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Refer to:

The Empty Mind – Part 1 (of 4)

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4th August, 2000 | 21:00 – 21:30

The practice venue was the house of the lecturer that had a decent size hall for practicing. On the first day, they were introduced to seven professional theatre artistes under whose guidance they were to get trained. They discussed what are the thoughts, and what timings would suit for the practice sessions. It was decided that for the next two months, they would spend two hours daily after the MA Classes.

The group had both girls and boys, and as theatre requires artistes to overcome their feelings of personal boundaries and to accept their co-artistes as someone who’s very close, the first few days all they did was to meditate, exercise, dance, and do normal chit chat with other, with each of them being asked to talk about themselves to the group to identify their talent. Somewhere in between, the creation of the script started in the background along with the story, and improvisation of dialogues, stage settings, etc.

Besides acting, as he was also interested in writing and music, he was entrusted with the additional responsibility of writing a parody and controlling the Casio – when he wasn’t required on the stage.
As happens, however, at times it was felt that the preparations are not going well enough, sometimes the seniors got strict, and the younger ones ended up crying – but the sessions went on. There were moments of frustration, as also laughter and pranks.

One day, his friend (Ashish) placed a bet saying he wasn’t as good an actor as Ashish. He said how can he prove otherwise? As they had not yet reached the venue, it was decided that he had to do something to make all of them come rushing out of the house in terror. He asked Ashish to wait on the roadside with the bike. As the house was a bit inside the lane, he ran as fast as he could for a distance, then bent down and applied some dust on his jeans and hands, elbows etc., and then ran as fast again. Panting, he told the others that there’s been an accident, and Ashish needs help. There was shock and most ran out screaming.
Of course he got scolded quite a bit later on – but he had proved his skills.

Two months were over soon before they realized, and the public performance was looming in front. They had planned to run two shows on the first day, and three more the following day. They had a complete dress rehearsal till late evening on the day before the performance.

As he pedaled homewards on his bicycle in the moonlit night, his only thought as he smiled was “Thank You God for this opportunity – I will have at least done one theatre performance in my life”.

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to be continued…

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