I think acting is in my blood . Performance is a form of acting. It means putting your heart and soul into whatever you are doing . When I perform as a wife, mother, professional, social worker, I have to give my best to each role. Which involves understanding the part well? Without sounding too clichéd, we are all actors on this large stage called the world and have to play our parts to the hilt.
My first encounter with stage acting was in the palace school. The sisters of Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, were visiting and our teacher Mrs Watsa was asked to put together a show for them. We staged Cindrella in which I was one of the footmen! The best roles went to the Princess and her cousins. There was another item in which , the Princess was dressed like a bird and went from tree to tree, asking for shelter when it rained. I was the tamarind tree and all I had to do was nod my head to say ’no’. Believe me, I was the best footman and tamarind tree because I performed with conviction.
The next opportunity to be on the stage, came in Christ The King Convent when I was a fireman who rushes on to the stage and says ‘where’s the fire ?’ I went for the rehearsals diligently and gave it my best shot on the final day. In Mount Carmel College , after an audition, I was selected to play Mini’s mother in Tagore’s Kabuliwalla It was for the College Day and Maharani was to be the chief guest. We had rehearsals every evening and it was fun. But I blew it. My mother was flying to Secunderabad and asked me if l ’d like to go with her. My first air travel, I agreed and took permission from the warden. When I came back, I found someone else doing my Part. I was told it was because I had skipped rehearsals. It taught me a great lesson . If you want anything badly, go for it in right earnest and do not get swayed by other attractions. I remembered this dictum when I was Sita in a Radio play. All the officers and staff in Srivatsa’s office were going on a picnic with their families on the day of the recording and I forfeited the outing for the play. I had come a long way!
In The Bear
Acting in The Bear was a big break for me. I lived Madame Popova’s role, as the weeping widow who is swept off feet by the cantankerous landlord. I got many wolf whistles from the packed Century Hall, in Mysore University. Then came the role of a spoilt wife who does not recognise the roving eye of her husband, dwelling on another woman, in The Twelve Pound look. Dad’s friend played the role of my husband. Though I did not have to speak much, I had to emote as the naïve wife.
In Vizag, See how they run had a challenging part. I was to be a spinster who gets drunk and passes out on the stage while a lot of crazy things happen around her. For a teetotaler, I guess I did a a great job ! This was my first play after marriage and two kids. Our apartment was right next to the Auditorium where we rehearsed in the evenings .Since I had timed my entry and exit, I would dash across during my breaks and look into My sons’dinner and see them off to bed. They knew everybody’s dialogues and would often prompt those who forgot their lines.