GIVE… a sneek peek!

GIVE is a forum where thoughts are shared – Thoughts of Leadership, Wisdom, Information {of all kinds – from Overdependance of Blue Film Business on the lead personality and repercussions of their ageing on box office TO Why Saravana is a stronger Brand than its imitators ;-) TO the right perspective to finding a Good Mate!} & SHARING with your group the same.

We will have 2 Guests (per month) who GIVE us their time and energy and share with us their experiences – and the other 2 sessions will be inter-Knowledge sharing!

GIVE takes place each week at evam office on saturday mornings.


Minutes if this week’s GIVE_

Once upon a time, a king asked his soldiers to go out and find the happiest man in his kingdom. Some of them found a beggar asleep under the stars. The beggar claimed to be the happiest man in the kingdom. They bought him to the king. The king asked him, “You do not have a stitch on your back to call your own. How can you be the happiest man?” The man replied, “That is the reason I am the happiest man, your majesty.”

Moral of the story (aside from the fact that soldiers are not too bright): The simple life is the happy life.

This little story was among the little vignettes of life and pieces of advice that Michael Muthu or Mike cast our way this Saturday at Give. One of the young, earnest directors of Evam bestowed the title of ‘master craftsman of theatre’ on him at the beginning of the session. Mike graciously returned the compliment calling our earnest director an ‘intelligent actor’ (ha ha we’re not laughing).

All things seem to sit lightly on our craftsman’s shoulders. He has done:

  • Event Management  – He warmly recalled the launch of Wills Classic Ultra Milds in the city – with 3,000 drunken people in one giant party. “Once I didn’t sleep for five days because of a product launch across five cities. Then there was this burst of smoke and a giant bar of soap emerged from it. And I thought, Is this what I want to do?”
  • Theatre (lots of it) – He performed Lochinvar in class six and remembers being directed by his father in high school. In college, he entered the Loyola Theatre Society. “I never studied after that,” he said. The first production of the Boardwalkers in December 1990 was Jesus Christ Superstar – with 70 actors and 40 dancers. They hated the Madras Players at the time, condescending snobs then, condescending snobs now. No, he didn’t say that actually. The Boardwalkers have performed at the IIT OAT and drawn 5000-strong crowds for 3 shows.

He started doing set design in Loyola and has designed sets for 65 plays. “Set design is just common sense.  I read the script a hundred times. You need to work your design and play every scene through it. Then you need to look at things like costs, fluidity and noise.” “Lighting is used to create mood. You are painting a mood with lights instead of brush strokes.”

  • Film – He made a film featuring several theatre people in the city that is still lying inside his desk, since he was not thrilled with the offers he got for it. He had acted in Manoj Night Shyamalan’s first film. Shyamalan is apparently a really ‘sweet guy’, though the film about returning to roots ‘really sucked’. Now, he wants to direct a film. Hopefully, a deal with Reliance will come through in January. “I want to win an Oscar.” He is working on a film about a cult of Kali worship set in 1823.
  • And a lot more cool stuff – Also he has a 13-year old Bullet and he drove to Rohtang Pass in 9 days and drove through the Chambal valley in the dead of night. And near the Pass he saw two people sailing the winds like two birds.

Is there anything left on his wish list? I want to fly. I am going to Yelagiri when I have done it all.

How have you changed? I have become more responsible. See, I was here at eleven – on time.

What has kept you going? I can’t do anything else.  I have tried working in an office. The less you have, the happier you are.

That was Michael Muthu. I really tried to keep this simple, but the man defies the effort.

Quick CV:

“With no formal training, Michael has been in theatre for many years, starting with Dipankar
Mukherjee after his Class XII, at the Loyola Theatre Society during his first two years of college, and in 1991 as founder of Boardwalkers. His acclaimed productions include Oh God, Biloxi Blues, The Hairy Ape, Sleuth, The Pied Piper of Hamlin, Jesus Christ Superstar, so on and so forth.”

What he does for a living: Runs Boardwalkers, which makes money through event management, plays , set design and execution.
What he does for kicks: Keeps the Chennai theater scene alive with lively plays. Stages audacious musicals on shoe string budgets. Directs offbeat films. Acts in anything that excites him. Loves working with children and directs the LTS production every year.
What he has postponed forever: Avoided Bollywood, Hollywood & Kollywood.
What he won’t do: Pitch for roles or market himself.
Trivia : Michael Muthu was selected by Manoj Night Shyamalan to act in his first movie, ‘Praying With Anger’. He’s listed in IMDB as Mike Muthu.

Evam has worked with Mike on many productions – Set designing for Odd couple, Barefoot in the Park, Chapter Two & Evam Indrajit, Director for Hamlet, Biloxi Blues & Oh God.


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