Sanjay Kapoor with Wife Maheep Kapoor and daughter Shania at Saawariya Music Launch
Sanjay Kapoor with Wife Maheep Kapoor and daughter Shania at Saawariya Music Launch
- The themes and tropes of silent film clowning I want to utilize in Red Signal, including transformation; and
- The use of the surreal in relationship to comedy and our recent (current) history.
Raza Murad also has a daughter named Ayesha Murad, who too is interested in becoming a part of the Bollywood fraternity.
I know that you've been fervently checking in on Odin's Aviary to find out how this week's adventure in last-minute original work turned out for our intrepid hero. Hourly, nay -- minute-ly, you direct your browser this way, hoping for some whiff of report on last night's show, the final follow-up to this week's chain of entries charting the development of my earth-shattering new work: Whoopsie Daisy. Well, I've news indeed, and thanks for tuning in: I'm not going to write about Blueprint yet. It consists of two performances, we've had one, and I'll tell all after the last opportunity everyone has to see it for themselves, this Sunday evening. It's my Aviary. I can do whatever the hell I want.
Plus, I'd be surprised if anyone reads any 'blogs on purpose over the weekend. Apart from yours truly, that is.
I do hope my readership will return to this entry on Monday, however, because I'm here to finally write a bit about another big event in my work this week; specifically, the closing performance of my second staged reading of Burning Leaves. I wrote briefly about having the first of two readings of this play on Monday, before the incipient madness of my creative process for Whoopsie Daisy had taken root. Thereafter, I've been understandably preoccupied, but that isn't indicative of any shortage of effect that Burning Leaves had on me. Rather, I wanted to get the other piece of work on its feet so I could turn my full energy to evaluating my latest experience with Tom Rowan's play; may it not be the last.
The second and final presentation took place under strenuous conditions for me, and I don't just mean its coincidence with my other process this week. It wasn't until 9:00 pm Wednesday, which was an altogether long day anyway, with a full day of work, then a rapid introductory rehearsal for Blueprint on the upper west, a dinner with friends, and finally the night was freezing and the theatre wasn't all that much better. So there felt like a lot to overcome; which isn't necessarily a bad thing for us actors, but there's always some question about whether that obstacle will add to the performance, or override it. All-in-all, I was actually more satisfied with the climax in the second performance, but prior to that I felt a bit flat. It piqued my desire to work on the play under a longer rehearsal process. My character, Matt, has a such a complex inner landscape at the point in his life with which the play concerns itself, there was very little chance of my getting a credible handle on it for a reading. Unless, I suppose, we do six or seven more of them.
There was a very interesting range of ages and experience in our cast, and I was a bit preoccupied by it throughout the process. I suppose that has as much to do with my recent rites of passage as with my comrades-in-arms. In addition to Tom and Gaye-Taylor Upchurch, my fellow collaborators for this process included Kevin Confoy, Abigail Gampel, Allison Goldberg,
Hana Kalinski, and Alexander Paul Nifong. I was a little thrown at first, to be honest, by the sheer impression of youth Alex gave as the high school boy with whom Matt becomes involved. It's completely appropriate to the age of the character, but it also made me rather automatically a little more defensive in performance. In my previous experience, the actor playing his character, Jesse, brought a sense of control and intention to it that allowed me to accept with more ease the depth of affection Matt might develop for him. With Alex's Jesse, at first, I worried about what was to be made of my character falling for someone so obviously naive. We found a balance through rehearsal, but that balance really paid, off, I thought, in Wednesday night's performance. I can't say what caused it (which is a little frustrating) but I thought Alex gave a very grounded, nuanced and intentional performance of Jesse that night, one which pulled the whole thing together for me in a lovely way. His work was good throughout, but Wednesday it was great.
There was much discussion of acting "technique" during this process, and more than a little breathless excitement over this and that from the younger actors of our cozy tribe, all of which I found to be very interesting and, speaking frankly, a little funny. Not to say anything against these actors! Indeed, they were an inspiring reminder of how great it is to do what we do. What was funny to me was how distant from such discussions I have become; I don't think of it that way anymore. (I'll leave it to you, Gentle Reader, to determine if that's progress, or simply laziness.) Funny, too, was this kind of subtext or suggestion beneath the questions that there was some kind of answer to the question: Just what process makes for the best performance? When asked by the woman reading stage directions (she asked me twice, for unknown reasons) what technique I used, I answered that I use whatever works best moment-to-moment in the story, then mentioned that I found a lot of usefulness in Meisner work. I couldn't be sure how satisfied she was with this answer. There is, in my opinion, no concrete answer to the question. There is only good craft, well-applied -- a thousand paths to the same summit.
Plus, we're not all that freaking important. Actors are often, at their greatest moments, cyphers. It may seem like a somewhat hollow occupation, but I don't think so. I feel it's one of the most transcendent roles a human being can fulfill.
Tom has written a great line for Jesse, who is just starting a study of acting: "The words hurt, if you really say them." It's a moment of discovery for the character that we not only get to witness, but participate in, as we've just watched him connect emotionally with a text he's performing. This is what Burning Leaves is for me, one of those stories that I connect with, wherein the words hurt (and make me laugh, and make me think). I'm not remembering a long-lost love when I fight through the tears, nor am I imagining some other scenario, nor am I using psychological gesture. When I'm doing it well (not "right": well), I'm saying the words, and letting them work on me. I'm also feeling my audience's presence and allowing that to work on me, and I'm listening to my body, and my fellow actors, and my imagination, and its all just funneling through me. Is that easy? Hell no. Do you need to train for it, and use technique? Hell yes. But leave Stanislavski and Meisner and Hagen in the rehearsal room. On stage, you're not there for them, nor even for your craft, but for everyone who happens to be in that room, in that willing community of surrender and imagination.
Bleyargh. What am I doing up here? Where'd this soapbox come from?
So obviously I'm a little biased, but I think Tom Rowan's play deserves to have a hell of a long life. I hope he gets it produced soon, and have some ideas about spreading the word of it in my little way. Is this simply because I identify with it personally? Sure, but what other criteria shall we use for theatre? I'll leave the promotion of existential drama and Shepard plays to others (there are certainly enough of them to support it all). For my money, a heartfelt story that's clearly expressed is worth a dozen Bogart deconstructions. (At least.) This was a tremendous experience, and I hope to work on it again with the same people, theoretical discussions and all.
Give us a grant. A big one. That is all.
- Buy, then rig to behave the way I need it to, an artificial daisy.
- Collect string lights.
- Finalize costume.
- Rig props.
- Finalize, download and burn a disc of all sound and music cues.
- Practice all tricks and acro as much as possible (already using elevator rides for hat-trick practice).
- Run entire sequence several times.
- Stretch (some more).
All of this from (or in-and-around) the comfort of my apartment, 'cause I'm not shelling out for another rehearsal space the day before tech and, frankly, I need the comforts of home at this point. I sacrifice space needs for psychic ones. Fortunately for me, I have no other commitments tonight, and the place to myself for a few hours. Lots is still only going to be done in the space, during tech (the day of the performance), for me. Which is all to say: No longer eyeing oncoming traffic as a method of escape from this assignment; still experiencing pangs of sheer terror.
Keeps me sharp!
The Oberoi family kept distance from the media and were busy welcoming the guests. The bride looked gorgeous in an outfit made by a Mumbai-based fashion designer. “We both know each other and marriage is very special for us. Also wedding near the Ganga ghats is a lifetime experience,” said Meghna.
"Lloyd Schlemiel is new in town. Actually, he doesn't remember how he got here at all. There was a flicker of the light, a rattling noise (like some old machine whirring to life), and here he is. Also: He doesn't wear hats. Who wears hats anymore? Please bear with him. He's got a lot to learn."
A lion when it comes to shielding his kids from the outside world, Suniel Shetty admits he’s just putty in their hands!
FINDING THE TIME TO BE THERE FOR THEM... Is a constant need for me, to rejuvenate my spirits with time spent with the kids.
I SING LULLABIES TO MY KIDS... With Athiya, it’s quiet talk, and wild, mad games and hugging and jumping with Ahaan.
KIDS SAY THE DARNEST THINGS... And everyday I live and learn some more. Ahaan
is outrageous, Athiya is so wise.
I FEEL LIKE A KID WHEN... I’m with my kids.
FAMILY TIME IS... My journey of discovery, and my haven from stress.
IT’S NOT A VACATION UNTIL... It’s the whole jingbang — Mana, the kids, the dogs — and all of us trooping off to our Khandala home.
I CRUMBLE WHEN.... My kids fall sick. ONE HABIT OF MINE THEY SEEM TO HAVE PICKED UP… Love for the outdoors, my sense of fashion and aesthetics.
Source: Times Of India
SRSLY: You guys: Go out and buy the comic book Kick-Ass. Oh, you don't "get" comic books? You aren't "hep" to "justice culture"? Well, prep for the conundrums of Watchmen, and in the meantime, go read Kick-Ass. It's not even compiled into a "graphic novel" yet (this entry brought to you by the punctuation mark '"'!), yet it's optioned into a movie and being made. Go buy it. Go re-evaluate your life. Much love . . .
Indulgent dad Pankaj had said, “This is Khansaab’s as well as my own favourite song from the album. When I suggested that Nayaab come up with a concept, she did her homework well and has made a very different video that captures the essence of the song and the mood of the album. The video has been shot in both black-and-white and colour.”
Nayaab, says Pankaj, was always interested in music as a listener but she had a clear preference for analysing cinema, like camera "takes" and direction. “I had noticed this, but when she expressed a keenness to do a course in filmmaking, I realised that she was serious about direction as a career," says Pankaj. And Nayaab did not want to learn at a school abroad but
wished to have first-hand training, reveals her father.
Adds Nayaab, “Yes, I would love to assist people like Sanjay Gadhvi, who is my cousin, or Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. I would love to learn the ropes at Yash Raj Films. My video was a challenge as it’s USP is that both the composer and the singer are there and it’s different from what runs today. For me, it was also important because Ustad Amjad Ali Khansaab has never done a video before.”
Nayaab’s long-term plans are directing feature films, though she would love doing more videos (“but no remix videos,” she stresses) even if she cannot be different or experimental each time.
So what kind of film would she like to make? “I enjoy different kinds of films, but only after I learn under big names will I know what kind of movie I would want to make," she says.
"Blueprint was a wide open assignment -
just taking the word and riffing with a piece of some sort -"
"I think anything Lloyd is a blueprint piece - he is so curious and exploratory that he is always wondering what something is made of and his relationship to it - which in my mind is also wondering what he is made of -"
Just when everyone was waiting for Ahana Deol to make her directorial debut, the 23-year-old surprised everyone by coming up with her own clothes line. She says over the phone from Goa, “I am planning to open a store that will have clothes, bags and shoes designed by me. It will also have a small coffee shop, stock cakes, chocolates, and furniture designed by my friends. I am looking at a sort of a mixture.”
Coming from a family of Bollywood stars one would assume that designing is an alien concept for Ahana. However, she seems to be very confident. She says, “Designing happened to me by chance. Everyone knew I was working on my directorial debut.
However, at times creative energies just flow towards different formats. That’s exactly how I got into designing. Also I would go out shopping and wonder if there was an interesting twist to the clothes. I think I am a designer later and a shopper first.”
Ahana has not yet decided on the location of the store. She is scouting for places in Bandra and Juhu. She says, “It is very expensive to find a good place in Mumbai. Real estate prices in the suburbs have skyrocketed. We need a relatively large space.” For this moment she works from a workshop in Goregaon where she designs the outfits.
Describing her collection, which is called Happy Hippie, she says, “My clothes are western – skirts, tops and dresses. They belong to the era of the 60’s primarily – the advent of the mini-skirt look. I have also designed a lot of waistcoats. They have all been inspired from the Victorian Era. I haven’t designed anything Indian yet, but I have an idea of what I will be creating. I have also used an amalgamation of fabrics such as khadi, cotton, silk, linen, velvet, cotton and satin.”
Ahana says she hasn’t’ drawn inspiration from anyone for her collection. “I don’t follow any trends or fashion weeks. I don’t know any designers or look at work and make notes. I have just followed my instinct and now I am all set to debut as a designer.”