Posted by: yteditors | April 13, 2009

Workshop Testimonials

This section is dedicated to the best Testimonial by a workshop participant during the Yours Truly Theatre Basic Theatre workshop

Quarter: Second Quarter, 2011
Workshop Name: Rascals
Participant Names: Gaurav Karmakar and Sunny

We have had many  instances earlier where people have travelled from kerala, chennai to be part of the YoursTrulyTheatre Workshop, and this quarter we had two folks who travelled every weekend from Managalore to be a part of the YT theatre workshop, this is a lesson for all of us on commitment and passion. They are Gaurav Karmakar and Sunny……

The journey as usual began from Google, sometime 1st week of March. Me searching for a good theatre group in Bangalore- to begin with- as a first step towards quenching my thirst for acting. Not much of brainstorming had to be put in, as ‘Yours Truly’ was the first result I saw, with a good description on Wiki. I found it to be good mainly because of one line, “T theatre group in India to use ‘Interactive Theatre’ techniques.”, and this I felt was enough of a catalyst for a beginner like me who was dying to get a chance to be a part of a theatre group for last 2 years. The decision was made, I called on the given number, and to my luck there was a 4-weekend theatre workshop coming up soon, starting from March’s last weekend, but in a cricket crazy nation of ours – I being no exception – it only began on April’s 1st Sunday, 2nd April 2011 being a sacred day was spared for celebrating Sachin’s dream. So that was it, the journey had to begin now- travelling from Mangalore to Bangalore for four consecutive weekends. Yes, Mangalore being my current location.

The travel wasn’t at all looking easy but when you are dying to do theatre for such a long time, “it doesn’t even matter”. And as you all must have heard “Jab tum kissi cheez ko poori shiddat se chahte ho, toh poori kaaynaat tumhe usse milane ki saajish mein lag jaati hai”… :D, I told one of my friends in Mangalore, Sunny, about the group & my plan and the next thing I remember was me changing the ticket bookings from one to two.

The theatre classes started & the first moment itself was good enough to bring out the child in us, which I guess was the sole purpose of the workshop. The first day we had introductions, time was spent knowing the other “Rascals” (the name of our batch :-), understanding our teacher Mr. Ranji’s way of teaching, getting used to all the fun that the workshop offered.

I had just done plays at college level before this, and believe me, I never knew so much techniques are involved in theatre. And I guess this is just the beginning. But of course, ‘Yours Truly’ gave me a chance to taste a glass of water from the large pool of other techniques. Frankly speaking, I initially perceived the techniques to be of no use. But for proving me wrong, the play “Common Man Ver 2.0” was enough, as I could see my gurus using the same basic techniques to pull off a very beautiful interactive theatre show.

There are many things that I liked about the workshop, some to name are – The “No Judgment” rule, where your creativity is never judged, which in turn allows you to be more true to yourself. The decision to meet, practice & perform only on weekends, allowing working people to be part of this hardworking group. The various initiatives taken by this group to raise awareness about many social issues among the masses by using their talent.

All in all it was a very good & inspired decision by me to attend the workshop.

“Best Of Luck Yours Truly”
Regards,
Gaurav Karmakar
Mangalore

Yourstruly theatre was something very good that has happened to me in the recent times.

It was a very exhilarating experience. The workshop helped me basically in two areas: #1 it helped me to ‘open up’. To let go of the inhibitions and have faith that things will somehow turn out to be well. #2 It enabled me to ‘think on my feet’. The very idea of improvisation theatre workshop proved to me that doing things impromptu could be a very learning and refreshing experience.

I thank Ranji and Nandini and others on the team for facilitating the workshop.

Looking forward to work with them on plays in future.

With Best Wishes,
Mangalore
Sunny

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Quarter: First Quarter, 2011
Workshop Name: Wakao
Participant Name: Karen D’Melo

There’s no one better at being present than a child. I love to watch children as they play, they are not thinking about what happened to them yesterday, or what they are going to do later in the day. While they are Superman, all that matters to them is trying to save people and fight the not so good guys. Nothing else in the world exists at that moment; I just love to watch them for this.

When was the last time I felt like a kid again? I think to myself

And the foremost thing that pops out of my mind is the ‘getting into character’ part of the workshop

For me that day was like trying to find myself by disappearing into something other than who I am.

Whether it was being a 1% Dog or 100% snake or the experience of the cycle of being born to dying as a tree or a cat or a pigeon or just another human, I was giving it my all.

Closing my eyes I was just feeling, savoring. Immersing in the music as my body moved made me feel like the rest of the world just disappeared

It was all about each of those moments, I was living that experience right then right there not thinking  ahead, or mulling over the past.

Surrendering to the feelings I experienced at each of those moments gave me a new sense of energy and freedom.

Also the whole experience of the cycle of living and dying was extremely emotional and humbling for me. It has made me look at life with more vigor as to what I want to do ‘while’ I’m here. Cos I wish to live a fuller life and flamboyantly as well

Again I have been made to release that it’s all about the journey and not the destination. And I want to have one hell of a journey 🙂

‘May we all live all the days of our life’ (read this somewhere)
Cheers
Karen 😉
Advertising Professional

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Quarter: First Quarter, 2011
Workshop Name: Wakao
Participant Name: Sajith Soman

What if Google was not there to give me a link to “yours truly”?

What if I had office on weekends?

What if there was an Earthquake in Bangalore on 15th Jan 2011?

The answer to all above ifs is” I would have missed one of the coolest three hours of my life, even though ALMA is not air-conditioned”. From the moment of registration I was waiting for the workshop like a guy waiting for his “FIRST NIGHT”.

The best things in life are short in supply say the Golden Shower Tree that blooms only once in a year, Aston Martin One-77 is a limited edition car, You lose vir$inity only once in a lifetime & not in every fortnight….. Week…. or maybe every day, workshop lasted only a day for  me as my call of duty came to take me for a 4 months business trip the very  next day.

Workshop was like a chewing gum for me, the sweetness lasted for a brief time only & the disappointment of not completing the workshop which I am stretching like the rubber gum all the way from Bangalore to Singapore till this day. I’m sure for others it was a cocktail party, the intoxication started with Champagne & ended with Blue label Scotch. Writing about the ” If I would have been part of the WAKAOO team” is like again tasting my sour grapes, but I hope reading this others will enjoy because sour grape pickles go well with booze.

I was presuming the first day to be a serious session upon Acting, Writing, Narration etc. Being more particular,” I went to meet Satyajit Ray but ended up meeting Charlie Chaplin”. From people introducing themselves, gazing into each other’s eyes, body formations, machines…..everybody popping with great ideas, I was breathing creativity instead of oxygen. Some came because of their love for theater, some came as they thought it will help their dancing skills, and some thought it will help them professionally. My sole reason is my love for cinema & theater being the mother of it. When a child is born the first word it utters is “Maa”, but the first word I uttered was not “Maa” it was “CineMaaa”.

I’m determined to continue with the workshop once I get back to Bangalore and hope no personal, professional, political or natural disaster struck. I don’t want to make the 1th8 like my chewing gum ‘cos things are sweeter when they are short

”Sometimes some Anonymous quotes stay with us more than a HOMER ballad”.

{ALL THE BEST FOR COMMON MAN VERSION 2.0…its one of my sour grapes as i haven’t been able to watch it}

Sajith Soman
Software Engineer

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Quarter: Fourth Quarter, 2010
Workshop Name: Gibberru
Participant Name: Dian


Hi ALL, 🙂

In glancing over my notes of the first eccentric week in which I had on 25 Sept 2010, I could sense the glory of over joyful and excitement, merely crazy, but addicted. I refused to take a more lazy nap at home with a comfortable feeling which I believe would take me to experience heavenly dreams and even fantastic, for joining my first drama workshop ever!

It was quite sunny that Saturday that I woke one morning to find myself alone in the house (my beloved soul-mate had gone out of town), fully in a bad mood to get over the dreams. As I checked on my phone which showed me that it was 25 September now, I blinked up at it in a great surprise, and perhaps a little resentment, for I was myself regular in my habits, forgetting that today was the big day, the first day of the workshop! I quickly flew to the bathroom and made myself ready in no time and was all set in a few minutes to experience the tale of Yours Truly Theater.

When I reached the venue, I had no keener pleasure than in following the process of the workshop which was completely what I had figured in my mind, even extraordinary than that. I admired the rapid closeness with other partners, as swift as intuitions, and yet always kept the attachment and the detachment at the same time, though it wasnt an easy task for me to remember each name on the first day.

We screamed, whispered, jumped, walked, ran, straddled and lay down on the floor in a complete state of excitement which insisted us upon exaggerating it again and over again. Now we were about to lose our breath but the thrill remained.

Our attention and energy were speedily drawn on the first week; I couldnt even imagine what would be like on the second, third, fourth, fifth Oh my God bring it on and be ready teams, especially my GIBBERU!!!

Dian
Foreign Language Expert

__________________________________________________________________________________
Quarter: 
Third Quarter, 2010
Workshop Name: Natural Swingers
Participant Name: Sivagama Sundari

I am a newcomer and this is my introductory one-thought:

I love maths, and am very new to theatre.

While the two may seem worlds apart, I feel that theatre has a lot in common with maths: both are a part of every person, both involve creativity, both reach out to others, both are beautiful and create peace and joy, both are universal arts that transcend time and space, both are infinite worlds to be freely explored… and finally, (after all those boring similarities comes this unbeatably significant similarity) I “seem” to enjoy both (am not locking it yet… lets wait and see… I’ll first learn this art).

However (before the religious theatrists of YT attack me for such a shockingly blasphemous association: “Waaaaat!!! Theatre and MAAATHS!!! Dangerous madness!!!! Kick her out right now before she corrupts the minds of our young and impressionable!!! What if she starts converting Theatre enthusiasts to Maths enthusiasts?!!! NO.. NO… NOOOO!!!! Pluck out the weed!!! Burn the witch!!! Prevention is better than cure….”), I concede that theatre is the more evolved of the two since in theatre, the mind is not bounded by what exists and it really reeally reeeally feels grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat to exaggeraaaate (I have just started exaggerating at home and am enjoying it… I love my wickedness…HA HA HA… :D… thank you very very very much :)))))))))). And unlike in maths, in theatre, I don’t have to worry about going wrong! And sometimes, wrong seems more right than right!!! Phew!!! WHAT A RELIEF!!! Parts of my head can go on vacation now!!!

And another thing is that theatre goes beyond the mind and involves the body too. My YT workshop experience has so far been AMAAAAAAAAZING- my body is grateful for having gotten its much needed exercise and my heart for the spontaneous, happy, fun-filled moments of all activities that automatically magically flushed out all needless pain

(actually, all activities except the ‘one’ actitvity that was ‘supposed to’ do exactly this!!! Maybe thats why clowns are more effective than fairies. Wow!!! EUREKA!!! :)).

I am also happy to have met some reeeally beeeautiful people here… magic… clowns… fairies… dreams… it is difficult not to get lost in happiness at YT…. :))))))))))

Finally (and without exaggerating) (in a serious, thoughtful, dreamy tone):

Everyone dreams.

Many fulfill their own dreams.

Some fulfill dreams of others as well.

Only a rare few fulfill the dreams of the world — YT is one of them.

Therefore, on behalf of the world, “Thank you, YT, for existing.” 🙂

With love and for peace, Cheers 🙂

Sivagama Sundari M
Phd Student, IISc (Indian Institute of Science)

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Quarter: Second Quarter, 2010
Workshop Name: Kaminey Duniya
Participant Name: Annu Vinayak 

I have finally jotted down my long-pending thoughts about our workshop and the later events. So here we go:

I came for this workshop with no real reason in mind, except that I wanted to try something new. And I made no effort to conceal this fact even when Ranji questioned me about this on the so-called “audition” day

My very first class and I had the awkward moment of the “ sound” activity. We are all so used to that set way of talking; introducing ourselves that any deviation from the basics seemed preposterous. I was yet to learn that this deviation from the usual, clichéd patterns was one thing that had I had lost somewhere in time.

Unlike the others, I was never bothered as to how the activities of workshop related to theatre. I had never known that walking around the room can be so much fun, for the simple reason of seeing the wrangled faces, twisted walks, weird sounds created by us! Each one of us was struggling, in his own way, to come out of the plastic packet of conditioning which is put on us the very moment we enter this earth and which keeps getting thicker every minute.

There were two activities that moved me in particular, one being the animal activity and the other in which we had to take out all the negative feelings we hold on inside. These two seemed like milestones in my journey of knowing that I know nothing about my own self and that I have a million miles yet in front of me .

The performance, which was meant to be the climax of it all, was indeed unlike what I had reckoned it to be. I had thought I would be nervous but I felt not a thing, and I noticed that it was the same for all of us. The credit for this goes to the amicable environment created during our workshops and performance. And its not just Ranji and Nandini during our workshops, everyone who came to see our performance as well was so cheerful and appreciative we did not feel any tension even for a moment. I wouldn’t talk about the “Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi” type of stories that we (specially my gang) kept choosing and how we made it in the end (the secret resides with us and Ranji ). It just happened and I thoroughly enjoyed through it!

Now, regarding the “Golden Butterfly” and “Father’s day” performances; these were our first steps into the group and we watched like little kids gazing with awe at a new toy in a shop, very sure that they want it but not sure how or when! At many moments, I felt enthralled by the tremendous energy that rocked the place during the Golden Butterfly. I still can’t forget the scene when the blind kid (sorry don’t know your name!!!!)  moans feebly to his friends to go and play with the other kids while he sits alone. I really wanted to see the story being completed.

The “Father’s day” performance was kind of “out of the world” for me. I had witnessed the format of improvisation in “Bhagwan dhoondho” earlier, but the transformation of words into such touching acts was what blew my mind completely. We were told in our workshop how the whole team can carry an act together. I think that the activities laid a solid illustration in front of us. Nandini seemed so childish and vulnerable in her role of Manish and yes indeed, the famous “Sumit on top of 3 tables” act , Ranji and his stuck smile J , Vidya’s perfume wala jhola… wow.. each and every moment held something unique in itself.

Thanks a ton guys specially Ranji and Nandini for showing me a new way of doing things, a new way of being me  I am so very sure that I am gonna have a gala time with you all!

Cheers,
Annu Vinayak
Sofware Engineer Working for a S/w firm

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Quarter: First Quarter, 2010
Workshop Name: Hullabuloo
Participant Name: Ameet Bhuvan

There is a change I have observed in me of late. I have started laughing aloud, that full throated laughter, emerging from a deep seated contentment. The same kind I had when I was younger, when life was simpler and pure. I choose to call it the YTeffect.

It all began last November, at Nayana audi, when a group of about seven people challenged me not to make them laugh. They shared my story with all, recreating it impromptu on stage. I was hooked. The evening left a lasting impression, got me thinking, wanting more of it. And before I could know the when how and where of it, I was at Alma, registering for a six day weekend workshop with Yours Truly Theatre.

Theatre and I? Really? Having made peace with the fact that this would be a constant question staring me in the face for a couple of days then on, I embarked on what later turned out to be a journey of reinventing myself, meeting my real self for the first time. The initial awkwardness of introducing me with a sound and an action amongst thirty rank strangers, of walking randomly in a room like cattle let loose in a lush green meadow, melted, as I shed my inhibitions, like a snake sheds its skin. As I packed all worries into a metaphorical sack, throwing it out of the mind, understanding “levels”, observing “Patterns” in the sights and sounds of everyday life, I opened my eyes to a whole new world.

We teamed up to make moves, froze to make frames, played games we had forgotten in school, walked blind through streets, learnt to “lead” and “follow”, stopped competing to begin complementing each other and had a lot more fun than we ever had since we joined the rat race called life. I had come in prepared having to deliver monologues, posing existential questions to a khadi-jhola-intellectual ragtag of an audience. What I was doing instead, was having a one to one with my real self, who was buried deep inside afraid to show his true colours. Time flies by. The adage never rang truer as three weeks zoomed by, culminating in our final performance day.

The big graduation day, when we would display our newly acquired histrionic skills, had arrived. I distinctly remember the stage backdrop, a random arrangement of brightly coloured sheets, representing in a way, us, a random mix of people from sundry walks of life, collaged to produce a “Hullaballoo”. There were characters, frames, frozen images, and an enthusiastic audience “completed the story” with an item number too. But what remained with me that night, was the fact that how the activities of the past six classes made sense suddenly. Slowly but surely, I had imbibed in a new sense of being, a new thought process, a new outlook, a new zeal. I had changed, and yet the change was subtle, difficult to pin down. The YTeffect had begun.

Today, my journey with YT has commenced, as I look forward to letting free every weekend, as I make mental notes of 1th8s walking back home from Alma, and celebrate a whole new set of friendships. Recommending YT to all I know like hot chocolate on a rainy day, I pause to notice a change in me. I have started laughing aloud, that full throated laughter, emerging from a deep seated contentment, that only YT can give me….

 Ameet Bhuvan
Working for a Publication Firm
_______________________________________________________________________________

Quarter: Last Quarter, 2009
Workshop Name: Neat Cocktail
Participant Name: Neha

How do you answer the audition question, ‘What’s the most unconventional thing you have done?’

I scanned my brain and wonder if ‘sleep walking through my weekly review meetings ‘made a suitable answer, then realized they meant unconventional not regular.

Finally I mumble,’ I am in a choir’

I get a few blank looks (accompanied by some furious thinking behind that blank look that said ‘Huh? ‘)

Surprisingly I made it through .I should have known better….

YT is all about being unconventional!

So, whether it’s a dignified IT professional depicting a cow dung or a bank employee exploring a bird or an engineering student acting as a jewel thief (no, not the Dev Anand variety- Just FYI, film references are frowned upon here. This is pure unadulterated THEATER), there is eccentricity in everything.

I have always wondered, what’s it about theater performers that makes them different from the zillion other actors we see on TV or the silver screen. At YT, I found my answer in a single word ‘Passion’.

It’s great to see people with undiluted passion for acting combined with a desire to do something different.

At YT, I learnt it’s not about ability but availability and humility, which is a great way for any workshop to function. So, even if I were the worst actor on stage, (A poll across the batch might just confirm my claims), I still had folks telling me I did great.

It’s about having fun, about quelling your embarrassment of looking silly and most importantly about unlocking yourself. It’s about getting back to that place where making funny noises and faces was still cool.

It’s about being yourself!

When great ideas, great people and unparalleled passion cross roads – something’s bound to happen!

And like Robert Frost, my favorite poet one said I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference!

Neha Shinde
HR professional

_______________________________________________________________________________

Quarter: 2009
Workshop Name: Shock Tales
Participant Name: Manogna Acharya

On a dull Saturday afternoon, when the sun isnt shining as bright as he should be, when u see everything around u in slow motion and the roads are sleepy, what would it take to turn things around and make it a little exciting for u and get u started? If I had to answer this before my first workshop, may be I would have said Id rather sleep than even try something. Well after the first workshop at YT, my idea of a perfect Saturday afternoon had changed. As we had all managed to gather there at that place, the place where a few hours later the child in each one of us had unleashed, a place filled with positivity and enthusiasm and great amount of energy, laziness had no go but to evaporate from the scene!

As the session kicked off with this very theatrical introduction of us, I am quite certain everyone felt funny to begin with, though it was a great ice-breaker and settling in was quite easy, what with Nandinis cheerful friendly persona and Ranjis affirming voice! Then the walks we took around the room helped us absorb the space. These and many more tasks put our reflexes to good use. Team work was really important with exercises like compositions and machines. The toughest task for the day was the eye exercise. As if holding your gaze on your partner without any facial expressions was not tough enough, we were asked to move around and follow our partners action which was seriously intimidating. But I just got better and better and with the third partner I was already confident. Summing it all up, three hours flew like three minutes and left me wanting for more.

The rest of the days memories arent so fresh like the first one but one of the most memorable days from the workshop was the blind folded walk day. It touched upon so many aspects of theater like being conscious of the surrounding, keeping all senses alive, and finally trust. Trust your partner and believe in yourself. Without this any learning is incomplete. The enacting of life cycles of a human, a dog, an ant etc. was an exercise very challenging. I learnt to be more observant about happenings around me from here on. There are so many ideas and so many different takes on topics given to us by each team or individual each time, so much to assimilate. Also along with the regular workshop classes, I had a great time volunteering for the shows.

Of course the most exciting part of the workshop was the performance-day. Initially I was a bit unsure about the outcome of the play, there were so many thoughts coming across and it was a vague set of ideas. But our director Gopi did a neat job at weaving all these thoughts and scenes and made it interesting. Kudos to him! The day before the performance, he sat with us talking about different aspects of theater, and his experience as a first-timer which made me feel a little relieved. The day of the performance was action-packed. This was when I actually realized what pushing yourself physically meant. But in the end it was worth it. The audience was quite different from my expectation but was very encouraging. The energy levels were high and made the whole ambience quite right for the theme neat cocktail.

One more totally enjoyable experience was when I volunteered for dont make me laugh. I would have never dreamt of playing clown with no experience what-so-ever. And actually being able to make people laugh was thrilling. That was the first playback I watched and I loved it. I was in awe of the teams coherence and talent to communicate with each other without the use of words. I so wish I can be that good.

To wrap it up, the workshop has had such a positive impact on me, and my observation skills, communication skills and confidence levels have gone up a few notches. Also I dont feel silly doing silly things, or some things that I would have thought were silly before. Its all fun now! Im still bad at expressing verbally [this testimonial would be enough to point that out], hope to improve that as well. These were some of the things I wished to learn when nandini initially asked me while joining yours truly. Of course the growth never stops and I wish to learn way more and wish to push myself much more both physically and mentally. Thanks to YT for whatever it has given me so far.

Manojna
Student at PES College

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Responses

  1. …Though people have written their post experiences at YT, i am not able to stop myself from writing down my Pre YT experience :)………

    Reading the above experiences at YT, it really gives me a sheet of motivation, beneath which i can nurture my dreams of becoming an actor. Right from my childhood i have been a great admirer of bollywood, not missing any single chance to miss a hindi movie. The thirst to become an actor led myself to touch the stage & perform in various skits at college level. Being quite good at mimicry, never missed a single chance in my college days to mimic famous bollywood actors on stage & entertain the audience which still continues in my company premises.

    It was my longtime wish to be a part of good theater & to pursue my childhood dream, but somewhere…something was lacking OR truly speaking i was not ready enough to be serious regarding this. But, as they say, “You cannot restrict the waves rising in an ocean. Either they will drive you OR you get away”. In my case, i finally agreed to be driven !

    It was last year in 2012, on 4th of august, that i finally give call to YT & decided to be a part of their workshops. But, as ill luck would have it, a kind of storm came in my professional life & all other things took a back seat.

    Now, again, By God’s grace, things have satbilized very much & this time on 27th of Jan, 2013, finally the waves drove me to the doorsteps of YT & finally i enrolled upon for the workshop coming up on 23rd Feb…

    Though still few more days to go, i can’t expalin what i am actually feeling from inside. And, just one small wish from almighty, that this time give me enough strength to overcome any storm or hurdle & i promise not to disappoint anybody !

    Charit Mahajan.

    IT professional at Fidelity Investments

    Bangalore


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