Recollecting his earliest propellers, in this outing of Green Room Diaries, we see the very talented Namit Das talking about his initial career plans and the various turns that led him to theatre. From Noises Off to Chairs, the early days at Thespo and the enthralling rush of energy that only a stage performer can experience, Namit tells us how a defining moment can be all that and so much more.
When it came to believing in his choices or being directed towards greater heights, Namit shares how monumental good work and even better believers can be for an actor. His humility is his asset and his outtakes warm your heart just like his performances. The best parts about being an actor, the highs of theatre and the exciting times that lie ahead, he shares his favourite elements and the thrill of live performances.
Giving due importance to spontaneity and the ever changing existential qualms about being an actor, this snippet of depth makes for a riveting chat.
How and why Theatre?
I did a play called Shadowbox and that play got selected for Thespo. Thespo was the first time I was performing on a professional stage which was NCPA Experimental. So we got that one date one show for Thespo that was really really exciting for us! Through that I got to know Atul Kumar was auditioning for this play called Noises Off, so I went for the audition and he liked me and then Noises Off became my first production that I was a part of and the journey began. I actually wanted to become a singer and how I ended up acting is something which I am still trying to discover.
What was your first defining moment on stage?
There was no one defining moment but if I look for it in memory, I think one defining moment would be one show that we did of Chairs in Ahmedabad in Darpana Theatre. We rehearsed for this play for like two to three months with Atul Kumar. It was a very physical play and I think something happened during that performance but I just felt that I’m here I think this is home for me in that sense of home and when we came backstage, Atul came and told me and he said “Oh great show man, you were so good!” There were four people in the audience.
You act and perform in different mediums. How does your preparation for a role change with each medium?
For the theatre it’s definitely rehearsal driven, it’s moment driven, it’s also spontaneous energy that you bring into what you’re doing. Because at that moment when you are on stage, there’s nothing between you and the audience. It’s definitely an actor’s medium so the high is something else. With film, the approach is completely different because it’s the director’s medium. You are being told what to do.
With the youth the scene has become immense and that is very encouraging. It’s the most exciting time to be an actor because you can do so much, there are so many companies which are doing so much theatre, good or bad. But these are exciting times. there’s no lack of theatre per se.
Is Indian Theatre dying or evolving?
The excitement of watching actors live on stage, it’s always going to exist. It’s probably going to fight for its existence because the other things around may seem more exciting but I think in its most truest form will always exist.