Friday, June 21, 2013

This Week's Inspiring Pop Culture Moment: Newlyweds the First Year

Photo by Sam Holland/Bravo

Each week we take a look around our pop culture world and try to find one moment that stood out as the most inspiring. It might be a celebrity who is doing charitable things, a TV shows that inspires us to be better or a philosophy that we should all strive to live by. Here is this week's most inspiring pop culture moment.

Anyone who’s ever been married knows that those first twelve months are both exciting and trying times. So it’s not surprising that the reality gurus at Bravo decided to follow a few sets of recently married folks for a new show called “Newlyweds the First Year.” In a recent exclusive interview one of the pairs, pop singer Tina Sugandh and Pandoodle founder Tarz Ludwigsen, talked about being on the series.

Long before she became Mrs. Ludwigsen, Tina had a successful singing career. As she recounted, “I have been performing with my family, The Sugandh Family, (my mom, dad, sister Seema and I) every weekend since I was five years old. We would all travel every weekend to some massive Bollywood event. It was amazing. I went on from there to graduate with an honors degree in Biology as well as being offered a record deal simultaneously. I chose the record deal, and that led me to having incredible experiences such as everything from opening for Ludacris to teaching Ringo Starr to play the Indian drums and singing on his latest album. The Ringo moment was definitely a highlight and there is actually some really funny footage of Ringo and I jamming on my YouTube site. He’s hysterical.” 

In the meantime, Tarz was leaving a modeling career behind to become a tech entrepreneur. Although they tied the knot, they both wanted to focus on their professional endeavors as well. But the show helped them find a way to share quality time, Tina explained, “Since Tarz was putting in 20 hour days/7 days a week to ensure his start up, Pandoodle, got funded. The show actually was a forcing function for us to spend time together. How sad is that? We actually needed the cameras in our lives to have a conversation with each other.”

But being a part of the production also helped them come to discover some very important facts about each other. Tarz acknowledged, “I learned that Tina is my rock and will go to the ends of the earth to support me. I am the co-founder of a media technology company called Pandoodle and throughout our newlywed year I’ve been putting in 20 hour days, 7 days a week, for weeks at a time. The combination of having my start up, trying to find any time or energy at all to make a baby (as we’re not getting any younger) and then the filming our fun show didn’t really leave us with newlywed leisure time at all. But I learned that Tina is the type of person that will go to the ends of the earth to make her family feel happy, loved and fully supported at all times — no matter what.”

As for Tina, she joked, “I learned that, even with the cameras on, I can seriously push the envelope with Tarz and miraculously, he will not divorce me. Although, let’s see what ‘Year Two’ brings.”

With the first twelve months behind her, Tina’s now able to share some advice with other young couples who are preparing to walk down the aisle. “There is just no room in a marriage for ego. Both people need to let down their guard 100% and throw their egos out the window and just verbalize any time they feel the slightest bit insecure or jealous or any other negative emotion,” she acknowledged. “It’s so much easier when you communicate that openly. If you can’t share your every thought with this one person who is supposed to be your other half, why get married?”

Tarz agreed, adding, “Make sure you are completely best friends and genuinely love being around that person. I have never been into looks, as they are fleeting and they wear off for both partners eventually. But if you have that underlying core of true friendship, you’re set.”

Tune in to Newlyweds The First Year every Monday night at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. central on Bravo.

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