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The day I realised the telltale signs of an actor
Having no background of acting in the family, I don't know as to how the art of acting developed in me during my stay in City Beautiful – Chandigarh that I could stage more than 15 plays at Tagore Theatre and a few at Shimla and Ambala.

Acting in theatre is more difficult than in the film industry where retakes and mixtures are possible before the same is released to the cinemas for the viewers.

However, in theatre, you have to be very conscious and attentive as sometimes the script is out of mind and the actor has to fill up the gap with his spontaneous decisions, either to make addition in the script befitting to the situation or some promoting has to be made from behind the curtain to give you a cue so that the live show may go on.  

But in the latter case, there are more chances of hooting from the audience. However, if none is available with the script in hand at the back-end, the situation becomes more awkward. So proper cramming of the script is more important in theatre by each character to give signal to the other actor.

There are number of incidents in theatre experience in my mind and if I penned all down, it would become a book form and helpful to the theatre lovers to bring more grace to the plays.

Frankly speaking, an actor's job is to know the breadth of human possibility and the depths of his own possibilities to surprise the audience by giving his best performance as if everything is happening actually.  Otherwise, the actor becomes boring and predictable.  

One of the secrets of staging of a play successfully is that in theatre, when there is some odd figure, which is relevant with a dialogue but either could not be remembered or was forgotten, the same used to be written on the floor of the stage.

An incident during a play is extra memorable when the female character of the cast who had been selected, met with an accident. Although, the role of the woman who was to be raped by some road side character was without any dialogues, but none could be rehearsed to give live performance on the stage of the rape, at such short notice.

The male actor who was to perform the rape on stage, offered to bring his wife for the scene. During the scene, which was hardly of thirty seconds on the stage, and was being performed by the actor without any inhibitions with his wife, someone from the audience stood up and stepped up the stage and slapped the actor harshly, probably because his performance looked like a real one. Though, it is still a mystery for me, as to whether the director had deliberately made it a part of the play to convey a message to the society or it was just a spontaneous reaction from the person sitting in the audience.

But that day, that actor told me, "Dear Dido, today I have realised that I am a good actor which promoted someone from the audience to come on the stage to the rescue of a lady, even though a live performance was going on."

Another such incident, which I could never forget is of one of the performances of the play 'Pehli Tareekh' which revolves around the conversation between a husband and his wife over certain issues.  

One day, when the wife is fed up from her day-to-day stereotype life as a housewife, she says to her husband, "Janu, honestly speaking, I am fed up from your daily taunts despite making 9 chapattis daily for you – two in the morning,  four for lunch and three for dinner and 270 in a month. I am doing all this for the last more than thirty years and so far I have cooked, 97200."

The situation became tense during the performance when she forget the figure of total chapattis cooked.  Then someone from the hall, who might be well conversant with theatre said, "The exact figure is written on the floor of the stage."

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