And then there was Rangashankara...
Spiritual upliftment of the theatrical kind...
A magnetic bonding,a feeling of Wanting to perform,a feeling of Being wanted,a sense of being..
Oh hell,for those of you who are wondering what the hell this is all about..If some of you think im high on sum illegal drug and thats why im blabbering..chill out.. im just basking in the post-tour high tat most of us at team evam experienced last week..:)
Well,this blog/article/review/or watever u wanna call it..is just gonna be a brief(ok,a little more than brief maybe,heehee) description of what went down at bangalore..
The pre-tour excitement was high.Everyone was in high spirits. Lots of cheer everywhere,lots of best wishes flying all around..Finally the day(night actually) arrived.
28th March'2006 11.15 pm. Team Evam,most of them atleast,boarded the night mail to bangalore.
The preparations for the tour seemed to be adequate. If any of you out there are still wondering,is it easy to get something like this to actually work out?Think again. A large group of people,loads of costumes,LOADS of props,transportation of the brilliant sets,furniture,additional material for showdays,banners,posters,apart from each persons personal luggage,phew!
Quite easy,isnt it?lol..Well,it all went off smoothly without a hitch. The team managed to board the train on time,with all the other stuff..hehe..
The next morning,29th,we reached bangalore(which sounds better than bengalooru,btw). We stayed at Aurobindo Ashram in JP Nagar,a brisk 5-10 minutes walk from the venue, Rangashankara. Well, after dumping luggage, freshening up and stuff,we made off to the venue.
Ok,i must tell you a very important detail at this point. I wasnt around all this when it happened,i joined the guys only on the weekend,but more on that later,lol.
For those who havent seen the venue before,the hallowed hall of theater, some call it,Kala-mandir as the bangalore locals call it,its truly a magical experience. They get simply awestruck and that awe just increases as and when they find out more and more about the place and the facilities it offers.
For those who have seen it before,well its the same feeling,again.:)
The team then met the people from Vibgyor entertainment, the team from bangalore who would work with us and make us feel at home. Hardly took any time to settle in and make friends; and for those who know team evam, they know that for us,bonding with other people is never a problem.hehe..
So anyways,this day went by in setting up stage,arranging the sets and furniture,getting the carpenters to do their stuff,loads of work like that. Basically,making sure that all was set for the Real big day,the next day.
So after a pretty sleepless night,simply because everyone was so excited,dawned 30th.
The Big day.Why? Showday number one!
The team got to venue nice and early. After all, everything had to be perfect. Well,yes the team worked really hard and made sure nothing was left to chance.As showtime neared,the excitement grew,umm..would we be received well? would bangalore accept us,a chennai group? Would those people that came in,like what we gave them? Would more people come in based on what the first audience said?
The questions were answered at 7.30 pm.We almost had a full house on Day 1!! The cast gave a splendid performance,really inspired on by the audience response.Most of the show went on like clockwork.And as a response,We got it all.Laughter,applause, as well as the moments of absolute silence that you would need for those emotion-packed scenes.
All in all,a lovely start.But lots more to be done.The tempo had to be maintained,we had 4 shows more to go!
Friday,the 31st,came by and this time around the team was a little more relaxed.Simply because they were going good so far.Friday,however,was a BIG DAY in evam history.Evam completed its 100th show on the 31st of march'2006. Quite fitting that such a magical event should happen at such a magical space,Rangashankara. :)
A slight anticlimax was to hit us though.We barely filled half the seats in the hall. Yes,the audience did respond well enough,and we gave it our best shot,but still it isnt quite the same as a full house,now is it?
A slightly disappointed team evam made their way back to the ashram that night.Disappointed yes,but still full of energy,energy that was much needed over the coming weekend.
We knew that a friday half-house wasnt so much of a deal.It was the weekends when we could really pull in the crowds,because the weekends are our staple diet back home in chennai.hehe..
Two more joined the team on saturday morning(yep..me too..woohoo!) and we got the flashback of sorts of what had happened over the 1st 2 shows.That awe i was talking about a while back? Yes,it struck us too after we saw Rangashankara.
Well,team evam,atleast most of the team,took some time off to go shopping and sightseeing around bangalore on saturday morning.Not me though,i had just arrived!:D
Nearing showtime,and i realised what these guys were going through everyday.We got right into the spirit of things though. The usual tension of how many people would turn up was evident on everyones face.lol..quite an unwarranted fear,i must say,because,yes,we had a full house again!
And from here on there was no looking back.
The show was splendid,brilliant performance as always,with full energy,good crew and backstage work,and everything seemed to fall into place. The audience response was staggering. They not only laughed at all the jokes,but there was actually applause for most scenes when the lights dimmed for a scene change!
What was really stunning though,was the standing ovation we got at the end.Yes,a standing ovation.Puts you on seventh heaven doesnt it?:)
After the show we had a really special moment. We lit a cake,a surprise for the 2 Evam Commanders-in-Chief's that we have,KK and Shoosh!hehehe..We celebrated our 100th show by getting them to blow the candles and gorging on the cake ourselves :D :D(Well,they had some too,dont worry).We did the cake thingie a day later simply because more of the team was present and Shoosh who was missing for a while on some mysterious assignment,had managed to come back in time!
Saturday night was again worth its weight in gold for the amazing party that we had. Due to the varied crowd of both young and old that we get reading this blog,i am afraid im going to hav to censor the details of that night.LOL! Suffice to say,it was a bloody amazing night.As most of the crew will agree. Well,for the team who knows what im talking about,i can pop in a few key words,so u dont forget what up tat night! Cake, jeans, plastic miniatures, worm, laughter, tears, artificiality, accusations, confessions, fighting, friends season 9, good music, bad music, rule-breaking and a lot more. All this at the holy premise of Sri Aurobindo Ashram.Hari Om.
Ok,we all woke up late on sunday morning and were getting ready slowly, all lazy and tired from the previous days festivities,if i may call it that. This was pack up time,pack up fom the ashram and we checked out of there before heading out to the venue for our last day.
This time,the time we took to get ready for the show was minimal. In fact we had worked out timings so precisely, that we ran in with all the ironed costumes for the 3.30 shows at 3.20.:D:D
Ok,that was actually not planned,but we got away with it,so alls well that ends well or something..:D
No prizes for guessing,housefull again.Jampacked to be precise. Brilliant show,brilliant in all senses.
And then something happened at the end of the show which i will never forget. During the final applause,suddenly one person stood up.Then another did.Then a group did,and suddenly the whole audience did. For a change instead of the audience watching us,we watched them.Spellbound.
And by this time we realised,that come what may,or whatever anyone said,the bangalore tour was a smashing success.
Basking in that glow,but not losing focus one bit,came the last show at 7.30pm. More jampacked than any of our previous shows,with 20 people more than we had seats available,and asking them to adjust,we probably gave our best show that evening.
Standing ovation,yes.Stupendous response,yes.
Then came the biggest 'tension' part of our trip.hehe.We had 1.5 hrs to pack up EVERYTHING and make the train back to chennai. And during course of that half hour that we took to pack, i realised one more thing. Why we are called a team. The work done by us was brilliant. Every single person running around doing something or the other with such focus that a truckload of work got over in a jiffy.
It was a bit of a hurry making the train eventually especially coz of the amount of luggage we had.But we managed just fine,with about 10 minutes to spare.:)
We had loads of fun and did loads of work on this trip,and it showed on everyones face on the trip back.Tired,yet smiling.I cannot miss mentioning 2 of our favourite hangouts on the trip,lol. Nature fresh!!! and Shanthi Sagar! thanks u 2!lol..
Thanks a tonne to the team from bangalore which helped us out.
5 shows.4 houseful.3 standing ovations.We all miss Bangalore and Rangashankara already.The Bangalore tour was a grand success.Period.
TMK,on the trip back mentioned what major advantage we had over many others. Why we could give such wonderful shows that appeal to the audience like we do, time and again. Its a very simple fact,but one which makes loads of sense too.
The fact that we all know each other so well now, that for us every bit of work is just a new type of fun. We have gelled very well,no doubt. We know that everyone here can be counted upon,for something or the other. This camaraderie translates into this wonderful relation of cast and crew, which ensures that you almost feel at home while on the job. And so,we rock.
On a concluding note,id like you all to form a circle, hold hands, and bring a happy thought into the circle. Smile...and say...
PS: we'll try and get a view from members of the cast about our trip,coming up sometime soon..
PPS: we r also planning on putting up a post of some of the memorable feedback and e-mail we have received till date.Thank you so much and keep em coming people!! :)