Her adorable looks caught me by surprise! Her beauty quite took my breath away — she could easily be a model but posing in front of cameras is too boring for Vera Karetnikova. Like any pretty girl, she dreamt of becoming an actress — charming and enigmatic. She doesn’t like being compared to anyone else; she tosses her golden head and proclaims, “I’m Vera.’
— Vera, I first heard of you — as a new and promising singer — a year ago from Nickolay Skorikov. Is he your producer?
— I don’t have a producer yet but Nickolay has helped me greatly from the beginning. I’ve always wanted to be a singer, but I wasn’t taken seriously. Desperate, I decided to study foreign economic relations and now I’m a fourth-year student. I continued to participate in young singers’ contests though and, at one of these, I got to know Mr. Skorikov. He liked my perfomance and offered me the part of a backing singer. Later, he employed me as a solo artist in his concerts. Then I took part in an elimination round for the People’s Artist contest. Now I’m quite an established artiste and work with composer Leonid Shirin.
— It’s no secret that beautiful girls often long for a pop career just to become well known and meet eligible men. After a year in showbiz, they marry some wealthy man and quit singing.
— I’m not so short-sighted. My goals are long term and don’t include marriage at 21. My dream is to perform before a huge audience and hear them all singing with me. But I have a long way to go before I achieve this. I know the direction I want to take and I am moving towards this steadily and confidently.
— What if you’re proposed to by some ‘prince charming’?
— I enjoy learning about love and like finding new ways to men’s hearts. I like being admired and being given compliments and I like flirting in return. I like to be light-hearted sometimes — it’s relaxing. Maybe I’ll write a manual on the art of seduction one day! However, I was raised by a good family and I treat marriage seriously. I’m not yet ready to consider matrimony; my career is coming first.
— About your family: following the People’s Artist contest, it was rumoured that you had received help. Did you really get into the event without pulling strings?
— I’ve heard people saying that my dad is an oil magnate. This is untrue. He works as an electrician at an enterprise. My mother is a teacher. I also have a handsome younger brother who I think should become a model; he is very serious though and is studying economics. As far as the contest goes, I didn’t cheat.
— Why did they say that you were a relation of Laima Vaikule?
— It was a joke! At the People’s Artists, the same stylist did Laima’s and my make-up. Maybe that’s why we looked alike.
— A beautiful and successful girl should get used to jealous and spiteful people.
— It’s so ridiculous. I’m trying to be positive and I don’t get in other people’s way but, if I’m criticised needlessly, I usually reply, “Who is holding back your career?”
— Let’s peep into the future. Who do you think will represent Belarus at Eurovision 2006?
— Piotr Yelfimov.
— I think it will be Polina Smolova.
— Yelfimov is thoroughly preparing for this contest; I think he deserves to win.
— Would you try for it?
— I’ve already prepared a song but I’m more concerned about the national elimination contest.
— You should have a good rest before such a big event.
— I can’t — I have a busy schedule for August and September.
— Are you giving any big concerts?
— No. I’m performing at clubs and on open air stages. You know, I’m not fussy; I think any contact with audiences is important.
by Anna Shadrina