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Sunday, March 22, 2009

How to Act?

Assume that you have a script and a (screen) play written etc etc... now how would you go about and prepare to act?

  • First understand the back ground and the context under which the play-write wrote it. Understanding this is very critical - this would help you to bring out the very essence that might not be available in the script/play itself. For you to act well, finding this is like finding the undercurrent that a Salmon uses to shoot against the flow of the current.
  • Next do your homework - ie understand your character well, you should be able to say even to the extent of what happened to that character when she was say 12 years old, who were the best friends, what was the outlook on life - how it evolved etc etc
  • Then understand the goal of the character. (The goal might be influencing the goals played in each scene). Find the sub-text.
  • Prepare GOTE sheet - you should prepare one for each scene. Write down who else in the play/scene can help that character or hurt that character. What are the deepest fears and how can that be played in the scene. Remember the fundamentals: any change in goal or tactic forces a change in motivation.
  • Find out what in the character's nature that would make you choose the tactics in the scene.
  • Break the scene into beats and units and explain the motivation for each beat or unit from the angle of the chosen character. If any character enters or leaves the frame/scene then that automatically constitutes the start/stop of an unit. There may be many choices that might be "right" but remember to find the choices that are the most exciting.

That's it now get on the stage or set and give your best :)

Here are some very important tips:

  • Never play a part pitifully - we root for underdogs; so look for the driving force to bring that edge out even if you are playing a very miserable part.
  • Also if you have to play a negative role, find a more vulnerable reason to justify your actions on the stage.
  • Now get ready for the most important one: Bring out conflict - conflict should always exist. Even if you are playing a dry scene try to inject conflict. Example: if you are just talking - a real boring speech - add a dimension of conflict to it - be it as simple as struggling to unscrew a Coke bottle.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wind power augmented bicycles...?

Today I stumbled upon the crazy yet interesting discussion on building a vehicle which propelled by wind can go faster than the wind itself. See for a detailed discussion on this topic. Also checkout the video on YouTube. If we can find a way to direct this energy (or release it is a direction we would want to) and augment this vehicle with a bicycle like pedal power we could have an interesting clean/green vehicle.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tamil (ThoopuKaraNam) = SuperBrain Yoga

ThoopuKaranam is a Tamil word which refers to a particular act of worshiping Lord Ganesha.
Let me try to explain this process. This involves holding your left earlobe with right hand (thumb holding the front of earlobe and index finger folded and placed behind the earlobe to hold it with a moderate pressure) while the left hand holds your right earlobe in a similar fashion. In this posture, arms will be crossed over at the chest. Now while holding earlobes so, lower yourself a bit by bending at the knees and then stand straight; repeat this 'bend and stand straight' routine a few time while holding your earlobes.  Few folks follow this with a couple of gentle taps with knuckles on the head (probably just where the hair line ends) at a spot right above the end of the eyes.
You would have practiced/performed this at schools as a punishment (must have been an old practice at the schools) if you were unable to answer the pop quiz in the class; or dozed-off after a heavy lunch when your Math/History teachers exhibited their monotones vocal qualities.
Now this ThoopuKaraNam has been found to be the best Yoga for the Brain - check out the SuperBrain Yoga Web site!! I do not know how far this is true. And I am not associated with these guys either! I merely found this an interesting coincidence :) I say coincidence because I have read somewhere that in olden times piercing on earlobes to wear an ornament was believed to keep the vision perfect!
May be our ancestors who lived so long ago really had some strong understanding on everything and passed those on generations after generations; and we managed to loose all those and start to reinvent the wheel!