Reflection by EMMA L.
Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:
Theatre allows one’s dreams to come to life. It allows one to become someone totally different than their own personality. One can transform, become somebody else and look at life with a completely new perspective. It’s an outlet from our busy lives and lets us have the opportunity to live and act a new life. To entertain at least one person creates a feeling indescribable, yet it drives us to produce and act more.
Even if acting is not one’s passion the theatre brings people together. I love the idea that people will leave their jobs and busy lives to sit in one room for a couple of hours and listen. The idea that in that room, everyone, regardless of their age, their gender, their race, their color, their religion, comes together to enjoy a work of art. At that moment, we transcend space and time together. Theatre awakens our senses and opens the door to our imagination. Our ability to imagine makes us inventors and creators in our own way that makes us unique.
Natasha Tsakos understands the life of a performer. She is a playwright and performer who works in a bold new form of theatre, where sound, virtual images and the actor move in sync to create a dreamlike yet real stage environment. Within this space of total possibility, Natasha muses on the deepest questions of the human soul.
Technology is her instrument. By working with the newest technology, she is able to create different worlds that convey the messages she is trying to communicate to all audiences. She incorporates all sorts of different animation, projection and types of performing. In her original show “Upwake”, she wanted to incorporate humor, beauty, simplicity, and complexity while using metaphors to suggest numerous ideas. If you were to watch “Upwake”, it would probably remind you of a movie coming to life. This is what Natasha wanted in the end. She played around with many different scenarios and backgrounds when designing her piece to bring out the fullest of her ideas and dreams.
“I wanted to create environments that moved and morphed like an illusionist. Go from one world to another in a second.” Natasha explained.
The animation and projection are not just for “ooooing” and “ahhing”, they are Natasha’s partners on the stage. “Upwake” has only one human character on stage who does not talk at all. The use of technology, music and miming are plenty of ways to entertain and convey her messages to her audiences. When Natasha would give excerpts of her show she would sometimes have to perform with no animation, costume and make-up which made her very nervous on how the kids and adults would react to it. Although when she finished, the teachers came to Natasha afterward and told her they hadn’t seen the kids that attentive. The reason why she was able to keep the kids attentive was how she used their language and their reality in order to transport them into another.
Zero, the only character in “Upwake” became a person who had feelings just like us and is not just a character in a play. Zero does not speak and has no gender; Zero is Zero. Everybody wants to connect. By being a bit out of the ordinary allows people to be themselves just a bit more. People say that actors wear a “mask” that lets them become whoever they want to be and in the end enables them to find who they truly are. I disagree that actors are the only ones wearing “masks” because through the mask us actors are wearing it allows the audience to let go of their mask.
Theatre is my and Natasha’s passion. It is our life. Whether it is just an elective or extracurricular activity or a life long job, it is how Natasha describes it “the listener of [our] passions, [our] dreams and [our] absurdities.” People can say that theatre is dying because of the lack of original ideas and the economy. I believe it is a start of a new generation of art and theatre. With works like “Upwake” the theatre is expanding its resources and ideas to the next level; a level where everyone appreciates its beauty and influence of all generations.
Being human is a form of art on its own. Theatre can heal and improve the quality of people’s lives. Natasha has seen through her own eyes. “I’ve worked as a doctor clown in a hospital for two years. I have seen sick kids and sad parents and doctors be lifted and transported in moments of pure joy.” Theatre can unite us as one. As science and art intertwine, it will aid in defining and creating the ultimate human experience. This is the time to communicate, connect and create in a way we never dreamed of doing. We’re not here to question the possible; we are here to challenge the impossible. We will design our world, our future and it is time that we use our diverse talents to create intelligent, meaningful, and extraordinary work.
Will you join Zero?
To learn more about Natasha visit her website http://www.natashatsakos.com/index2.html.