Film Education


THE ACTOR’S VOID By Sanjay Nath

The Actor’s VOID  

I began my acting stint at a very early age, won many awards in various plays through school and college for dramatics, elocution and poetry recitals.

Later I came to Bombay in the early 80’s. Pearl Padamse and Jalal Agha took a liking towards me and introduced me to Modeling and commercial theater. I did various print and T.V commercials along the way and continued with the workshops and plays under her guidance.

I have later trained as a voice over with Darrpan and then with Steve Hudson, in his patent technique named the P.S.R (presentation and reading skills)“Voice Master” who has been training Voice Over artists and actors like Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Dame Judy Dench, and Tom Hanks in his technique and the importance of Voice acting. I have dubbed over 50 Hollywood movies in Hindi and other foreign films.

This helped me to a very large extent to once again brush up my skills as an actor and have later been training aspiring actors in the importance of voice acting and voice exercises for an actor.

I have been the voice over for Times Now, and lent my voice to several launches and presentations including the prestigious V.Shantaram Awards 5 consecutive years.

On television I have had the opportunity to play different shades and received appreciation relatively from “Left right left”, Mahabharat, Bandini, Koi aaney KO hai, Crime Patrol, and Khottey Sikkey. And 2 movies with Shahid Kapoor – Paathshala and Chance pe Dance.

I have in the course of time kept working on finessing my skills, and attended various acting workshops. My father always said “That Man is a Student throughout his life” and I believe not because they were wise words from a father to son, but because I realized it.

I always felt a great void in me apart from all the appreciation I kept getting for my work, it constantly bothered me. I read various techniques on acting but this did not fill my void, as the technique itself felt void.

I have great admiration for Anthony Hopkins and regard him amongst the finest actors, primarily for his outstanding performance in “Silence of the Lambs” I must have watched the movie for the very sake over a dozen times and yet the character excites me as much. I asked myself what made him so believable, what do great actors do to be so? And the ease is so, as if “the character himself was the actor not the other way around”.

How do I create this magic? I needed to understand this at a deeper level and on a very spiritual plane.

While doing some research I found an interesting link amongst some greats like Anthony Hopkins to Johnny Depp and that was – Michael Chekhov.

I began on my quest and read all I could online whilst I began searching for his books and willed there was someone in Mumbai who taught the Chekhov technique just then an advert of Oorvazi popped up on my screen.

I truly relished each day of the course. Being a trainer myself I am aware that retention span of a student does not last beyond 20 minutes, however 6 hours felt less. I have thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and gained immensely. Chekhov training has connected me more spiritually as an actor, adapting a character, living him believably, portraying him with ease and consistently is where the magic is.
Chekhov’s training helps mould the body into pure work of art; it makes you the Master craftsmen, architect, enabling oneself to create characters beyond the realm of imagination. I often experienced a stressful state while and after playing a certain character, and by doing so it affects us to a great deal psychologically.

I have recently read an article about a young girl who had acted in a documentary film to promote awareness on growing suicide, took the extreme step herself.

Chekhov trains an actor to create that imaginary body of the character with tools therefore reversing the process of straining the mental self to alter the physical state. Therefore using Chekhov techniques we apply tools to the physical self to then alter the mental state thus without harming and effecting the mind, and it is easy to switch off from the character after the scene, and consequently not carrying the baggage and emotions, stress of the character into ourselves and our daily lives.

I have finally found the tools to fill my void, and I know it will take immense practice and effort to master these tools, the tools for the kill I would rather say and each kill will be different from the other, each time I will explore a new tool and probably a combination of them, and that is what makes this a great technique and it is limitless hence opening infinite dimensions for the artist.

I had wonderful experience learning with Oorvazi, and I am now looking forward to other sessions with her and the advanced course as well, she is an outstanding trainer who understands the art well.

Sanjay Nath

Sanjay Nath attended Oorvazi Irani’s Michael Chekhov Acting Technique

Course, January 2012  

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6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Good to have you back!!
Nice article! An actor’s or a filmmaker’s journey is never complete there is always a possibility to explore newer things and that is what makes it interesting 🙂

Comment by siddhesh

Siddesh!
A joy to hear from you too 🙂
Read my latest blog post on the artist and me

Comment by oorvazifilmeducation

I do not remember who said that …….. “True acting is the direct reflection from heart and soul of an individual who gathered the deep spiritual resonance from the realistic world – day to day.”
This is not the piece of cake or cup of tea for anybody despite any actor who may have a fat bank balance or a ”super” status among fans.
“Nati Binodini” the famous old Bengali play made prophet “Ramakrishna Paramhansa-deb” to enter in ultimate meditating stage, but nobody remembers the name of the actress who played the role of the infamous woman.
Can anybody imagine what type of composition one need to have spiritually and in within physical metabolism where in one side in 80s drew the attention of theatre greats like Pearl Padamse and Jalal Agha and in 90’s already wearing 4 stripes as a Captain of a Mercantile marine ship and dancing on the waves of Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Oceans etc. etc. and facing the fool moon silver strips to 10 meters waves with 100km air speed? I know it is a rare combination to have in one side the belief “….that man is the student throughout his life” for the limitless thirst for his love for art and in another side, to be the master and commander of ships where he himself is the is the judge, jury and executor of the fate of millions of dollars of cargo and ship with a totally unknown community of African or Asian Crews serving under?
It is indeed a rare combination gifted by God only.
I happened to personally a great friend of mine who struggled throughout his early teen to mid/late – 20s for the love of art and for the passion for acting and now in 60s he is a legend in all aspect: and also I know a person personally, who never needed to join art to survive socially and financially as 7 seas of the world were within his reach always but for the love of art and passion for acting, now at 40s fighting to establish within himself and to the outside world his capability of to become the Captain of Indian TV/Film actor.
The first one is the story of 60s and 70s of “Mithun” Chakrabarty and the last one is the reality of Captain Sanjay Nath of 90s whom I met and worked together in Africa.
Best of Luck Sanjay………………..
It is a true honour to know you.

Comment by Dipankar (Dip)

Hi Dipankar, I am sure Sanjay will be very happy to hear from you.

Thankyou so much for sharing your thoughts and yes Sanjay is a lovely human being and I wish him all the best

Comment by oorvazifilmeducation

Dearest Dipankar Chacha,
I am extremely touched by your post 🙂 thanks you. yes its a complete 180 deg turn for me and i guess that’s life,
to follow your heart and that’s where the essence is.

Thanks again will keep you posted
Regards
Sanjay Nath

Comment by Sanjay Nath

Dear Sanjay – When God said “Let there be light and there was light” and when Julio Cesar said VENI VIDI & VICI – I heard it in the voice of Sanjay when he entered in the TV/Film Industry. Let the Luck feels good to be on your side.

Comment by Dipankar (Dip)




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