Warning: A long post ahead (I guess it deserves it – it has been such a remarkable day)/
03/03/2012 – a date which I am not gonna forget at all; deeply etched in my memory.
Been over 5 months to date – that was One fine Sunday – the 18th day of Sept 2011 – I still have no recollection of “which side of the bed did I wake up from”.
The day started of with me getting ready to rush for a meeting of YFS volunteers. The meeting went well – met a few new volunteers and some simple socializing at the end of it. This was followed by a question from a co-volunteer – “Are you interested in acting???”.
Of course YES !!!.
I know that in my privacy – I’ve made plenty of faces looking at the Mirror – have tried out various dialogues from Kireedam (Mohanlal starer Malayalam movie), Amar Akbar Antony (the dialogue which Antony says looking at the mirror – thopda dhek). And all those imaginations of playing some emotional/sensitive scenes from various movies. And let me not miss out on “but let’s be frank here – you never wanted my friendship… you don’t offer friendship; you don’t even think to call me Godfather” from Godfather or “Why So Serious???” delivered in a tongue licking manner by the emotionless Joker. And even mimicked the famous “Kk..Kk.. Kk..Kiran”
Loved them all – tried to imitate all.
And here it was – I thought I’d give it a shot – but deep down I was shit scared & tensed – for I’ve never been a stage person (though love the lime light). The last time I did something like a skit was an on-th-fly skit for the kids at Jwalamukhi. And before that as a drunkard during class 12 (school days) – long time since (btw an FYI… I played the protagonist then and we won the 1st prize) – and yeah my little brother (not so little) cried (almost) for me having played that awesome drunkards character.
I was under the impression I was going to do a small role for a stage play. How wrong could I have been.
Here I was going to work with Final year students of Mass Communication (from Mount Carmel College – one of the most beautiful colleges for sure – and I am not talking of their academics or campus;)) – having to work on their project. And what more the role I was called for was that of a protagonist… ha ha… love that….The story was adapted from the novel “Cop and the Anthem – by O Henry” (I definitely have no clue what that is). And this wasn’t a stage play – it was a Short Film (heard me right – I was gonna be frozen as frames). But a bit of hiccup to start with – I had to clear the audition.
A tad awkward to have acted a few scenes with people (the team) staring at me and recording it. I thought I did well – but couldn’t immediately get any response from the girls. So I did tell them – you could give me a call if I am selected (being modest u c – I could as well have told them get in touch with my personal assistant and fix up dates for the shoot) – and they did say – yup I was the person for the role ;). There it was I was all set for the actual shoot on location the next weekend (24 & 25 Sept).
I did quite a few things which I am not sure how I managed – I stripped (not entirely) (incorrect usage actually – I just changed over) and dressed myself in some oversize kurta (could have had 2 people of my size) and a deadly torn shirt – and all of this within the campus of the said Girl’s (only) College !!!! The role was that of a homeless man.
And in that beautiful attire – I had to perform on the streets and parking space at Commercial Street (Bangalore) and on the foot paths (at Vasantha Nagar). And also had to change over to my regular clothes – right in public view (at Commercial Street).
In between these change overs there was some real hardwork and agreements/disagreements – opinions/comments/anger/frustration of the team involved. These were 7 amazing beautiful girls – with different ideas and view points. But all were set on one thing – do the best short film possible. And this ensured all worked hard to get the work done. There were improvisations and points and counter points which actually did wonders. I was reluctant/scared/sheepish/shy/tensed to perform in a public place – with thousands of eyes staring at me (from shops/roads/vehicles/passers by/kids/Dogs) – it was highly uncomfortable place to be in (wonder how these film actors handle these – luckily for me I didn’t have an action or dance sequence – no running around trees).
All through the shoot I had not seen a scene of my performance – except for one scene where the girls weren’t happy with my expressions. Plenty of re-takes didn’t help either. So I checked out what was going wrong with my expressions. For the first time I checked out my acting – and guess what – it SUCKED !!! (suddenly my respect for all the actors – even the ones who don’t deserve to do it – went rocketing high). I was like “are you sure you want to continue with me playing this character?” The girls mentioned I had done well – but how could I ignore what I just saw :).
Fast forward to last week
I was invited for the Screening of the movie. I loved the editing and posters – the production was called “Random Pictures” in association with “Blue Reva” (one of the team member had this Blue Reva which catered to all the transport of the team – so that was a mark of respect for it. I was part of the discussion to come up with a name – it was quite a creative exercise). And the title of the film – “Jail Yatra” (I got to know of this on the day of the show – quite some suspense).
The pain of embarrassing myself ran through my mind the whole week till the time I saw MYSELF ON THE SCREEN for the first time. The story and presentation was humorous and I loved it too – guess I didn’t do a very bad job. But, hats of to the efforts of the team of 7 wonderful girls to get the music/background scores/posters/editing (and all the other technical stuffs that I am not aware of) in place. I did hear some one from the audience say – our short film deserved “1st prize” :). And to better my day – some girl in the audience did ask for the protagonist’s mobile number. And I did stand up and make myself visible :D.
I thank these wonderful girls for having accepted me as a part of their team and letting me be part of their short film AND for the free breakfast I had AND for the free stuffs I munched at Cafe Coffee Day (couldn’t eat – could only pack my mouth with food).
Thank them all again and wish them the very best.
Have a look at the poster below 🙂 (all bearded and homeless – behind the bars)
Loved every moment of the whole experience. Wouldn’t mind doing it all over again 😉