Whenever someone chooses a profession, there are bound to be a couple of questions asked related to that. Be it a doctor, engineer or lawyer, someone will ask why. Same is the case with my profession, if not more. When people find out I chose the theatre arts as my profession, it leads to an interesting conversation every time. In fact, it’s a pretty decent icebreaker at social gatherings.
I do a lot of things related to this field; act, direct, write and even teach. And I enjoy it immensely.
While graduating from a theatre institute, all aspects of theatre were taught to me. For many people, this is the difficult part, as many come for the acting or the writing, but for me, everything just made me fall in love with it even more. To able to understand all the technicalities and to be use it for my own craft, it made me determined to go on in this field. Pakistan has its own history and culture in the arts and in literature. But for unfortunate reasons, theatre became restricted to stage shows where stand-up comedy took place. That has finally started changing in the past few years.
As an actor, I can use empathy to bring a fictional character to life. As a director, I can show people my interpretation of literature. As a writer, I can create what no other person has created. in a manner no one has done so. As a set and light designer, I can visually add depth to something and give it beauty. Theatre as a performing art has so much to offer, and demands etiquette from its performers as well as audiences. It is pleasing to be able to give back to the community. But I won’t go into that. Because even though theatre is a brilliant way to contribute to society, I would be lying if that was my main purpose of doing this. My main purpose is to be a part of this art form, and to help it rise in our country.
I enjoy reading plays whether they’re as old as Shakespeare, or as recent as Paul Elliot. I like all types of performances, including Broadway and Opera. It pains me when commercial theatre contains random vulgarity and nonsense because I value the art so much. Many have asked me why it is important as it is nothing like being a doctor and saving lives. I say to them, performance art it is like medicine to for the soul, such art gives one the ability to empathize with the character, which is something lacking in today’s cruel world, perhaps it is the lack of such art in people’s lives that has gotten them so desensitized to the horrid realities that exist.
It is not easy at all for one to create a play. A production is made of blood, sweat and tears, usually that is said in a literal context (try saying Macbeth before a performance of Macbeth, you’ll see blood alright)
One is completely engrossed in it for three months and that is before the performance even begins. The pent up frustration and fears is not for those, who just enjoy it. You need to be crazy about it, to endure it all. But once that all is moved on from and the performance happens, when all your hard work is shown to the audience, it is all worth it. One is immediately ready for yet another production!
So there you have it. I enjoy being a theatre artist because it is something I understand, something I know, something can do. But most importantly, I love it because it is one way for me to live. Be as passionate as this, with whatever you aspire to be! Because if you don’t love what you do, no pain is worth it.