CUT from the inside perspective

I’ve been CUT and I’ve never felt better

   I live in Bangalore and share the common excuses that many of my
friends have for not making that extra effort to do something
different and interesting. Anyway, I was smart enough to take a rather
sudden decision and sign up for a theatre workshop conducted by EVAM.

   Theatre has always been extremely fascinating for me, but I never
thought I had what it takes to make a difference. Of course, I knew
what happens when the curtains drop is just a fraction of the entire
process and experience called theatre. This account, therefore, is my
journey of awe, excitement and eventual self-discovery at CUT
Bangalore. The way I saw it, this workshop is intended for the
following categories of people:

       a. Those who feel that every new experience is worth trying
(Believe me you will only have moments filled with new experiences
every day of the workshop)
       b. Those who want to meet 30 amazingly talented people all at
once, in a room
       c. Those who yearn for that opportunity to break away from a
monotonous life (I have not had a better matter how far I
       d. Those who want to meet people who induce passion for life
into you with everything they have. (with EVAM, you’ve to experience
it to believe it)
       e. Those who want to understand theatre better and give it
their best shot. (Learning it here with EVAM, only makes you love
theatre that much more)

   I still remember the “butterflies in the stomach” feeling when I
walked into Rangashankara for the audition on 11th Jan. I could see
Karthik, Sunil and Karthik sitting around and talking to people. I was
asked to wait and soon I realised that this informal discussion was
the audition. It was an interesting approach. I got to spend some time
with Sunil. It was general-talk, lasting not more than 15 minutes, and
in that short span I could sense the energy and his passion for
theatre and EVAM. I decided that if given a chance, I will grab this
opportunity to spend some more time with EVAM. I am glad I did get
through the audition and I got the most awaited confirmation mail.

   The CUT was to last for three days 24th, 25th and 26th of Jan, but
has ended up lasting forever. I put aside all other plans and on 24th
morning, I reached the K.V Subanna Intimate theatre :). I walked into
the place late and found this big group surrounding Sunil. When you
enter the hall you have this feeling of “Oh God how will I act in
front of so many strangers”, but it died down as easily as it started

   The CUT is a well organised programme. It has well defined tasks
that helps even a person like me (with absolutely no stage
experience), to understand how to present onself on stage. The key
thing is to believe in the two people helping you discover the talent
in you.

   On the first day, we were working on getting rid of the initial
impressions we had about each other. It is a beautiful feeling to work
against your normal thought process. Try to see another person for
what he/she is capable of and you realise that we need to put in such
little effort to actually stop judging people. I have always felt that
once people stop judging people by looks or first impressions, life
would be so much more simple. From exercises that helped us get out of
our boring comfort zones, to those that made us more aware of the
audience being the ‘supreme entity’ in theatre, it was all
demonstrative and fun, never theoretical or rhetoric. An extension of
the ‘statue’ game that all of us, as kids have played, we worked on
“picture in picture”, an interesting task where a frame is created by
people standng in poses and building it one by one. Then there is an
analysis of why the frame was built. The lesson to be learnt is very
deep. The frame that is created has a definite meaning and you can add
yourself in it if you can make sense of it, else it spoils the frame
and the effort of others in the frame. This is something we need in
life, an understanding of where we fit and where we don’t…so
phenomenally deep. As the end of first day, we had to create a scene.
There were certain rules that needed to be followed . This was the
first task to work as a team and I did not for a moment feel that I
was working with strangers. It was total fun. We learnt that there is
so much of creativity in each of us and we are supressing it for no
reason. We ended the day with a candle session, which is again a new
way of getting people to open up.

   The seond day, we hurried to the workshop so that we dont miss
anything. Karthik -TMK was there and he was teaching us
“Kalaripayattu”. I was wondering why he was teaching us to kick and he
explained how you need to be in control of your movement and your
body. We had lot of fun kicking around. Then there was a series of
trust excercises. These help you develop trust in your co-actors and
go a long way in creating synnergy amongst the entire team. We went on
a blind trip with our respective partners, all the way to the busy
roads, past shocked onlookers and curious neighbours. What followed
was an unbelivable atmosphere of new friendships that were as strong
as lifelong ones. We learnt voice projection in an unique way, with
tips and tricks for voice characterisation. Towards the evening, we
had another play to create and enact within 20 minutes. This time
there was a clear difference, after all the bonding we had all day.

   The final day, we were all set for the final performance, the
grand finale, our first magnum opus (or whatever else you may want to
call it.) We started off with understanding what characterisation is
and how to create and build unique characters with depth and purpose.
We had a real fun time trying to put all these random characters
into a single scene. It was hilarious yet revealing how each character
needs its own reasons to react and behave in a particular way. Post
lunch we started off on our rehearsals. The piece we were given was a
poem (written beautifully by our very own TMK). We had such different
interpretations of such a basic idea. The teamwork and friendship
showed right from the acting to the downright conviction the groups
showed in their interpretations. And TMK was right, it did feel
fantastic to do our first play and have an excited audience cheering
us all the way.

   It was sometime then that it dawned on us. We had grown up, in
just a matter of 72 hours, from this eclectic mix of talented people
into one solidly talented team that appreciated, acknowledged and
applauded each other. It didn’t matter what each one of us did, back
in the real world. It didn’t matter who we were. It didn’t matter why
we were here. All that seemed to matter was that, at this point in
time, we were bound together by one single thing – the love for
theatre. And that is something no one can ever take away from us. This
workshop has managed to bring together so many people who will, beyond
doubt, keep a little bit of themselves for theatre. Because that’s
where we are most confident. That’s where we feel most complete.

   Shushaa and TMK – Thank you!

Contributed by Prashanth and Lakshmi, CUT participants  



This entry was posted in 2003-13. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to CUT from the inside perspective

  1. Ajay Savkoor says:

    Hey Prashanth/ Lakshmi… very very nicely written [:)] I re-lived the entire CUT experience in this blog [:)]

    I have one complaint though – I was reading this just before going to bed. Now I no longer feel sleepy [:(]


  2. venkat says:

    hi lakshmi / prashanth
    it was really nice. can u explain little bit about evam blog and the cut


  3. Pingback: The CUT is back! « You are your Dream – EVAM

  4. Pingback: evam back with CUT at Hyderabad! « You are your Dream – EVAM

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