“Shoot me, why don’t you”!?

Recording for Television drama serials and soaps in the Karachi heat does not look nearly as sensual as the photograph above, as the non sensual part is to get the scene completed before the sweat reappears on your forehead. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work and that’s why I do it, but to all my friends and lovely people who approach me with the ‘twinkle’ in the eye look while giving me compliments and statements saying “you have such a glamorous, delectable and flamboyant work and lifestyle on screen, we envy you”, all I can do in that specific moment in time is look at them straight in the eyes and smile. The smile contains a mixture of both happiness and sadness.

The truth is lost somewhere in the beginning, middle or end. What I can say on a personal note is that if the performance and/or drama or artwork was appreciated and maybe made its mark on someone, then it was worth it and my job is done, if it does not, then all you can do is to move on to the next while always trying to give the best performance you can in that given time. I am talking about ‘acting’ here, as I also produced and directed television dramas and serials. It is a growing industry in Pakistan and most of the work now is in Karachi, many years ago nearly all of the Film work was based in Lahore which fizzled out and now a new generation has taken up the film challenge and are making good movies based in Karachi, some of which are also for Oscar nominations.

Getting back to the actors ‘glamorous’ work on set, there is no glamour in work, as work is work, and the concentration is on your lines, expressions, voice and body language. Along with this, one has to care for the other actors performance as well, this encouragement should be both ways to get the best performance.

In the middle of a scene, the electricity cuts out as we do have power-cut problems in Pakistan, our boys and maybe even girls run and get the generator started so that the recording can continue. Once the recording starts, the air conditioner and fans are turned off so that we get a good sound track without noise, and that is when the sweat starts to trickle of our bodies. ‘But never fear the make-up persons are here’ and tissues are continually taken out to wipe the access water that has formed on our faces. This is when I say those famous lines in a gentle way to the director and the cameraman in Urdu, “Shoot me why don’t you, before the sweat appears”!?

There are many problems that production company’s and actors face in their day to day work, the positive point here is that we actually get through it to get good productions completed; and that is what matters in this ever evolving industry. I have great respect for our profession as I know what it takes to get the job done.

Blessings to you

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