In this Green Room Diaries, we present to you the very talented and much acclaimed actor, Rajit Kapur. From the Making Of Mahtama to Uri , his acting prowess is undeniable and quite evidently he credits the ease of his process to theatre.
Recounting his earliest memories on stage, Rajit tells us how he always came alive whenever he had to perform. Whether it was elocution or dancing, acting or debate, something about the stage just made him feel that this was his calling.
Its interesting to note how different the perceptions of every actor are. Through theatre, the one essential skill that Rajit talks about is, discipline. The tenacity of rehearsals and the amount of dedication that theatre demands are the real reason why transitioning between separate mediums becomes far less daunting. And though he is more than aware of the vulnerabilities of this art form, he is hopeful of the new energy and the enthusiasm of the younger generations that are showing interest in theatre.
Though the motivations of joining theatre may vary, the very fact that people are ready to make it the foundation for storytelling before they traverse to different mediums is an exciting promise. Needless to say, we couldn’t agree more.
How and why Theatre?
I think as far back as I can remember, I can remember myself at the age of six in kindergarten playing the King of Hearts. I’ve always been fascinated with the stage, whether it’s singing dancing, elocution, debating, performing. As a kid you just had to put me up on some platform and they would say yeh shuru hojata hai. I remember doing Midsummer Night’s Dream when I was in the ninth standard and I remember Shashi Kapoor coming up to me whispering in my ear with a trophy in his hand “Hey I want to see you come up like this.” Somewhere that line stuck in my head. Obviously he would never remember it but for me it felt like okay maybe this is something I could do because there seems to be a lot of appreciation.
You act and perform in different mediums. How does your preparation for a role change with each medium?
The ease I think only develops with experience, with the number of years one puts in, but definitely the base is theatre. When your base is theatre then it’s easier to shift and adjust to the camera but if you’ve only done or worked in front of the camera you can’t easily shift to the stage. That’s not possible, that’s much harder to do. I think because of the process of rehearsal and because of the process of discipline that we have in theatre it’s easy to work your way in front of the camera. I don’t think it’s possible the other way around.
According to you, what is the scope of improving the Indian theatre scene?
It’s not really an organized sector! Theatre is more tukke-baazi (trial and error) in our country. The good thing is in the last five years in a lot of the metro cities, there are a lot more youngsters getting involved in theatre. That’s a great sign. There are many more twenty year olds going to see a play. The enthusiasm and the energy that a lot of the younger generation is now putting into theatre and becoming more aware of theatre, that’s a great sign.
A lot of people would still say that “Okay I want to do theatre because they think that’s what we need that to become better actors on film.” In that sense, because the income and the earnings from theatre are not something that would allow you a living, you need a backup, you need something else to support yourself.
Is Indian Theatre dying or evolving?
I think it has to evolve because it’s something very very basic. Gaon mein jaaoge toh pedh ke neeche log tamasha karte the (If you got to an Indian village, you’d see performances under a tree). It’s coming from an era and so many years in the past. I don’t think in that sense it will ever die because it’s a live art for its human interaction. With the way technology is moving today you probably don’t have to meet a person to communicate anymore and if that happens thirty years from now, if human communication from person to person reduces then there won’t be anything.