Up-and-coming actors speak about the importance of stage in their careers

Mumbai: On the occasion of World Theatre Day on Wednesday, actors Pavail Gulati, Sunny Hinduja and Akshay Oberoi have spoken about why theatre is important and what they have learnt from it.

For ‘Thappad’ actor Pavail Gulati, who has studied in the National School of Drama and Whistling Woods, it was “confidence” that he by doing theatre.

He told IANS: “Performing in front of a live audience and getting feedback at the same time is the biggest high for an actor. Going from being nervous with sweaty palms to confident on stage knowing you can fail anytime, is what theatre gave me.”

“It gives me the confidence to fail and succeed cause no show ever goes the same. It’s got its ups and downs and down just like in real life,” he added.

Actor Sunny Hinduja, who has worked in projects such as ‘Aspirants’, ‘The Family Man’, ‘Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare Season 2 and ‘Jamun’, received his actor training at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.

He told IANS that he believes that theatre is his root as an actor.

“As a child, for example, who learns to run, first has to take the walking steps, and that’s exactly what theatre is for me. It’s the root of acting where you take the steps into the world. What is special about theatre is that it’s an actor’s medium.”

“There’s no action or cut. There’s a single action and a single cut. You prepare for weeks for it. The lessons that you learn from ground level are enriching.”

The actor added that he has learnt in theatre everything about dialogue delivery or emoting.

“And the lessons you learn in theatre are something that you can keep utilising throughout, no matter where you go,” said Sunny.

Actor Akshay Oberoi said that the main lesson and reason behind why theatre is important is that it is a linear medium.

The actor has a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts and Economics from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Akshay completed acting training in Stella Adler in New York City and then Playhouse West in Los Angeles.

Akshay told IANS: “Unlike a movie where you could possibly be shooting the climax first or a song first, in theatre you are seeing the character grow from start to end in a linear way, which is what is extremely special about the medium.”

He said that theatre teaches an individual how to graph the character and its arc, and that lesson comes very handy when you’re doing films.

“You can utilise this lesson so when you do a film you could be starting the film from midpoint during shoot but because you have learnt in theatre to understand the linear story and the arc, that helps you build the character better.”

Also, another big way the theatre helps in, he said is that “it gives you instant feedback and gratification, you get to know the laugh, the emotion on a one to one basis, so you can actually adjust your character to the feedback during the course of the play.”


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