Monday, 26 November 2012

Men and Women Merely Players

Learn your lines! 
Why are you wearing uncomfortable clothes?! You can't rehearse in uncomfortable clothes! 
We have no money! 


What a word. What a concept. What an experience. Magic.

I've always known why I love the stage. It's simple. Theatre's in my blood. Not from my rich theatrical heritage- more like a rush of hormonal imbalance that shoots through my veins when I think about the fervour that the stage brings.
Working in theatre, with all its dimensions, has always culminated in being on stage. About the sheer joy that rehearsal brings to my day. About the spark that runs from my head to my toes every time I set foot on that cold wooden floor, the warmth of the fluorescent lights hitting my eyes till they water, the exhilaration of applause that echoes in my mind for days after I hear it.
You know how Sartre once said, "Acting is happy agony."? Well, he was right. Then again, that man always knew what he was talking about.
I can't recall the number of times a script, a scene, a line has twisted my insides with the confusion, the complexity, the unfamiliarity it brings. And I know there's a lot more the come. The thing is, that intestinal convolution is part of a far bigger, far more ethereal deal. Somehow, in my head, it's a fair barter. Some frustration, in return for a thrill like none other. What's the harm?
We go through our lives pretending, as someone I know very acutely pointed out. Pretending that we fit into society as we see it. That we know what the Algebra teacher is talking about (Well, some of us). That our minds are merely subject to a higher power. That, in following a dozen rules that we did not choose for ourselves, we are living honourably. That we care more about honour than happiness.
I could go on, but I'm sure you see the point.
Well, I like to act, because it helps me shed the coat of pretence. More significantly, it allows me the opportunity to point it out to others, so that they may, may, realise how much it is obstructing their vision.
Because, at the end of the day, isn't that what art is about? The painter paints to express his inner desires and  visions. The dancer dances to tell a story through his body. The musician uses his notes, his voice, the power of his instrument, to create a mood, foster a sentiment in a way that only he can. I act, because there are thousands of stories that deserve to be told, thousands of desires that are begging to be expressed, thousands of emotions that nobody is brave enough to face: and I can live them. Albeit for a while. And in living them, I can tell those stories, represent all those people, pull the mask off my face and hope that it may inspire others to do the same. It gives me the courage to be the truest version of myself, and wearing that face, I am the most I can be.
All the world's a stage, said Shakespeare.
My world may as well be one.


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