“From the top!”
“Actors in position”
“Don’t let your back face the audience”
Three days. Ten hours each. Training for one event.
Our Church Parish holds a lot of events throughout the year. One such is the ‘Mime – A – Band.’ As the name goes you have to mime a band, literally.
So basically, you chose a band, you chose a song from that band, and then perform on it.
The main requirement is having a band. (So yes, many of the boys had to wear wigs to look like the rock band they were miming)
But is just having a mime band entertaining?
Here comes Innovation.
Other than the miming band members, we have to mime out a drama as well.
Seems easy enough?
Another twist: You cannot use real instruments as props. The same rule applies to any other item used on stage.
So yes, I spent every waking moment of the last three days to make guitars and pianos, a drum kit and a coffin (I swear I didn’t murder anyone. Not off stage at least) Microphones and stands – all out of thermocol (polystyrene).
We also made loads of other props.
Here’s the prop token I got to take back home!
Our drama was about children leaving their parents once they grow up. We also tried to enlarge the concept by introducing a vice in each of the children.
Like the elder son was a womanizer.
The daughter (Me!) was a wild party chic, always drunk and high on drugs and cigs.
And the second son, who was a gangster.
The first part was where we depicted a scene from their childhood where they couldn’t live without their mother.
A transition phase occurs – and the grown children are shown – where they fight and assault their own mother and leave the house.
The mother begins praying for her children to come back.
The song we chose was by The Black Sabbath – Mumma, I’m coming home.
The later half of the song shows the falling apart of the children’s lives.
The womanizer son finishes up all his money and his chics leave him
The drug addict daughter is injected against her will and is robbed of all her belongings.
And the gangster son is caught by a cop who beats him black and blue.
“Mumma, I’m coming home … home … home”
They realize their mistake and struggle to go back home
But temptation is just too strong. Devils descend upon them as they try to crawl back to their mother.
The song ends with the children finally reaching home, only to discover their mother is dead.
We didn’t win.
And being the host/anchor for the event didn’t stop tears from my eyes.
From all the past years, whenever we took part in the Mime-a-band, one particular man took sole initiative to train us and to write down our script and stuff.
And we always won.
However this year, he refused to help us. And we had to slog, start from scratch, and prepare, just three days before the competition.
The main reason I wanted to win was – this was the first time it seemed like we did something.
We worked hard for it. So very much.
Making the instruments and props and everything else from their basic structure to the finishing was not an easy job. Specially when you’re under the stress of acting practice and when questions such as, is the story going wrong, and from which side should one enter and what would look better on stage, come up.
We were the biggest group taking part.
So obviously we had difference of opinion.
But I think we handled everything so well, we didn’t even fight.
A surprise of people took part, some of which I thought would never go on stage and ever perform the roles assigned to them.
And everyone was so helpful.
I think I had more fun for this Mime-a-band, than for any other I ever participated. I really felt like a part of it.
And these people had started feeling like family.
People who stayed like, what, 5-10 minutes away from my house – I thought I knew them. But I really didn’t.
They’re all amazing people who can make you laugh and burst out at any point of time. We had this integrity – maybe it’s because we have been staying in the same community since forever, and we’re proud of it.
I’ve made friends with people who already were my friends, but I rarely spoke to. And I made friends out of strangers who I didn’t know lived so close to me.
And I discovered that it’s possible that one day you might smile and share a joke with someone you’d never imagine to befriend. And that in turn someone you don’t really expect, will smile at you, too.
I had a hell of a time, these three days. Tiring, body aching, loud yelling, happy cheering hell of a time. (<– I don’t even know if this is a proper description. I’m so drained out.)
So mainly, this post is to thank all my team mates for the lovely three days and amazing performance we put on stage.
Michelle … You were a real mother even off stage!
Craig, Shaloma, and Damian … You kids are so cute! And are natural actors. Doesn’t matter how small you’ll are – your part was perfect.
Gerald … my womanizer brother.
Pearl, Niomi and Ninoshka … thanks for being the girls to dance to Gerald’s tunes (and money!)
Adarsh … No one could be a better gangster than you. Even during our practices, once you said, “People in position!” everyone went silent and took their places. It’s a total different story that you were never in your position.
Dion and Oliver .. the good for nothing gangster friends with my brother. Didn’t you’ll lose in that poker game that you’ll were playing?
Kirk, Josie and Bluela … and drunk you’ll were onstage!
Uncle Dominic … Damn! The way you hammered Adarsh.. it was a joy to watch it every time. You know, we all loved that part the most!
Uncle Lanfrance .. on the drums.
Aunty Devika .. on the keytar! (an instrument we invented – a combination of a electronic piano and guitar!)
Gareth .. on the double guitar.
Gavin .. on the base.
Joshua .. the lead vocalist and guitarist. Damn, you were so so so good. Your flying kiss in the end made three rows of the audience pass out.
And lastly, Nadine .. our directer and co-ordinator, it wouldn’t be possible if you hadn’t said, “Come on, let’s take part! We can do this on our own!”
Thanks to all those we helped us and funded our expenses.
I don’t think the biggest regret will be not winning.
For me, it will be saying good bye to all this wonderful and loving people, and settling back in to my normal life, just as they will into theirs.
But, oh boy, am I delighted or what!
Because it was totally worth it.
And I love you guys so much.
I will wait desperately for the next competition to come up, so we can get together again. Or make an excuse, cause company like you’ll is life-brightening.
A prize cannot vouch what I’ve achieved in these three days. It’s bigger than just a petty sum of money of the competition.
The biggest thing for me was when the audience said, “The Black Saturday should have won!”
But that’s it.
I’m gonna stop typing.
And control my emotions.
Hoping that I meet my mates again. Soon
Till then I’m gonna sleep.
I’m SO TIRED.
Don’t wake me up for another six months.