Sunday, March 27, 2011

3rd Act-olution: Part II: dudes with no car, william wallace and 10 things you do not hate about the acting wheel

We did Dude Where’s my Car next - thank you to Akbar and Kiran for being Ashton Kutcher and Sean William Scott, while Soha was Mr. Pizzacoli and the awesome twins withholding their ‘gift’ were played by Konouz and Taha Mirza. Braveheart was next, and Anthony Galli - a fellow RJ at Radio 1 fm91 - gave a crack at being ‘William Wallace’(he would have made Mel Gibson proud, I thought so anyway) while Ayesha was a young soldier and Vaqas was Lochlan (greedy feudal lord!).

10 things I hate about You was next and Sahar showed that Julia Stiles ‘aint got nothing on her’(mmmhmmmm with some attitude)! Hyra showed that she can be ‘Bianca’ (and act as if she had a belly) and Hareem (who was there for such a short time) was her bestie ‘Chastity’. The Daddy figure who gave em ideas was played by Vaqas. After that we were treated to an imaginary sword fight, while I was sitting beside Salman (our wonderful photographer- check his stuff out at He made interesting lightsaber noises while we did the famous Star Wars scene which gave birth to the line "Luke, I am your father". The two boys who were Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker did an awesome job. Although being a Star Wars fan, I can't believe you two had not seen the movie!

After the 1st set of Scripts, we took a short breather to go straight into more Acting exercises. This time we went for some improv, and man we saw some awesome stuff. There were the Monosyllabic Zombies and a singing victim, a ‘Tulla’ who did not want to be touched by a ‘lady driver’ who was very touchy, plus a innocent bystander that had to get involved (well done to Maliha, Annie, A dude who’s name I don’t know sowy, Akbar, Salman and Shz). There were also fake motorcyclists who were Uber happy about the Pakistan victory and even more happy about Konouz limping around with one shoe on her foot and the other in her hand, screaming (through the laughter, I can only guess) ‘Badtameez’. Then that Man sitting in the ‘Friend Zone’ was shown that hey you can break that Barrier! It can be broken, yes it can, it is true. Aadi Adeal was disgusted to find out via email that his spouse was cheating on him and called on his Best Friend (Taha Mirza, who had grand plans of taking advantage of his friends ‘shock’) and the rest they say is not PG 13. I have to say one of the most enjoyable performances of the night. (big round of applause for Taha Mirza and Aadi Adeal!)

After the wonderful ‘Improv’ came some more scenes, including more of Mr. Brown and Ali Nadeem, as well as Dr. Evil and his Son Scott Evil (well done Anthony and Qutub) telling the ‘Therapist’ (Kiran, wonder if Kabeer ever has to do that?) about their relationship. Then we had Billy Crystal Analyze That, that being Robert De Niro. Ibrahim I believe was playing the former mob boss ‘Paul Vitti’. Then came a great rendition of a blonde lawyer, from Legally Blonde, played by Amtul, who struggled on the thioglycocate(I struggle in spelling it) but excelled in convincing the Jury(in this case the audience) that she’s got some SKILLS! And Sahar doing well as the witness whose lie about a perm got her in handcuffs. Vaqas again played a major role, by being that dude who only had a line or two in the scene, well done bro lol! The Night ended with Gollum, and he summed up what the Acting Wheel has become……..Precious!!!

I had a great time, and for those that couldn’t make it, come NEXT TIME -check out our Facebook page, Nausheen and Qutub thank you thank you and thank you for all the hard work you two put in, in making the Acting Wheel happen. Maliha you helped this time as well, for which I am grateful.Till Next time! As the Grateful Dead would sing it….The wheel is turning and you can't slow down, you can't let go and you can't hold on, you can't go back and you can't stand still,(my line) but you can join it if you WILL!

Friday, March 25, 2011

3rd Act-olution! Part 1: The acting intros, whoozit, and an inappropriate wizard

A day after the Pakistani Cricket team thrashed the West Indies by 10 wickets, and on the day the Australians were finally sent packing from the World Cup, having been in every Final since 1996, a strong group of 40 amateur actors made the Second Floor (T2F) their stage.

A couple of them were so eager and more importantly ‘punctual’ that they were present before the official start time of for the Acting Wheel’s 3rd Act-olution. Pleasantly surprised Nausheen, Q and I were, to find new faces in the audience, as well as those that have been with us from the start of The Acting Wheel. Special shout-out to our old wheelers - Annie (Happy Birthday by the way), Sahar, Kiran, Salman, Hassan (2 of em)  and Akbar. And as King Theodan of Rohan standing at Helms staring deep at the Uruk Hai that had been made for one purpose, that being to end the reign of men, aptly substituted by the most hard working ‘co-founder’ of the Acting Wheel, Nausheen, she(most likely) thought to herself ‘And so it begins’. Not to say that she is a ‘King’ or those that attended were Uruk Hai, it’s just that the Lord of the Rings was on the agenda, and ‘Gollum’(done expertly by Shehzad Ghias) unveiled that battle for his mind.

Very smooth and welcoming ‘Welcome’ by Nausheen followed by the group showing how much they hated singing out their name, when they chose to act out what they did to make a living. We had some inappropriate guesses for ‘job descriptions’ as well as some very daring people crawling to depict Wild Life conservationists (thank you Soha and Konouz) as well as the ingenious reading a book to depict a student(awesome IBA student Hassan) and how can you forget the guy that made us think we were all squares.

We moved on to the first acting exercise/game of the day ‘Whoozit’. Now this game showed how much talent the Acting Wheelers (I prefer calling you all Spokes, but the jury is still out on that one) have for a show called ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’(seriously Kiran some of those move’s were hard for the Men to do). Some of the contortions had the ‘Seeker’(the person that had to find the choreographer in a pool of people who were totally doing their own ‘thang’) acting or feeling like Homer Simpson screaming ‘DoH’. However it has to be mentioned, Qutub and Khurram (ME) succeeded in finding the leader while Nausheen did not (muahahahahahaahahaha, I guess the two of us are very observant).

After that came our ‘Wheeler’s’ rendition of ‘Mind Your Language’, followed by myself trying to be a Scarecrow, while Nausheen (minus the shiny red slippers and Toto) was Dorothy in a scene from Wizard of Oz (has to be mentioned that there were a couple ‘Oh Ohs’ that were in that scene that Nausheen and I found inappropriate, the audience had cleaner minds me thinks).

More to come on The Acting Wheel - stay tuned for what other scripts we did, and a few surprises that even we didn't plan for!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

2nd act-up! We're just getting started :D

The 2nd act-up of The Acting Wheel brought in some wacky acting, some screaming, lots of gesturing, and a fake orgasm or too. But more on that later.

The evening started with funny intros, which are quickly becoming a tradition here at the Wheel. Boring intros? Not for us. At the launch, we did interesting voices with the intros. This time, we tried doing funny walks, and people rose to the occasion! We got a ducky walk, a twirl, a stomping, a sitting walk, a lazy keeps on going. (Next time we'll make sure we record some of these spontaneous gems!)

The best thing about the 2nd act-up was the spontaneity that we saw with people. It's absolutely fascinating and awesome to see people leave inhibitions behind, and bring their uniqueness to performances. (Keep in mind that NONE of us are professional actors!) A sneak into the myraid of emotions that we saw during the night:

After the intros, we went into a quick acting exercise. These are a big hit with the Wheeling audience. Khurram and I had come up with this on our own: it's a version of dumb charades where the actors are given unique characters and roles to play out. For instance, we had an aunty looking for rishtas for her son. An aunty buying lawn at a crowded exhibition. A little child being bullied in her sandbox. A politician asking people for votes. We let people talk, but the most enterprising ones didn't want to use words at all!

Irsa the out-of-breath olympic runner
We went straight into acting after that. We did famous movie scenes this time, so Jerry Maguire's Show me the money, Juno telling her best friend she's pregnant, the iconic The Matrix's red pill/blue pill scene, When Harry Met Sally's unforgettably funny fake orgasm scene and the scene where Harry is sure that they can't ever be friends. We even tried our hand at sappy films like Titanic's first scene with Jack and Rose and Twilight's chick-worthy scene where Bella first finds out Edward is a vampire. We also did a great monologue from 100 Girls (which you have to check out here)

The most surprising script that we did was Mind Your Language's first episode - not because it was funny (that was expected), but because so many people had requested us to do it and were really looking forward to it!

The Matrix with Morpheus and Neo
Khurram being a male Sally, doing the fake orgasm
The audience, somewhat captivated :)
We sneaked in another acting exercise in the middle of all the acting. We tried a famous acting game, called the Party game. There're a bunch of guests who are given funny and quirky roles to mime out, and the host guesses who is trying to be whom.

Trying to hold a large piano, sleeping while talking, and surfing!
Our hosts did a great job - they didn't lose focus while people kept dancing around them acting out strange things, and guessed almost all their guests' roles!

We'll have more of these sessions in the weeks to come Insha'Allah! To make sure you don't miss the next act-up, join us at!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Childhood Favourites

Nothing makes you more nostalgic than visiting your childhood school and watching some childhood favourite shows. The Wonder Years has always been an old personal favourite: I especially loved this one scene with Kevin and Wendy. It was the end of an episode, at a school prom. Kevin was talking about some things being meant to be, and how some people are just meant to find each other but sometimes take a bit of time. And the visual shows a young Kevin and young Wendy lost in separate places at the prom: it's an overhead shot, and you can see them making their way through a labyrinth of people but never quite meeting face to face in the crowd.

Just found it :) God Bless YouTube :)

We got a chance to be truly nostalgic with The Acting Wheel while planning for the 2nd act up (tomorrow at t2f!). Several people asked if we could act out the greatest childhood comedy of the 80s: Mind Your Language! What's amazing is that this series actually ended when I was 3, but thanks to PTV, STN and their obsession with airing 70s british comedies, I got to watch it as a child as if it was still airing. Side note: No wonder we live in the boonies as a country - we're programmed to think as if we're still in a previous decade!

Back to Mind Your Language - we're hoping to act out these hilarious scenes tomorrow! :)

If you've made it this far, do come to our second act-up-

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fascinating Conversations at the Wheel

So when we act out, we also get to meet a lot of people. And the people we meet love acting, and watching movies and television. We love that - getting a group of people all passionate about acting in one room and talking about the movies and TV shows that we've loved watching. It kind of makes the very personal experience of watching something on TV in your living room - very shareable, relateable and exciting.

This shareable experience is what we thrive on. Because all the act-ups are unrehearsed, and we share the script right there and then and people have to start acting almost immediately, we need the scenes to be very relateable. The actors need to have seen it before on TV or in the movies to be able to pick up character nuances. The audience needs to have seen it, and liked it, to be able to appreciate the actor's performances and interpretations. It adds to the excitement but also to the risk factor.

Because of this high risk, we've also had some interesting realizations and aaaaahhh moments during our act-ups. One of these happened in the last meet-up. We wanted to go with some scripts and shows that everyone would have seen and enjoyed, and so would like to act. When you start thinking about some universally watched and likeable TV shows, one name comes instantly to mind.

So we chose to perform Friends at The Acting Wheel launch. We thought it'd be a safe bet. We were right...but not entirely. Right when we had introduced the scripts, the actor who was to play Ross said "But I've never seen Friends!"

This to some would be equivalent to saying, "But I've never breathed air!" Or "But I've never lied to anyone!" Or even "But I never thought that Johnny Depp was sexy!" It just defies the laws of physics, gravity and nature. Or does it anymore?

This actor in question answered everyones flabbergastedness by simply stating "I was 9 when it ended."

We've come a long way into the 2000s, and the millenium just isn't a cool word anymore :) Moral of the story: To those who were around to feel genuinely scared of the Y2k bug, do what you can to NOT become like those "yo dude" aunties and uncles who are scarily completely out of sync with the times. As for our Friends performance, the Ross who had never seen Ross on TV actually ended up doing an interesting spin on the role!

For more interesting realizations from the acting wheel, join us for our next act-up!