The Second Skin – The Theatre Ode
“The stage is a magic circle where only the most real things happen, a neutral territory outside the jurisdiction of Fate where stars may be crossed with impunity. A truer and more real place does not exist in all the universe.”
― P.S. Baber,
As the saying very poignantly describes the pull of a theatre, and how lives get intertwined on stage and off it, we try here to draw a situation of theatre in our city. There are a few characters portrayed by the actors that are so thriving that it enthrals viewers. Their performances cast a spell leaving the audience awestruck. It takes a lot of effort from the actor’s side to portray it truthfully. They invest quality time and energy to get into the character.
Ranveer Singh, to prepare for his role for the movie Baji Rao Mastani, locked himself in the suburban hotel in Mumbai. He even went bald, kept a moustache and did everything possible to get into the shoes of Baji Rao. Who can forget the lengths to which Heath Ledger went to portray the role of Joker in The Dark Knight, ( Ledger made a personal diary in which he wrote really, really insane things , slept for two hours each day, took medicines ) which cost him his life. All to say that, there is only a fine blurry line between being and acting. We got talking to actors in the city partaking their views on this.
It is as difficult to get out of the role as it is to get inside it. Getting out of the reel life can take quite some time. “I get nightmares during theatre play rehearsals. Often I dream that I am on stage and I forget my lines or that I have just ten minutes to go on stage and I haven’t even applied makeup,” says Pallavi Bonuthu, a final year theatre student, from the University of Hyderabad.
Although actors have their own ways to get out of the character, Avinash Matta, a theatre artist shares, “To an extent, yes, it does affect. You’re thinking about the character and living his life as long as you play it. So you tend to become like him. That’s why after a play is over, I try to stay away from the cast and crew. I go for a break – often short trips or read a book with an entirely different plot. Facebook also helps in getting slipping back to your own skin.
Taher Ali Baig, who is been directing theatre plays shares his notions optimistically “I have seen method actors getting so much into the character that they are unable to come out of it for a year almost. For example, Keshav Deepak and Rahul Reddy played eunuch in a play and their body language remained the same even after the play. Arjun Menon acted in a few Shakespeare plays and he couldn’t get out of it. It will fade only by time or when the actor picks up another interesting character,” he reflects.
It is good for the actors to get into the shoes of the character they are frolicking but only to the edge of it. Nidhi Pandey, an actor, and director shares her opinion. “Once the play has been staged, having a get-together which is not for the play but for companionship can benefit. A small warm up, sitting sometimes alone, meditation, calling your loved ones can also help.”
Travelling is also one of the escapes actors adopt to get away from the character they play. It eases their stress level and helps them return to reality. Jay Jha, an actor, says “I take a break and travel to new places which help my mind to move in a different direction. The character gradually fades away. Rajnish Songara, a budding actor shares his unique tact. “I just do a couple of things after every show or whenever I leave a character. I go into the stillness, the silence of my inner self. Silence takes me into zero mode behaviour in which I don’t think much and keep my mind free. I also listen to Mushaira and Kavita after every show to get unrestricted from the temperament of the show and the character,” he says.
Behind all the obvious glitz and glamour, there is a dark phase every actor goes through. Some characters touch the artist so deeply that while it might take ages for it to fade, it might also leave a permanent mark in their personality. There are no prescribed laws and rules which tell an actor how to shed the skin of a character. It’s a fight within themselves, which let them learn and unlearn, and take them to glory.
That was our actors confiding what makes and breaks them. Until next them folks…Be Alive, and Play the role we’ve been given. Thank You..!!