Thursday, May 04, 2006
Well, I guess that's life.
2nd May,2006. My first show, BEYOND THE LAND OF HATTAMALA at RANGASHANKARA. We enter from the door on the right, somewhere up in the middle of the proscenium.I'm jittery and there are butterflies,catterpillars,worms and anything else you can think of in my tummy.This, not only because it was my first show but also because I'm extremely accident prone. And running right through the audience is no joke.Absolutely not!My Mum and Uncles and aunt were in the audience, watching.My dad was out of station.The turn out was mediocre.
Well, the show began,and running behind Amjed(the best actor on show) I tripped only once, well, surprisingly with no major repurcussions.The scene 2, I slip again but manage to camoflauge it well.
But the luck was short lived!
About 35 minutes into the play BONG!I bang into a hotel signboard while exiting into the right wing.But exitement beats pain, and I'm visibly allright, though with a bump.
If you thought this was it.Mate, you're wrong!
I've completed my major scene and exiting with Deepthy, virtually holding her hand. She exits unharmed. 2 seconds is all it takes and...........DING!DONG!BONG!GONG!!!!!
I've crashed into a signboard(the Barber shop's, they later told me) .
I'm clutching my head and standing right in the middle of the wing.
20-30 seconds later, Divya,Deepthy and Sarala come to the rescue.
I don't know with whom I've banged into.
Divya tries some first aid.I'm crying,OUT of SHEER PAIN, and NOTHING ELSE.She wipes my forehead with a wet cloth. The initial signs are positive, it wasn't bleeding. 3 minutes later, I'm back on stage. Once again the excitement outdid the pain,and I was fine on stage.
The show went of without any more major hitches, except that Amjed banged into Payal on his exit and neither Amjed nor Harish had enoughj time to change into the new costume for the Curtain Call.
Well, earlier in the day, my kurta tore in the midst of the rehearsal.
An important notice:
I cried twice that night.First like I mentioned as soon as I was hit the 2nd time.
The second while eating at RS.Both the times it was out of sheer pain,especially because once the show got over and the excitement subided,I was in major pain.My head was throbbing and all through the post performance meeting I tried to be composed(mainly not to burst out crying).But after that when the topic was brought up again, I cried,(but only for 2 minutes).
But, unfortunately Deepthy,Amjed,Divya and Balaji thought that I was upset and embarassed.I WAS NOT.See, Vinod (he was the one who banged into me the 2nd time, he later apologised and told me, but it wasn't exactly his fault either,none of us could see in the darkness)later told me that when he did bang into my head, from the sound that came, he thought my skull cracked.So, I'm not hyping up the entire situation, but I just want to say I'm NOT A CRY BABY(in case anyone thought I was).
So, quite an eventful day, wasn't it?
Since day 2 is a smaller story, I'll add it here.
I'm practicing running down the stairs, I slip twice.I'm having a discussion with Kishore on running and moving safely.I say bye to him in the light and sound room and slip down three stairs.
Before the show, I'm extremely apprehensive,I wanna avoid accidents.
Show starts.I don't slip while running down.
I enter for the cowshed scene, and slide to get into position. My knee catches the hinges of the trapdoor. My first evaluation of the scrape was a scene later.It's bleeding. I let it go.
Luckily 2nd time I get a better view.The uppermost layer of skin has peeled of.and it had stopped bleeding.Time to let nature take it's course and my body it's own time to heal.
Divya felt that this show was better than yesterday's, but I felt atleast my performance was better the first day.
Bye, I'm hungry now and it's time for lunch.
Phew! It’s summer all right. The exams have been busted and it’s time to soak up and enjoy the pleasures of life. ‘But who can stand sitting idle for a couple of months like parasites?’
So, it’s time for teens like us to explore and experiment with various things, try our hands at different skills or just master that one skill we’ve always had the knack for.
While there are the usual options like swimming, dancing, singing, cricket and football to bust the summer heat and boredom, some opt for rather unusual ones like dirt bike racing, kalaripayattu, horse riding and gardening. Well, I really can’t decide as to which of the two categories to put theatre under but I can definitely vouch for one thing—it’s bin a lot of fun!
This is my first tryst with theatre and BEYOND THE LAND OF HATTAMALA, being produced under the URJA banner, is my first play. This has not only offered me a plethora of opportunities but also has been a wonderful learning ground. It is here that I’ve learnt my ABCs of theatre and taken my first few tiny steps in this vast field.
URJA the Sanskrit equivalent of ‘ENERGY’ is a very inspirational banner and the people here are bustling with energy and enthusiasm, and it didn’t take long for it to rub off on me too. It was almost three weeks ago that I first met my fellow actors and cast members, a team of highly talented professionals. My initial perception was that anybody with a sound voice can hit it off in theatre, but over the ensuing weeks, as I saw the toil, sweat, effort and hard work involved in making and staging a play, I realized that, like everywhere else in life, in theatre also the 3 Ds that help one succeed are Determination, Dedication and Discipline. I also realized that no one is born with an inbuilt software that ensures that one shall excel in theatre. It is just hard work and perseverance that helps one make the most of whatever skill one has, thus paving the way for excellence.
Work on this play began almost a month ago. The first stage was the ‘Reading’ of the play where we could get familiar with the lines and the basic structure of the play. Next came ‘Blocking’, this was when we experimented with our moves and worked on the choreography. During the next week we dropped our scripts and fixed our moves. At every stage new ideas emerged which were adapted to our needs and improvised upon. The rehearsals were always enlivened by the hilarious theatre games we always found time to play, be it “Baby Shark Tu Tu…” or “Making melodies……”.These games always had us in splits of laughter. Amidst all this came the very exciting photo shoot which was held at CFD (Centre for Film and Drama).We got into our stage gear and enacted lively scenes to pose for the camera.
Then as we swung into the last fortnight, the work we had to do just piled up. What with the painting of props, altering costumes, putting up posters, printing of tickets, going to the press for publicity! The enthusiasm began to build up, but so did the rigour of our rehearsals. We had rigourous run throughs, and worked on the detailing. We learnt that the devil is in the detail. On the eve of the show we had a run through right here at Ranga Shankara, sweetened by Payal’s delicious chocolate cake.
Well, I’ve enjoyed as well as learnt a lot all this while and hope to continue to do so. But I’ve had my fair share of problems as well, battling with my speech pattern, delivery of dialogues, projection, intonation etc. I’ve consciously tried hard to improve, so let’s wait and see if it has worked. But there has been a lot of help, support and guidance at every step that has encouraged me to put in that extra bit each time. Every body in the Hattamala Team was extremely supportive and they patiently did and re did scenes just so that I could correct my mistakes. But the best part about all of this was that everyone was open and welcomed new ideas and readily tried them out. Well working with or rather like Divya likes to call it ‘interning with URJA’ has been a fantastic experience and one that’ll be really hard to forget. So then, see you in Beyond the Land of Hattamala, every night this week at 7:30 at RANGA SHANKARA.
----Nivedita Sudheer (Chitti)
15 years 11 months
Monday, May 01, 2006
My off guard guardian genie
Ever heard of the ‘Pirates of the
Thud! I fell of the bench and landed on the hard wooden deck. No! I didn’t wake up from a dream to find everything hunky-dory, I had just slipped of the bench.
“Well?”, I thought looking at ‘Mr. Cool Genie’, sitting on the arm of the bench and whistling. It’s at least not the first time my ‘Birthright (Off guard) Guardian Genie has made sure I land in a mess.
It all started fifteen years ago, when I arrived on this planet, all cute and cuddly. But the very same day my ‘Birthright Guardian Genie’ also arrived. If you think he is this sweet ‘n’ cute genie, clad in a white tunic and with a wand in his hand, then I’d say “Mate, you got it completely wrong!”
Our man dresses up in an LA Lakers jersey, shorts, Fastrack eye gear, baseball cap and sneakers. He does not have a wand in his pocession (a good thing, I’d say), but snaps his fingers to get things done—err……….magically!!
Life with him as my friend, philosopher and guide (mind you a very wayward guide though) cum mentor cum eavesdropper on personal conversations cum anything else the situation doesn’t demand, has been, in bold capitals underlined,
‘NOTHING SHORT OF A PHANTASMA’.
My multifaceted genie is the root cause of most, no actually, all my troubles. He is the very reason why I’m on this stinking ship with a guy who’s got ‘Polly the Smart IV’ sitting on his shoulder, a wooden leg and a blind eye. Nice guess! He is indeed the leader of the Pirates of the
I was a harmless specie last night, sitting on my bed and reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, when ‘Mr. Smart Genie’, attempting to straighten the cushions on my bed, landed us in the middle of the
I’m amazed, bewildered and speechless with the accuracy with which he manages to transport us at least a hundred miles away from the intended destination. Well for all this effort, we were finally rescued, by guess who? -- the Pirates of the
When I was but a toddler, he advised me to kiss a toad, and no, it did not turn into ‘Prince Charming’. It bulged, turned a horrible shade of yellow and literally ‘puked’ all over me!
And then, the other day, he offered to complete my Geography Project on Martian Topography. I opened it an hour later and ….....voila! I found it decked with pictures of the
Well there have been those odd, unexpected bright moments with him around, like the time when the guy who tried to bully me in school grew polka dotted donkey’s ears.
Now back after the epic flashback, I grew rather worried. We, rather ‘I’ had been stuck on this ship with a bunch of imbecile, noodle- nosed pirates for more than four hours, with nothing to live on except a plate of raspberries. What do I do????
Try this, put yourself in my position. What would you do? Approach your Guardian Genie? Especially after all that I’ve told you?
Suddenly, a flash! An idea! “Think about it carefully”, I warn myself. After all I don’t want to land up in the cooking pot of the pygmies.
“Genie, o’ Genie”, I call out. No response. He was pretending to be deep in thought. “I wish that I were swimming in the ocean.”, I sigh aloud. I hear a snap of fingers and you guessed right, I’m sitting on the mast of the ship. Good, it works!
Second attempt—“Genie, I want black currant ice cream.” Bingo! It’s bull’s eye even this time. I got a nice helping of sushi and tofu.
Now for the big one. I live in downtown
“Genie I want to go to the
I close my eyes, stick my fingers into my ears. Thud!
“Please let me not be in
I can feel water dripping down my neck. I slowly open my eyes.