It’s the year 2016. The month of December has brought Thespo back to Prithvi Theatre and the 18th edition of the festival is running in full force. I was in charge of the full length plays that were being performed inside the main theatre. The backstage had never been a stranger, what with me being a part of smaller theatre and dance performances during school and college, but it was never a friend either.
Bhanvar, a play being performed at Thespo 18, had a climax which was modelled around a huge set reveal. We helped the team get the contraption ready, understood the plan but unfortunately due to technical issues never got to see the reveal in its full glory with lights and sound during rehearsal.
I was positioned at stage right during the show, standing in rapt attention for the entirety of the play and holding my breath to see how the reveal would look. I wasn’t ready for what I was about to feel. I was floored. The impact of the set reveal was unimaginable and not just on me. The audience had started applauding and it didn’t seem like they had any intention to stop. I couldn’t fathom the fact that I had helped build something that had impacted a show so heavily. That I had helped create an unforgettable experience. Every fibre of my body, right then and there, knew I had to feel this feeling again.
I always thought I wanted to be an actor, to the point that I had my own portfolio shot and had been to two acting schools. But my journey at Thespo had held me by my shoulders and spun me around. Creating magic behind the scenes was slowly starting to become my new normal, acting long forgotten. Being a festival fellow at Thespo allowed me to explore the workings of backstage and all that it takes to get a show up and running. I enjoyed everything, from the sourcing of a prop to the actual set up on show day. The process was incredible and I was absolutely hooked.
My mum’s advice was simple, ‘if you want to do something, then do it right’. I wanted to learn more about production and management of shows and festivals. So, I took a much-needed break from work and headed to UK for a masters in arts management. Boy, am I so glad I did! The academics and the year abroad gave me more clarity on why being a part of festivals and working on making shows come alive is my true calling.
I came back with renewed principles, a stronger will and unbridled enthusiasm to make my visions for shows come true! World pandemic or not, I am ready to experience that euphoric feeling flowing through my veins all over again!