By Siddhi Jain
November 20, 2020 (IANSlife) 'Mirzapur' actor Anangsha Biswas, who has featured in quite an impressive list of OTT shows, has a background in theatre, which, in her own words, has taught her a lot.
"Theatre has a different infectious energy. Once I am on stage, it's only me and my higher self, everything else is immaterial. For me, it's like connecting to god.
"Theatre is immensely exciting for me because there aren't any retakes. It emulates life. It's like once a moment passes you can’t get it back, you can create another new moment, just like plays. Once you are on stage good, bad, ugly you perform no retakes. There will be another show but no retakes.
Secondly, you don't really have to wait for the audience reaction. Just after the show, you have the audience review and their observations help you as an actor learn a lot," Biswas, 30, told IANSlife in an interview.
Sharing more her background in theatre and your performances with industry veterans, Biswas shares that she is from the creatively fertile land of Kolkata, and "generally the majority of kids in Kolkata while growing up have two schools: Monday to Friday, the academic school, and weekend art school where we are taught classical music, classical dance, drawing, poetry recitation".
"Everything arts-related we learned over the weekend. Kolkata kids are encouraged to read books (and) take interest in literature."
Biswas shares that her paths crossed with theatre in school with Shakespeare plays. Then, in Mumbai, she says she was fortunate enough to be a part of Akvarious Theatre.
"I got the opportunities to work with acting stalwarts like Naseeruddin Shah, Akash Khurana, Benjamin Gilani. Then I did a French Production where I worked with Farid Currim. I did a Vipul Shah production where I worked with Shefali Shah, A Salim Arif production where I worked with Harsh Chaya. First few years in Mumbai I was involved only with theatre and soaking as much craft that I could."
Her first play in Mumbai was in Prithvi Theatre - “Women in waiting, Men on the line”, where she acted alongside stalwarts. "Performing in Prithvi is every theatre actor's dream ... And I had achieved it with my first play. I felt supremely blessed."
Speaking about her engagement with the medium, she said: "Theatre has taught me a lot. I was a shy child, theatre has given me confidence.Akarsh Khurana taught me to be on time, he taught me the importance of time and discipline. Time once has gone can’t be brought back, hence even today I reach my sets 10 minutes before my call time. Benjamin Gilani taught me the art of being articulate and clarity of speech.
Naseeruddin Shah taught me to be natural. Acting is not pretending or being fake it's rather about finding the honesty within to relate to the role that one is portraying. Discipline is a must for an artist. In my humble opinion without discipline art cannot flourish.
Biswas's last play was "Kusum Manohar Lele", a cineplay on Zee5 and last theatre production "Under The Influence”.
When can one her next on stage?
"I am open to all kinds of mediums, though theatre is my first love. I am very passionate about the stage but I need a good script, performance-based role. Whatever little I have achieved I owe it to my theatre training, it not only gives you discipline but teaches you to be grounded, never gets ahead of yourself. Theatre also teaches you to keep learning, because of it I went to Sydney Australia and did a diploma in acting from TAFTA," she signed off.
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Siddhi Jain can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org