Cinthoorika Dinesh – Head of Education division, evam. She loves being backstage and thinks production is one of the best part of theatre.
I always wondered what exactly happened during the production stage of a play… The day when actors are cast, when lines are learnt, light & sound cues are practiced, you know, the whole creative process. Then I joined evam. Personally, I believe it is exciting to part of the backstage/ behind the camera team.
Ironically, after a couple of months into evam, I was designated to handle First Rush. It’s a month long process where participants undergo an extensive weekend workshop, followed by a month long rehearsal and graduate by putting up a show. My First Rush journey began along with the first participants of this course.
Finally the workshop happens – The joy of watching the facilitator inspire participants, participants exploring hidden emotions within themselves and having a lot of fun at the same time, learning new exercises, activating their voices like never before! Then comes the day of getting introduced to different sketches – The reading process. The glee of discovering the role you are getting for the final play. The process of getting oneself “into the character”. The endless hours of rehearsals, getting your cues right, ensuring that your co-actors get their cues right. Those inside jokes that you develop when you miss your entry.
The brainstorming of ideas for the production names and backstage and props and the costumes and situations like,
“Oh, I have a dress that I can lend it to you – It will be perfect for your role”
“The production head is looking for a wine glass for this play – Machaa get one from your house da. Dai naangellam only beer party.”
“Oii! Stop eating those biscuits!!! It’s a prop dammit!”
And finally! The show day. You get to the auditorium, see the lights being rigged and it dawns upon you that this is the day you have been preparing for such a long time. The super hectic tech sessions, the director swooping in to save the day… Finally the crowd starts coming in and an hour later, you feel ‘it’. The first rush of getting on stage, the pin drop silence in the auditorium during the performance and ending the night amidst claps and adulation from the audience. The ‘First Rush’ of becoming a theatre artist.
The above mentioned journey might have been of an amateur actor. But the high and feeling of first rush will still remain the same, every time you get on the stage or execute backstage or handle the tech.
I discovered mine every time with many such precious projects and still do!