Ny 10021 Nyc, USA May 2/3, 2013 Thu/Fri 12 :12 AM
Premiers are daunting experiences ! They always have been, with me. And they are so because much like any other public appreciation or public presence moment, the fear of ignored noticeability, recognition and the criticism of non performance, haunt one before and after !
It may sound odd, but remunerative presence has always been an issue. Once commerce steps in, the obligated demand is compellable. This erases natural and unrehearsed nature. There is demand for performance, because there is a commercial that has been taken into consideration. What I do, where I do it and how, gets abducted by them that have paid for it.
As a professional I would imagine these considerations would sound abnormal to an outsider, but I am tempted to converse on the subject.
There are times when the object of the deal has failed, that a sense of guilt creeps in. If I have been remunerated for a particular employ, and that employ fails, then the balance required tilts heavily on the side of them that employed us. Many though never look at this with any concern or emotion at all. It is very cut and dry. I was paid to work, I worked, job done, thank you. There is no concern for the outcome of the job. If the job does well, well then I deserved it, indeed, I deserve more ! If not successful, then, having given my time energy and creativity for a given amount of time is what I was paid for in the first place. Take the money and run. Will consider the next if there is a next, supported of course by suitable commerce !
My minuscule presence in ‘The Great Gatsby’ has been done with a sense of a friendly gesture towards the man one has admired as a maker, and so there is no commercial consideration. What commerce can one consider for work for a single day ! The opportunity of working with great talent in a most prestigious production, was enough incentive.
So now, what transpires is that any further ‘requirement’ gives me the comfort of not facing the pressure of commercial commitment.
As I therefore prepare to face the ‘red’ carpet, many such thoughts race through the mind.
'How does it really matter, I have done this free of cost, and on my insistence.' That sword of forced commitment does no longer hang above my rather precarious head .. everything else that follows after, follows similar principle. This, then is a position of comfort for me.
One obligation over, the question of guilt removes itself too. And that to me, is a comfortable situation. So by argument then, why is there apprehension or even an inkling of doubt that raises itself within.
That … is the nature of apprehension among those that can be termed as creative, and those that have the gall to put up their creativity for judgement … a judgement by the masses, one, which to me, is the most comprehensive and honest.
It is of value to have honesty on your side. But to accept honesty from the other ? Is that acceptable too ? It should be. If not then we are not qualified to be in the category that we are considered to be.
As the cars and security detail and escorts guide you along the winding, slow moving traffic through the Park, thoughts such as these run systematically through the mind.
The event is alien. It is not in my country, or in surroundings which have been familiar to me. I am the only caste creed region coloured individual in the project. I am playing out of my depth - an alleged principal Jewish figure connected to or operative of what is commonly called the ‘mafia’. And my appearance is smaller than small …
The expected reaction as I would step out to an event in India, is now minused. There will be no recognition among the audiences that follow and watch, which to me seems good, for then I can quietly slip away without being noticed or more importantly, instantly judged !!
The crowds at the venue are noticeable now. From my tinted window I recognise the familiar settings, cameras, people, barriers, security, albeit more efficient than what one has been coerced to expect, on occasions similar at home ..
The most disturbing feel has always been to be presented in the ambience of recognition, but not get it. So as your car drives up to the ‘point’ of disembark it is seen that attention is drawn by all those that go to make attention possible. Security takes vital positioning expecting wild crowd reactions, organisers drift into position to behold their invited ViP .. the doors open and you step out … !!
'No … this is not the important person … who is he ?' … cameras and faces turn away .. you look as though you have been sighted as kill by a predator .. unmoving, not knowing where to go or who to acknowledge. You pretend to look or feel that you are unaffected by all this, move in normal invitee fashion on … and … THEN … it happens … !!!
Your name .. screamed out through pent up excited devotees, rents the air .. several others join in … beyond the barriers attention drawing well wishers, plead for a shake of a hand an auto graph … pictures of posters wave in the air … the shouting continues … a few faces somewhat astonished by all this turn around .. a few cameras turn too … and THAT is the moment …
The event has been taken over by your own … your own people, your extended family, and so vociferous is their presence that it has forced the unconcerned to get concerned …
As you acknowledge the fans, walk up to them to sign their autographs, shake their hands, wave to the nearest and the farthest perched atop the balconies of adjoining buildings … those that had turned away, turn back .. a smile of astonished contentment overtakes their faces .. they look at you with fresh interest … those Tv anchors that awaited the real stratospheric stars, now begin to thrust their ‘utensils’ in your direction ..
" The scream that went up as you entered … we thought Leonardo had arrived … how does it feel to have so many fans of yours here at this venue " …
Their refrain does not stop .. their questions are filled with just wonder and awe .. an almost in denial attitude … ” no ooo … this is not happening surely !!”
Speaking to them and answering their hasty questions is now blown away by the loud chants of the fans and the Ef … the banners astonish the interviewers … dour looks have been transformed into smiling welcoming wonder .. the longer I stay the more the requests from the Ef and all those that have so graciously collected .. my waves and words of gratitude do not reach them I think .. they are at some length, but not distant enough from my love and gratitude .. I wish to prolong my stay there and do … Baz Luhrmann who watches this from his appearance on the ‘black’ carpet, rushes up to me .. we embrace, greet, wish each other, and then holding Baz turns to the screaming Ef and screams back - ‘he’s the greatest !’ .. embarrassed, I return his compliment back to him … this continues for a while, until the ‘handlers’ literally push us to move to the waiting area of the theatre, the ‘green room’ ..
The smiles from unknown faces has increased appreciably … inside the restricted area for the cast and crew some greats, drift into animated excited conversation, strong chest thumping bear hugs and laughter, conscious of the branded champagne that quivers in their hands, through delicate vessels … Warner’s heads spot us, compliment, exult on the film, introduce celebrity and move on … CM, Catherine Martin Mrs Baz Luhrmann and the creative director of the film, warmly greets us, Baz joins in, Jay-Z with the largest smile among the guests, rushes by and is invited for an introduction … Jennifer Lawrence, tall and attractive, best actress Oscar winner for the year extends her hands for a greeting through Baz .. in a corner surrounded by many Toby and Leonardo spotted, they greet me warmly .. hugs and embraces ‘great to see you buddy’ whispers Leonardo in the ear .. ‘after the after party I have called some friends over, come, we ‘ll chat have a drink ’ .. then informs me of the location which, because of the noise I do not comprehend and forget .. just some restaurant on 14th Street remains with me … handlers come rushing in again herding the cast and crew for a photo opportunity .. all the main stars and Baz line up against a large poster of the film .. I modestly stand away .. Toby and Leonardo beckon me to join in … I sheepishly creep in to the far end at the back … Toby and Leonardo make space between them up front and command me to stand there … generous … being ushered into the theatre now … large spacious Opera auditorium of the Lincoln Centre … 3500 capacity .. I had been there before, as a performer not an audience .. it was the 100th anniversary of my Father’s celebration by the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan .. had recited some of my Father’s works .. the place is packed to the rafters, buzz and anxious interested looks all around, searching for the stratospheric stars of the world of Hollywood … a few reminder dim lights and then Baz on the impromptu stage in front of the makeshift screen .. makeshift because the theatre does not have a screen .. it is made for Orchestra and Opera .. starts hesitantly on the making and the influence of F Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic book, ending with a dedication to the city of New York, which formed the back drop of this historic tale .. film starts and huge applause and yelps when Leonardo appears for the first time in a close up … applause again when the end titles roll, and then efficient personnel lead you out from back doors and alley ways of the Centre to waiting cars and drive you down to the after party at the Plaza Hotel by the Park, where all the cast have been put up … large ballroom decorated on the 1920’s fashion in keeping with the atmosphere of the ‘speak easy’ in the film … the ‘speak easy’ where my minuscule scene takes place .. music and dance performances of the 20’s, crushed space, oodles of humanity … I wish Baz and leave, a few unknown faces come up and compliment my performance … compliment ? ummff .. there was hardly any ‘form’ at all, forget the pre ‘per’ and the later ‘mance’ ..
Early morning today calls from Delhi and Mumbai and the huge internet coverage of the evening … Shweta and Abhishek keen to know how it all went … Shweta furious at me for not taking up Leonardo’s invitation for the after party after the after party on some 14th Street … happens …
Thank you all for all …. and thank you Lord for all that you do for me ..
59 Notes/ Hide
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