Express Yourself – Intro

Self – Expression: the expression of one’s feelings, thoughts, or ideas, especially in writing, art, music, or dance.

Without being tainted with the burden of living, its responsibilities and a thousand manuals handed over by adults in informative years; children and animals already know the meaning of self – expression. They communicate their needs creatively through words, paintings, emotions, reactions, and play naturally from the moment they are born when they need milk or a change in diaper. They will cry and their degree of bawling will vary according to the adult response to their communication. Creatively modifying and changing their behaviour to the adult communicating back to them as a response.

However, over the years, we condition ourselves to action and response according to varied stimuli and rules are regulations we receive based on our environmental, societal and other boundaries. So, are these restrictions important, or do they curb our growth potential? Can they become a hindrance to living a full life and therefore should we then revolt and demand the freedom of full expression; or instead find a middle path where we are able to utilise the tools and restrictions available in our society to help us find expression and not treat it as a handicap.

As adults are we providing our children and us the right guidance and environment for self-expression? How would we find the right environment in the first place? Most importantly, why do we want to self express?

This 5 Part Article Series explores the importance of self-expressions, challenges faced in expressing oneself, tools for self expressions and the spiritual, assisting each other and using self – expression as an effective tool for communication, how creativity assists self expression, and emotional need to express oneself when you are a child or teen.

Read: Self Expression – Why Express?? on 11th March, 2020

Preparing for an Audition Call

insta summer (3)Receiving an Audition Call is the most exciting thing to happen to an Artist. It is an opportunity towards getting selected for your dream role. A very few percentage of Actors get selected for Series like “Big Bang Theory” and “Friends” where they become household names, and even few get to become Acting Legends. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. The first step to this journey is an “Audition Call

Audition calls come suddenly and it is important that an Actor is ready. When you do get that call, you need to be prepared with the essentials in your bag:

  • WORK DEMO: If you have done some work previously, its always great to carry a short demo with you of your best work so the Director or Casting Agent can be familiar with your work. Carry it in your phone. If someone asks, you can immediately whastApp it to them.
  • Photos & Resume: Always carry a set of Pictures of yourself and your Resume. Be familiar with what is in requirement in the Industry. Have a set of Ethnic, Western and Casual. Or whatever genre it is that you intend to audition for. A Close, Mid and Long gives a reasonable idea of you. Keep the pictures and the Resume pinned together. Always ask if the Director would like a copy of your resume and then leave it with them. Don’t just thrust it on the table. Some like it whatsApped, emailed, hardcopy. Everyone is different. Let those photos reflect the best you. If you are going for a Wedding Themed Audition, don’t leave Swim Suit pics. You want to be Selected, right?
  • Prepare: Always have a few Monologues and Acts prepared previously. Updating them regularly. Some Casting Agents send monologues in advance and some give it to you on the spot.  You cannot Audition without being prepared. Don’t waste the Director’s time. Show respect and build a reputation for being a prepared actor. Even if you didn’t fit the bill, but made a good impression, the Casting Agent and Director will remember you. So, be Honest and forthright. They are good judges of character and can spot a fraud miles away.
  • Know Your Genre: Many Actors go for auditions without knowing what they can do and what the Director wants. Be clear about what you are prepared to do and what you wouldn’t do at all. If it is a role of an 80 year old, and you could play it but you don’t want to do it because you think you would be stereo typed. Don’t go. If the Casting is for a 6 pack Boxer or Martial Artist and you are a one Packer with no Boxing background except that you watched Ali last night on Netflix, Don’t go. Many Actors line up randomly in Mumbai for all the auditions without understanding what their working characters are. You don’t need to go for all the Auditions, you need to go for some important Auditions.
  • Be Flexible: Don’t Argue. Casting Directors and Directors are looking for a character in you. They might watch your performance and give you notes and advice on how you could improvise and present again. If they do that, then it means they find potential. Listen to them and incorporate the feedback into your performance. They know what they want for their Casting to go right. You might have practiced the part many times in front of your roommate but your roommate is not Casting you. If you argue, it means you are stubborn and unwilling to improvise. Directors don’t want to work with Actors who can’t listen, improvise and apply.

Don’t forget to come in for an audition, early, it allows your nerves to relax and know your surroundings. Oh hey… remember to be confident and positive; and most importantly carry a happy smiling face. Goodluck!

Black Friday

potenciar-campanas-shopping.jpg

Black Friday,” the darkest day in the 365 days of the year. This is how I imagined it to be when I heard the two words on Radio for the first time and wondered about the Announcer’s excitement. They were offering discounts and providing attractive ways for people to spend money. I researched on the dark almost sinister words and realised, it referred to the day after “Thanksgiving” when the shopping season starts and people are looking forward to Christmas. A reminder that Christmas Eve would be around the corner; so you must BUY, BUY ALL YOU CAN!

Dig deeped and “Black Friday” has several origins…

ONE: The most plausible explanation would be when the words BLACK FRIDAY first found its place in the journal, Factory Management and Maintenance , in November 1951 & 1952. It was a terminology used by the workers to call in sick after Thanksgiving Thursday, to use this opportunity as a longer 4 day holiday. (Thursday to Sunday). The people flocked shops to purchase goods. A shopping frenzy resulting in blocked roads, accidents, arguments, parking tickets, and many vigilant Police Officers who had to put in extra time to manage the crazy people grabbing goods.

TWO: The Police Officers officially called it “BLACK FRIDAY” because of the troubles it caused them and the hustling they had to do. Enterprising on this, retailers provided lucrative offers to attract shoppers.

THREE: Companies who hardly made a sale throughout the year were profited during Festival Holidays. They would usually mark their accounts in “red” when they made a loss and “black” when they made a profit; and post Thanksgiving, they made a “profit”. Hence, supposedly called it BLACK FRIDAY.

FOUR: It is rumoured that before Civil War, the Americans celebrated Thanksgiving by selling off their slaves, new children born to slaves as slaves after Thanksgiving on a Friday to celebrate and was called, “Black Friday”. Although this is claimed to be a rumour. The Native Americans Suffered as well. Read: Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving

Regardless, the festivities are catching on in India. Americanisation sinking in and BLACK FRIDAY now becoming the official festival promoted by Radio Channels, TV and Online Media. But do we need to spend so much and create a festival of it? Is consumerism important? What’s the most sensible thing to do on a BLACK FRIDAY??

  1. If this is an excuse after Thanksgiving to take off for a 4 day weekend, I would much rather spend time at home with friends and family. Let’s extend it to Friday, Saturday and Sunday… eat a nice home cooked meal with them and spread love.
  2. Take a trip to an animal shelter, senior home, children’s home, if you are alone… and buy material which will be helpful to them; assist them set things up to get things going.
  3. If the shopping bug is compulsive in the nerves then making a list of all the things, eliminating those which are irrelevant and then picking up important items which would have otherwise been expensive after the discounts are done would be a good idea. Shop wisely. Shop for yourself, not for the market.
  4. Sleeping it out is a good option. I mean who wants to crowd around in a shop and be flustered; come home with something you don’t need? Instead, working on yourself, meditating, reading those books you wouldn’t otherwise pick up due to lack of time, is a good option. Writing, showering, if you haven’t in the last few days.
  5. Making that trip to the gym and buying a ticket to health.
  6. Fixing broken things at home, the stuff your peers, family have been pestering you about for a long time and you have been avoiding.
  7. Catching up with long distance friends… go to a library, the books will be thankful.
  8. Scavenging through your closet and removing all the discounted items you bought previous Black Friday’s and didn’t use. Donating it to someone who might use it.

Remember the kind of impact this spending frenzy will have on the environment and the waste it would create. The lifespan of clothes have been cut by 75% due to influx of new clothes lines every month into the market; with the constant pressures of being in Fashion, people are purchasing unnecessary accessories and clothes which not only burn a hole in the pocket but create garbage. Electronics create another big chunk of waste which cannot be recycled or are not because it takes too much investment to recycle. Products bought online, if returned are immediately trashed; why.. because its cheaper to trash than to repackage and sell. Imagine the waste in the packaging?? So if you have to then make your purchases wisely.

There is so many opportunities a Black Friday can open up if we decide to make it more than a shopping day. Of course, we could save up a lot of money because Discounts don’t Count. Ultimately every purchase you make with or without discount is money spent. Spend wisely. Do you really… really need it?? Or are you buying it because its cheap? Would you really want to be caught up with pulling and fighting with people for cheap stuff on the line, or getting smothered in doggie love at an Animal Shelter, or lounging in your pyjamas at home? Make a choice and Have a great BLACK FRIDAY… 🙂

© 2019 Dhanlaxmi Goyal