A Directors Diary – The value of Trust

It was the year 2003 (I think) not sure. I had attended a theatre workshop conducted by Artists Repertory Theatre at Museum Inn Road. The two days workshop taught us a lot of things. At moments, I wondered what we are doing here. Why is she making me play games and what has that got to do with theatre. The workshop was my first every foray into proper theatre training so I let it be. Maybe something is happening here that I should let be. “You have to learn to give things some time,” I told myself. Even then, when I went to sleep at night, I couldn’t stop thinking. Maybe there is a secret I didn’t quite understand. Maybe everyone is getting it, but I’m not.
I was so desperate to understand the concepts.

Early next morning, I finished with my breakfast packed my bag and left for training. I promised myself that I will not look into things and give the process some time. That I would do as I was told and not pressurize myself. So, the workshop was complete. The entire batch of participants exchanged numbers with each other; and promised that we would keep in touch. Now, five years down the line, we hardly know each other anymore. I really sometimes wonder if they have put what they have learnt into some use, or for that matter; if they have staged a play, or worked on any production etc. It would be interesting to know.

Reading one of the articles from a prominent theatre director then brought to my notice that a series of games and processes that actors perform in a workshop and/ or on stage or while rehearsing for a play is not something that can be explained. It is more about what you gain out of it. It is really up to you. Something that every participant understands but it is for them to build on. Which means what I get from a particular program might be quite different from what you gain from it. It cannot be explained; you just use the medium to discover more. As you grow and learn, it will help you become more skilled.

I was walking down the road today while talking to one of my production guys about how things are proceeding and what needs to be covered. Our cordial, philosophical and animated discussion led to aspects of human life, relationships and thought processes which was far more important than techniques, creativity and ideas. I just stood midway and thought. Just thought. The first lesson that I learnt through the process of the workshop hit me then, now many years later. It was a lesson that was a small pinch of the process but has immense meaning now. The value of Trust.

We had a game, (cannot really explain the game here because it could be copy written, I don’t know. I don’t want to take the risk and it wouldn’t be right) in which I had to trust the group completely, so they wouldn’t let me fall on the ground. My life was in their hands. I was afraid of falling and hurting myself; but I had to take part because everyone else was. The bright side for me was that everyone was afraid. We didn’t know each other, what are the odds that they would hold the person falling???? There was no room for doubts and we just had to do it.

So, we did it!!

Guess what? No one fell. Not even the slightly heavy ones or the tall ones. Everyone was safe. Soon, fear translated into action. We started enjoying falling. Each one of us knew that if I fell, someone would not let me hit the floor. They will be there for me.

They didn’t let anyone down. The one’s falling, trusted the others with faith and convictions, and the others reciprocated the same by holding on and not letting them down.

Although is it important to trust; it is more important to reciprocate and respect the fact that someone thought you capable enough to hold. Respect the fact that someone trusted you with their job and gaurd it from falling at all possible times, don’t sleep over it and never take it for granted. A breach of trust results in bad readings, and a shabby production. Trust ensures that the job is done with the best interests of the job in mind.

Trust brings purity to the production.
It takes the group to another level.
The non – existent of which pollutes it.

Although, a lot of talk about basic theories and styles of theatre are discussed amongst people. The most important one’s are often the most basic. (You can build on it and make your own deductions out here so you can use this to your own advantage. What I have understood of trust is for me to know, keep and build on.)

The truth is that trust is of great consequence. Its value has far reaching results and reflects on the production in the end. It should allow you to have no fear, and to have complete faith sans doubt. This keeps the environment cordial, and progressive and the results are shown in every aspect of the job.

“Never underestimate the value of trustPuja Goyal

– Puja Goyal

PS: “don’t you trust me?” (Cathy – Cat’s Paw)

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