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What if life were more like theatre?

What if life were more like theatre?

If you think the headline of this post is arbitrary, then you obviously haven’t seen Neil Patrick Harris’s Opening speech for the Tony awards 2011. Side Note: It’s getting a little predicable that NPH breaks into song every award he hosts, but I for one am not complaining.

But no seriously, while it’s all very well for us to do high jumps and leap about madly, here’s just my two pennyworths on life being a stage and all of us actors (somebody famous said that; I’m not sure who)

For one, we wouldn’t wait so much, unless we were waiting for Godot. Half our days, years and lives are spent waiting for something whether it’s for something as mundane as a bus or a train or something large like the realisation of a cherished dream. If you listen to Sharanya and I, our days are divided by our actual, desultory lives and waiting for something awesome and magnificent to happen so we can ride the wave of brilliance and land up on the shores of a whole new world. If they wrote a play about our lives it would have to be one of those make-believe, fantasy ones where we wake up afterwards and say “Aw Shucks”.

If life were more like theatre, there would be more epiphanies. We’d follow our actions with lessons about the actions; we’d watch a fellow actor do something or say something that would impact our lives forever. We’d come to horrible, gripping realisations (“I’m a dime a dozen, Pop, and so are you.”- Biff Loman) or say things laced with irony and backstory (“Deliberate cruelty is unforgiveable and the one thing I have never, ever been guilty of.” – Blanche DuBois). We’d exclaim more and better (Stars hide your fires).

If life were more like theatre, we would never have to live down our mistakes and move on. We’d never let bad blood stay curdled and congealed and quiet, we’d excite it so it would bubble to the surface and gush out, making everything infinitely more dramatic. Estranged fathers and sons stay estranged and stony in real life, the prodigal son doesn’t really ever come home but he may end up crashing into a Ferrari and sending the bill to his old man, a best friend turned foe will never really confront you at sword point in the street and when you’re jealous, you won’t really strangle your girlfriend in her sleep.  As characters, we’d all have to be deeply damaged (again, Blanche comes to mind) or crazy, or happy or confused or deliberate or severe and we simply can’t be the confused mudge we are now. The worst thing? There’d be no denouement, no flourishing The End, no applause, no velvet curtain and no getting out of character to a sweet three minutes of audience appreciation (may or may not include roses thrown onto the stage). In real life, there’s just life which follows life which again follows life and it’s a vicious cycle until it ends when we die.

But seriously, like NPH says, wouldn’t it be grand?

The Dr. Horrible sequel comes out in October and other stories

The Dr. Horrible sequel comes out in October and other stories

If you’ve been following Project small fry regularly you’ll know that Neil Patrick Harris has talents that go beyond playing smooth-talking Barney Stintson. We’re talking about Dr Horrible’s sing along blog, the 2008 web-based sensation born purely out of the restless genius of Joss Whedon and the acting prowess (and that free moving blonde eyebrow) of Neil Patrick Harris. Well, we learned this past week that there’s a sequel due somewhere in October and it made us nearly wet ourselves with excitement. Will Dr. Horrible’s new and dangerous life as a member of the super bad league of evil, be cast over with the shadow of his tragic loss?

The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling’s first non-Potter book for adults will be on shelves in the US and the UK by the end of this month. Or so Little Brown promises. I know you expect to be happy and expectant but I’m a little wary. I’m Potter fan enough to get the book, but should I really believe all this pre-print marketing schtick? Once a writer really reaches the peak of her form, I don’t know, it’s only human to crash and burn. At any rate, this book has big shoes to fill. Huge. Some Felix Felicis might be in order.

Speaking of books, Nilanjana Roy’s The Wildings is out to brilliant reviews.  That’s two debut novelists this year by David Davidar fledgling publishing house Aleph, which really seems to tapping the journalist-turned-author pulse.  And no wonder, if Project Small Fry (yes, we’re a collective now) is any indication of readership, their sales will probably be sky high. Think about it. We devoured Pinto’s articles and then promptly bought the book. We devour Roy’s articles and now that salaries are credited, we’ll be lining up to buy the book. No-brainer really.

We try to be free of political strain, but this was too much for us to bear. I can’t decide what’s funnier about the whole situation. Is it that Eastwood looks like the crypt keeper’s older brother and can’t form a sentence without mumbling? Is it Obama’s tweet in response? Is it the series of web memes that took over the internet? So many angles!

 

– Sheena

Haaave you met Neil Patrick Harris?: A tribute

Neil Patrick Harris or NPH or Barney Stinson is awesome. And not only because he is a brilliant actor and has a name that are actually three first names but because of these reasons –

NPH started his career as a child star with Clara’s Heart and Doogie Howser MD, he went on to do a bunch of movies, plays, TV shows, he has a nice family, has never been accused of drug abuse, alcoholism or crazy behaviour. He didn’t grow up to be utterly annoying and a cliché. And thank god, otherwise we may never have gotten

Barney Stinson. NPH plays an opportunistic, manipulative, naïve and incredibly self-obsessed guy with ADHD who “likes to create crazy situations and then sit back and watch it all go down.” I can’t think of anyone other than NPH who could have played Barney; he is perfectly vulnerable and indifferent and has set the bar pretty high for living an “awesome” life. Barney Stinson has a great following in the guys-who-need-a-playbook-to-get-girls category and his catch phrases are legend –

NPH and David Burtka (He played Scooter, Lily’s ex boyfriend in How I met your mother) are a lovely, normal couple. They aren’t over the top, they don’t make the tabloids for any other reason, expect when people want to awww at their cute little baby girls (who are hanging out with Oprah in this picture). Here is the two of them playing The Chewlyweds game.
 

During the writer’s strike of 2008, Joss Whedon created the Dr. Horrible Sing-along log. NPH ays Dr Horrible, a failing superhero who must defeat Caption Hammer, played by Nathon Fillion who is dating the girl he is in love with, Penny, played by Felicity Day. It has 3 acts, was released exclusively on the internet and features some brilliant songs recorded in a small studio in Whedon’s loft. When I re-watched it before writing this story, for research of course, it amazed me all over again. NPH is one of those people who will do interesting things because he has an opportunity to. He has a great part in a big sitcom, he has his movies on the side, but that doesn’t deter him from trying fun new things. Something we all wish we can do with our careers that easily get stunted or boring.

Among his many talents which include looking hot in a suit is singing. He shows it off in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along blog and on even better on Glee. Listen to his cover of Dream on by Aerosmith with Mr Shuster.

Talking about Glee, here’s where you can watch NPH dancing and convincing you that Broadway is not for gays anymore.

Like Barney, NPH is a magician. That’s right. He is currently serving a two year term as president of the Academy of Magical Arts. They are headquartered at the Magi Castle (remember when he threw a dinner party there as a part of a challenge on Top Chef Masters.)

Is there anything this amazing man cannot do? God!

– Sharanya

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