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04 June 2007

living with psychotics and neurotics(part 5)

i never knew what a mime was until i joined college. it all started when the 1st years were asked to perform atleast any one item on stage. while i (a 1st year then) was going through the list of items....dance(i'd most probably be trying desperately to co-ordinate all my body parts at once and not succeed)....music(hmmm, naaa...i just know the basics of the piano....sing a song?ok, provided someone agrees to sing an english one with me)....drama(i'd have to wear a mask to hide the stupid smirk on my face whenever i pronounce malayalam words the wrong way)....kathakali(whatever that is!)....etc....MIME! (what on earth is that!). well, as time was falling short and i had to figure out some way of getting on stage and flourishing some kind of talent (and not embarassing myself at the same time) i started to panic. i remember feeling so left out. it wasn't like this in school...i was totally myself and had no trouble fitting in or being involved, before....but then, that was school and in a totally different country, things are different...
a classmate of mine(a girl who likes bossing people around...she's got a sweet element in her though) walks upto me and asks me if i'm willing to join her. we go around and collect all the girls in our class who aren't involved in any of the items and form a group. i look around and say, "great! now what do we do?".

want to know what happened next?....we went around trying to find out what exactly a mime is, tried to figure out the rules, scratched our heads for a theme, jotted down the role of each character in it, did a little of co-ordination control, and voilĂ !....we had a mime presentation ready.but we hadn't overcome the greatest challenge - making the audience understand the message we wish to convey. some of our caring friends agreed to sit through the 3mins presentation and comment on it and well,...they didn't understand a thing...
Note: for those wondering what a mime is, here goes:
"acting using only gesture and action: a style of performance in which people act out situations or portray characters using only gestures, facial expressions, and actions. In the popular imagination, mimes are thought of as having a uniform costume that includes black and white horizontal striped clothes, suspenders, a formal black top hat or beret, formal white gloves (to highlight the motions of the hands), and white face paint (similar to that used by a clown), with some accents in black. "

contd...
we tried on new expressions and actions and tried to introduce a little gymnasium into it(which didn't work because none of us had really elegant and flexible bodies) to make the damn thing more understandable. nothing seemed to work though. another fear that crept into me was whether i'd be confident enough to perform it on stage in front of an entire crowd(i've got stage fright)...what was worse, was the fact that i was the main character in each scene, and if i screwed it up, i'll be ruining the entire show, which means we'll be losing points, they'll blame the entire thing on me and.......aaaaaaaahhhhh...i'm in a MESS!. above all, i simply HATED MIME!!
finally, it was time for us to perform, i just closed my eyes, said a prayer, and entered the stage platform...and just did everything i was supposed to....and returned backstage gasping(everyone who performed with me were gasping too, i realised. we were the bunch of kids in class who had very little confidence in ourselves, then.) we got the first place for our presentation(we realised that the 1st years in the other classes were as clueless as us about what exactly a mime is)...
the rest is history....every mime show that came up, i was always involved....later, when i became a senior, i was always the in-charge....
i still don't like and am not interested in mime. i still don't know what the right actions are to be used and the right way to express it is. even now, it's the other people in the group who actually give innovative ideas...ideas more better than my own. but one thing is true. i'm less scared of walking on stage now and that was the first hurdle i had to pass to become more confident and to have faith in myself. i've also learnt a little in group dynamics and socialising from this experience...

7 comments:

Ram said...

I once got an extremely unimportant role in a mime, when i was in school. I was so crazy on stage, that, after that, every mime i was the main role. And it continued in college. But, in college, i realised, the audience were laughing, coz i was so damn stupid on stage.

Kedhar said...

u reminded me of this time when i was in a skit contest.. wen i was in skool... i played gandhiji.. i still cant forget how pathetic out performance was... and how hard i struggled to remove the bald make up!
( i am proud of the fact that i ve never experienced stage fright..lol)

and PSR630! awesome... ship it to me or somethin ;)...

Reni said...

to ram,
like i said, things r different in school and in college...:)

Reni said...

to kedhar,
wow! no stage fright?...cool!....i've had pathetic stage performances after dat...more pathetic dan u can ever imagine...i'll rite abt it...it'll b a laf...

shrutz said...

Feels nice to evolve doesn't it??

Reni said...

to shruttz,
u mak it sound like a X-men experience...:)

shrutz said...

TEE HEE!!! you have MIMING powers!!