evam Lab – The Year that was!!


Shireen Saadiya, one of the evam Lab actors, is a dancer (with her own special Jihadi move), a cat lover and a lot of other things rolled into one. Here she is looking back at how evam Lab was, in the last year.

evam Lab so far has been such a “Merry-Go-Round” experience because unlike Roller Coasters, there are no ups and downs here; just a constant “WHEEEEEEEE!!!” which to be brutally honest is pretty kickass. It helps enormously when the people you work with are by default super fun and I can confidently say that all the other LabRats -a name we gave ourselves (Shoosha if you’re reading this, this is your cue to make us LabRats T-shirts) –are not only crazy fun but also supremely gifted. Actors, musicians, writers, photographers, dancers, all combined together in one group, it almost feels like we’re the Justice League of live performances. (Slightly too much? Naah. We intend on getting there soon. =P)

In terms of work, we have done quite a bit including a whole bunch of corporate gigs and a handful of public shows which were commissioned by Karadi Tales. Corporate shows have been quite insightful as you end up learning what you preach. Especially in March with the whole Women’s Day going on, we were divided into two groups doing the same show on gender equality (by gender equality I do mean legit equality where issues faced by men were also brought to light, something which usually gets lost in the search of true equality between the sexes) in different cities. Not only was the back-to-back travel, an amazing experience, just being able to put across a point through visual entertainment is in itself was quite satisfying especially if you happen to be working with an amazing team. (Shout out to TM for being AWEESOMEE!!)

On personal front too, I feel like I have improved and grown. I recently did a corporate gig called Human Orchestra, something I don’t think I would have believed I could do considering I’m musically, for lack of a better word, a wuss. But I did, and it was AMAZE!! We’ve also done clowning and dancing and slo-mo running and what not! The beauty of Evam Lab is simply this: there is SO MUCH to learn, there’s a TONNE of support from everybody AND you have the freedom to explore yourself even outside the Lab. The last point is very important to me because as a theatre enthusiast it is a dream to watch the theatre scene in Chennai escalate to another level and for that we need to learn. Actors, directors, writers, doesn’t matter what you do, learning is essential. A lot of us don’t have access to acting schools or short courses so the best way to learn is to do as much as you can and work with as many people as you can. Evam Lab enables you to do just that and for that I will forever be profoundly grateful. (Dude I love this place so much I wrote a poem and all.)

Now that the mush-ness is done, I shall move on to what I look forward to at the lab. I would LOVE to be engaged in more shows, of course. More workshops would be amazing too!! We did have a couple of workshops on improvisation (I’m honestly dying to explore it more) and mime but more workshops is a definite yes. If we could do more public shows, that would be swell too!! Even small scale ones are good as long as we start on something substantial. We could just put up something at the office or get a small venue, just as long as we get to put up something that has not been tampered by some brief sent via email. (Shoosha, if you’re reading this, actually wait, Priyanka MAKE SURE Shoosha reads this: PLEASE let’s do SnS!! And give us T-shirts. =P)

To sum it all up: Evam Lab makes me very happy. Even on the days I have to wake up at 6am, I whine for only 23 seconds and then go back to being jolly because this place does that to you. You should totally come watch our shows and give us tremendous support because we might just end up being the Justice League of live performances. Over and out.

Shireen Saadiya

About EVAM

Founded in 2003 by Sunil Vishnu K. and Karthik Kumar, ‘evam’ today is a profitable young thriving arts organization making people believe in the power of the Arts.
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