“Dad, I really want to be a film actor.”
My college friends, my art teacher everyone say I could imitate any character, any protagonist. I also have a good acrobatic body; can sing a line or two.” He challenged his father Mr Ray. Ray was working as the stunt coordinator for a major Hollywood studio for two decades. He had seen the inside of Hollywood more closely than anyone had. He knew dirty secrets of casting couches, politics of production and marketing gimmicks. His risky career paved way for good rapport with some top names in the industry. He could have easily asked anybody to cast his son and everyone is more than obliged to make him so.
He looked at his only son. Ran is in end-20s. His bulged muscles, quick acrobatic body, sharp chin, piercing blue eyes described him to be a befitting model. Physical exercise is one, which definitely a need for a stunt master. Ray has outlined a daily exercise schedule to keep up with his dangerous work. His Son Ran followed his footsteps.
“Dad, you followed your heart to be a stunt man right? Why don’t you let me follow my instinct” Ran is adamant.
Mr Ray is arranging a safety balloon system on which a stunt man falls from some height. He checked the inflation of the balloon, Pressure gauges. Mr Ray owes safety of his crew. Once he is satisfied with all arrangements, Ray walked to the direction area.
Mr Ran followed him. As the most charming manhood, other than the hero himself, Ran enjoyed some special treatments when he arrives on set. Female models used to giggle at his flirtatious jokes. Ran is smart, humor witted. He is the star in his college, securing every possible prize in his college Fest. Often impeccable at simulating every mannerism of big stars, Ran has garnered attention of every woman in his county. He could have left his family and discover the opportunities in the industry on his own. However, some of his spoiled friends advised him for an easy buck. Ran is ever easy to pass on their requests.
“Your father knows some producers, even actors. Go ask your father to refer you for somebody!”
Ran asked for references and he hoped that his father followed his heart to become a stuntman and could understand him very well. Little did he know, Mr Ray had different choice for him?
After shooting a major action sequence, Mr Ray finally called off the day. Instead of going to home, Ray went to a small hillock nearby. Mr Ran wanted answers, desperate answers.
“My son, now tell me? What is your decision?” Ray asked Ran. Ray sat on a rock on that hillock. That hillock was a popular get together spot for young couples in the evening. A view of the whole city beneath the hill, demarcation of urban cement forest with rural greenery is evident below the horizon. Sun is setting in long distance. The youths started frequenting the park with their group of friends or partners.
“How many times should I tell you? I want to be an actor” Mr Ran stood in irritation. He posed spreading his arm to insist on his point. He delivered a famous dialogue from a hit movie, in which protagonist asks his father to obey his decision.
“ is it your final decision!” Mr Ray is decisive.
“ Yes dad. It is my full and final one” Ran is impulsive.
“ Is it your own decision or your friend insist you to do it ?”
“ It is my own decision and my friends also support it”
“My son, what I am going to tell you may disappoint you. When I wanted to become a stunt director, my father said one thing about making conscious decisions.”
“Dad, don’t be silly , I have no concern for your past. Do you have any Hollywood connection who could cast me?” Ran is arrogant.
“Ran, listen! I have n number of connections and they are sure making you a superstar tomorrow. However, does acting passionate you or you do acting just because your girlfriend likes it or you mother admires it; or some stupid art professor suggests some improvements in your mannerism or on advice of a facebook geek who fails to get a casting in any short film or a friend who suggests that you are good at it? Answer me Ran.” Ray’s voice is loud and clear.
Ran is confused. He did have a passion for cinema. His friends, his surrounding environment ignited his cine-mania. For the first time, Ran felt an emptiness of his desire to become an actor.
Ray continued, “Look My son, most of the time, our decisions are affected by society, family, friends and everything that surrounding us. Yes, they may be correct; however, they cannot guarantee 100 % results. We take decisions on our present state of mind. We promise to somebody when we are in a state of ecstasy, we decide to hate or rob somebody when we are angry. Everyone has right to give you solutions, yet they cannot force you to follow them. You should make a conscious decision on your own. All your senses should be in control when you are making decisions. You should trust your instincts way better than trusting stupid friends should. We often take poor decisions when negative feelings overflow our mind.”
“I will give you an example! Someone reads something on paper or social media blindly believes it and gives guidance to his friends to follow it. That stupid friend obeys it because his friend had said so. This is an impulsive decision. When you are in love, you promise to live together, but fail to deliver your promise when reality pips. We follow the crowd, which harasses an innocent without thinking what is right or wrong. We kill somebody, since we took the decision to take revenge in a pit of rage without foreseeing future events. We are taking decisions following not our conscious mind, but our deceit emotions.
Ran is silent; he now knew his acting is just the blind imitation. His decision to become an actor is just his quest to fulfill what his friends, Girlfriend and society has expected.
“Everyone is good at something or the other. You know I had won prizes in drama, I could a play a guitar and I can play baseball too. That does not make me a legend in acting or music or sports. However, I am legend at stunts, directing impossible sequences.”
Ran sat next to his father. His eyes looked down. Artificial lightings interrupted darkness. Neon bulbs on every corner of the park attracted some noisy moths. Park is still open to loud giggles of youth groups and romantic whispers of bashful couple.
A ring interrupted their conversation. It is Ran’s girlfriend calling him.
“Honey, will call you later!” Ran saddled up for the next stage of advice.
“We should consciously present in our decision. Building your rapport on impulsive orders always harms you my son.”
“So dad, what should I do next? Do you think my acting skills are next to nothing?”
“No My son, there are hundreds of acting schools, thousands enroll with them every summer and only a few of them succeed at award functions. What others are doing? Do you know what others do for their living? “
As a youth, Ran only knew glittering of Hollywood world, its ever-flowing craze, fame and money. Other side of the coin never existed for him.
“They work in degraded movies; filthy roles, drug addicted and some of them are mentally unstable to sustain a little fame they got in the meantime. When you take a decision, you should be in a position to follow your decision to the final step. You are responsible for all of your decisions. No friend, no society or no family comes when you follow their steps and mess it up. They are sure to blame you despite of giving you that decision at first hand. Life is a gamble my son. No one cares how far you have come; they care how much you have earned.”
“Ran, you used to paint lots of things when you were a kid. It came natural to you. When one of the famous art curators working in an age-old museum visited my house, he really appreciated your paintings. I think that is your calling. It is always better to do whatever you are best at, or whatever you have instead of desiring to acquire new skills at the expense of time and money. “
“So Dad, should I follow this, because you are telling me to pursue painting.” Ran had a little doubt.
“It is your wish to accept or deny. I can only suggest. If you still want to pursue your little craze of acting, I can arrange for a well know producer and director in the coming weeks. You can go, give your best shot, try to first hand, then decide or you can decide now. The choice is yours, my son. I am liberal.”
Ran relaxed for a while. He is silent. He looked at the charging moon towards the sky. The moon looked less red and large.
“My son, when will you introduce your girlfriend to me?” Ray asked his son.
“Let me decide it consciously!” Ran winked at his father. –> B.A.Patil