Friday, June 11, 2010

Good day

Today we met with Sunithi Namjoshi the author of Aditi and the One-eyed Monkey on which our play, "What do you say to a Dragon?" is based. She is such a wonderful person. So warm and generous. She was fine with us using the book and fine with us changing things for the play as well. She said that the movie does not have to be the book and cannot be the book becuase it must adhere to a different form. And so to the play. I really enjoyed meeting with her.

And the rest of the day I spent with the other actors in the play and we had a great time. I think a really fun part about doing theatre is the "hanging out" for long hours chatting and laughing. It's great fun.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The day after

So we performed yesterday at the workshop for teachers. It was our very first show and we presented excerpts from the play with Anish acting as narrator and linking things up. It was good to actually perform in front of an audience - helps us picks up some gaps. S pointed out that we were not sure how to use the space. We have not really worked on what the play looks like visually so it seemed fairly chaotic.The script also needs reworking.

The puppets worked really well which was actually a surprise! Two days ago the puppets were really flat but I guess the energy and voices were good. I quite enjoy puppetry. I remember doing some hand puppet work for VBS and that was great fun too.

The performance is quite tiring when we do it at high energy and we were sweating like crazy.

The play is really for children but this show was for an adult audience albeit teachers who work with children. They were positive about the possibilities of the play and felt that we would receive a much better response from children that adults. Through the performance I couldn't really tell if the audience was enjoying it or not. So I did feel that it was not really working but at the end they said that they liked it and even invited us to their schools. So I guess that's a good sign.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Doubt your work. Don't doubt yourself.

A WIP of "What do you say to a dragon" will be presented tomorrow at a workshop for 40 government school teachers from different parts of Karnataka. We are preparing for it and I'm nervous. Colleagues from work will be there and I don't want it to be too bad. I guess it won't be but still the fear remains.

Anyway we were rehearsing and Anish said that the more people curse us the better it will be. We were a little taken aback - why would any of us want to be cursed? He said that if they curse the play that will help us. "Doubt your work. Don't doubt yourself" he said.

I realized that I don't make the distinction between work and myself. When something I do is not so great I think I am horrible.  If my job does not make me happy I believe that my entire life is worth nothing. I don't know how to be strong in who I am and detach myself from what I do.

Important lesson. Another one learned from the theatre.

Playback Again

I’ve had a crazy busy week last week but also a great one. Early last month the people from Script People’s Theatre – the group I did the Playback Workshop with – called saying there was a Playback performance they would like me to be part of. I was a little hesitant after I agreed. I finished the workshop in 2007 and had not done much Playback after and these guys rehearse at 6:45 in the morning! Anyway, I managed to get myself to rehearsals everyday and we performed on Saturday for a family audience. They were celebrating a birthday and the wife of the lucky man who’s birthday it was used to be a playbacker so she had commissioned the performance.

Most of the actors I was now working with were new except for two. I realized how important it was to have a good relationship with the actors and for someone for whom making friends is a slow process it becomes difficult to be comfortable in a week. I often go through the motions of not liking people and then learning to like them or having something happen that makes me change my mind.

Then on Thursday the ‘wife’ comes by and rehearses with us…and it’s a disaster! Everything went wrong that day. And then she gets really worried about what’s going to happen at the party and so do we! I think the seriousness of the situation only hit us then. We were going to be part of someone’s celebration and we had the power to make it beautiful or to completely wreck it!

So the next two rehearsals we did a lot background work and kept visualizing that the performance would go well. Thankfully it did. I think all of us put in everything we had and the work on metaphors and trying to listen for the ‘unsaid’ was very helpful.

It’s good to be working with good people. There’s just so much to learn from them. Like Sibu kept calm even though he knew things were not going too well and the ‘wife’ was getting frantic. He never seemed out of control. That’s crucial for a director or a leader – to stay calm and in control of things so the actors don’t lose hope.

I really enjoyed this performance more than any other. The audience was also wonderful and we fed off their energy like they did ours. It really worked very well and it gave me such a high!

Great site for photographs!'s a great site for photographs and photography. Came by it by  chance as many good things.