…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menotrical [men-ot -trick-ul]; the condition of being drama-drawn.

Hands up all those who ever acted, posed, sang, danced or ran on with a prop in a school production.

Who took up membership in amateur theatricals and musicals in the hope of realising a dream or two?

Anyone ever had an extra's part in a movie?


Yes, YAM's been there and done all that. 

Of course the school plays were a must.  Even helped in the scripting of one - science fiction of course.  Something to do with life on Mars.  Then got one of the minor parts. Can't recall the title.

In Edinburgh, apart from all the choral and instrumental concerts (I play a variety of instruments, but specialised in the recorder family - all of them), I also joined a dynamic group - the SMYCMS… St Michael's Youth Club Musical Society.  The fact that many of the members were less than youthful appeared to skip notice.  The almost-permanent-lead female was the permanent director's daughter.  The almost-permanent-lead male was her fiancee….  You catching my drift?  Nevertheless, having a useful soprano warble on me, I succeeded in breaking a few barriers and managed to get secondary roles of note. 

The last bit was a funny happening.  In Sydney I had decided to attend a theatre dialogue workshop.  This was more from the angle of writing than anything, but of course had to submit to impromptu sketches and such.  Our tutor was a jobbing actor who got regular work in the Australian film and television industry. 

One day she turned up with a film crew!

"Right you lot, these folk are from NIDA and are putting together a short film for entry into this year's National Festival.  I've offered your services."

Say what?!

Tutor and another actor had the key roles of course.  But yours truly and the rest of the troupe were all prettied up for this pseudo-doco movie about a community worker sorting out a bunch of hapless dole-dwellers.  Not sure the film ever made it to the finals.  It was fun though.

I love film.  Even all the waiting around till the camera  and light can agree with each other and that too in conjunction with the director's wishes. 

So I had fun earlier this week when, gazing out of my window at breakfast time across the now nude fence, I found a caste of thousands (well… a crew of multiples of 10 at least) spreading themselves all over the gardens and roads of the hotel next door.  Cameras.  Shades.  Reflectors.  Ladders with seats on top.  Mobile coolers.  Trolleys. Millions of folk (no YAM, 50-60) running around looking important without actually doing anything.  Clapper boards. A director with a megaphone.

Alright.  Not an actual megaphone.  Modern electronic equivalent.  Loud.  And. Clear.

Hotel security made lame attempts to stop traffic.  There were 11 takes of the black Mercedes with mooky-looking English-style rego plates moving from point A to point B - some 20-25 metres. Back it came and tried again.  Over and over.  Twenty minutes would pass between each run, which lasted twenty seconds.

Later a second vintage car - again black - a Holden Vauxhall I think, with the mooky plates.  The run was a different part of the street leading up to the hotel entrance.  Four Big, Mean-Looking Males got out of the car.  Several times, bless 'em.  They get paid well for that.

During class that afternoon, the megaphone interrupted discussion a bit.  So did the gunshots.  This confirmed my suspicions.  Two ugly black cars.  Four ugly "goondahs".  Definitely a shoot 'em up and take 'em down movie.

Wonder if it was another scene from the one being filmed a couple of months back.  Couldn't see that one 'cos there was a hedge in the way.  But it involved lots of music and dancing.  Nah, probably not.  It only takes two or three months to pump out films for the avaricious viewing public of India.

That's Bollywood!

(I KNEW that empty fence was going to have to be good for something  J)


  1. Now talking about plays, never been in a movie, but school, grad and amateur theatre in Australia, and tomorrow is our big night for the mission. One more sleep. Yeah! Hope the videoing happens. Better make a reminder call now.

    Love ya, take care


Inquiry and debate are encouraged.
For personal contact, please use the email box on the Wild YAM/Contact page.
Irrelevant, abusive and spam comments will be removed.