Thursday, December 8, 2016

From the stage to the workroom!

 I had the honor to perform with the noted theatre personality Danish Hussain. A fine human being.
 With me were two gentlemen, Sattvic and Udit Parasher, who belonged to the performing industry. My coworkers in corporate parlance.
I was the rookie.  The play premiered and received a standing ovation. My involvement with the theatre forced me to compare the stage with the workroom, the corporate of which I have been a part of.

1) Strategy and Concept
Danish saw it all in his mind's eye and shared it with us. The concept was sold and accepted and rehearsal plans were drawn out keeping our schedules in mind. The goal was defined. There was nothing hidden. All of us were partners. The strategy to execute was flawless. 

2) Defined roles
The role of each performer is well defined. There is absolutely no overlap. Each role is an important one for the production to succeed. The uniqueness is celebrated.

3) Transparency
It’s imperative to be treated fairly and equally for success.  The brickbats and bouquets were discussed together. No behind the back ranting. There was no narrative or canard built up to strike a person down or raise him/her up.

4) Bonding
Our meals together were the bonding time.  Our performances were never discussed during this time. Politics, culture and industry and most importantly our lives was what we would talk about. Empathy developed from this time together.

5) Contingency plans.
The ability to have a Plan B in place. Udit was down with chicken pox and then Ashima, the production assistant. Nobody flipped. Reassigning happened, Udit recovered and performed

6) Talent
Talent has to be showcased. It has to be nurtured and cannot be trusted in the hands of apathetic personnel.   Big lesson I learned. A complete contrary to what I have experienced in the corporate.  Our individual talents were focused on with no sense of insecurity or sense of upstaging. Because he/she is good is the reason he/she is doing this was so refreshing.

7) Sycophancy sucks.
You cannot put a good show together if licking boots and networking is the key.  Its good work, good work, good work and good work alone that gets you the applause.

8) Dissent is healthy
The space to dissent is necessary and has to be respected.  It’s a healthy alternative and is the child telling the emperor that he is wearing no clothes.  Artists can suggest and not fear of being thrown out.

9) The man in charge is the expert.
Danish who led had a body of work behind him and was involved.  INVOLVED. He held hands, helped you push your style , gave his inputs, spent extra time with the weak (me) and most of all was egalitarian.  Supremacy gets you bad results.

11)HR management
Artistes have high energy levels and are generally killed by mediocrity.  Creative lots are more difficult to manage. It’s a wonder how directors manage to hold all together, create a team and execute the final product.

12) Credit
All who are even remotely involved with a production gets credit. Unflinchingly!  Which is why credit after a movie rolls on for a long time.

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