of life as it unfolds stems from that decision, that you either make consciously; and it’s great if you make it consciously; or unconsciously.) I like that quote! It’s your whole perspective really on how you view the world and how you share your experiences.
RT: Being a role model to women in my opinion, how do you think the feminist revolution has affected life for women in the 21st century?
NB: Thank you for that question and thank you for that complement. I haven’t researched that question, my ex-boyfriend did and I wished that I had spent more time listening to him because he had some amazing views, he is a remarkable man. How I can answer that question for you, is that I have always been an individual. How I define myself is as a citizen of this wonderful world we live in, the universe and then as an individual and then as a woman. It’s never been an issue for me. Personally, I would not say that I am a feminist. I’d say that I’m an independent woman. So first I would say I’m an independent, creative individual who happens to be a woman. We know that being a woman is defining. It means that you’re not a man. There are certain perceptions. (RT: Well you know we’re all women in the womb and at some point there’s something that changes and we end up becoming who we are. If you believe in reincarnation, we’ve all been woman and men at some time.) Yes, I believe there is a balance of both inside ourselves. As I’ve said, it’s never been a defining thing. It’s never how I define myself first.
RT: Among your friends, what kind of relationship issues do you guys discuss? Are you an advisor or are you the one seeking advise? Do they pick your brains or do you all share equally?
NB: We generally all talk equally and we tend to talk over one another, because we all talk a lot. And generally the conversation veers towards sex. It’s just a phase that my girlfriends are going through. We talk about relationship issues. A lot of my friends are quite strong individual, independent women. (RT: Are you able to share what about sex, because I think that a lot of men could learn a lesson or two , if you gave us a hint!) NO! I’m not! (RT: No! It’s not about you, it’s about your girlfriends and we don’t know who they are!) Generally, I’d say most recently we talk a lot about our aspirations, our hopes and our dreams, but most of all when we get together we like to have fun, so I’d say we talk about: love, life, relationships, sex, men, but we end up laughing about it all, when we get together, I think it’s important to make light of things, especially the darker things in life or try to find some kind of meaning, whether it’s ironic or funny. So it veers from quite raucous of men and sex, to quite philosophical talks about our hopes, dreams, wishes, ambitions. That sort of thing. I can’t share any of our sex tips with you! (lol)
RT: What suggestions do you have for woman on ways to be attractive, more confident and more interesting?
NB: I think that it’s important to be yourself . It’s very interesting, it’s honest, respect yourself and invest in yourself.
RT: Do you have any suggestions on how men should approach woman like yourself?
NB: In general men approach women by keep it light at first, be honest. There are no rules. Woman are very intuitive. Be friendly. Engage. And also sense of humour.
RT: Do you have any preferences for an ideal date?
NB: There are different kinds of dates. Spontaneous, intimate and romantic setting. I really enjoy engaging. I really love going to the sea point, going to the beach and collecting shells. The setting could be anywhere, but ambiance is important and enjoying each other’s company.
RT: What do you think about marriage?
NB: I think that marriage has it’s place. It’s a very personal choice. It can really be beautiful.
RT: What do you think about speed dating?
NB: I think that it’s a great way to get to know a lot of people in a short period of time and I look forward to trying it out some time.
RT: What do you think of on-line dating?
NB: I’ve actually tried it out, it’s different. You get to meet all sorts of people and yes, I think it’s fascinating.
RT: What’s your idea of romance?
NB: Intimacy, lips brushing, closeness, ambiance, these are the words that come to mind.