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Cape capers

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Jpatma, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. Jpatma

    Jpatma Silver IL'ite

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    Capes (cloaks) can be quite handy, especially when you need one to look slim on stage.
    As I write this, I’m wearing a yellow T-shirt, black tights, ankle boots, a long black cape and a mask. In short, I look about as ridiculous as any person my age could ever possibly look.

    On second thought, that’s not quite true. I suspect I looked even more ridiculous five minutes ago, when I was trying out various swishing techniques with my cape in front of my bedroom mirror. There is an art to wearing a cape that seems to elude me; an art that I need to perfect over the next three days. Either that or I run the risk of looking like a giant yellow insect with limp wings come performance night.

    And no, I’m not supposed to be a giant yellow insect with rigid wings. I’m supposed to be Fantomette, a French comic book heroine and one of several sleuth-like characters in a play I’m currently taking part in: The Last Mystery.


    What is it with comic book characters and capes, anyway? I mean to say, it’s not as if a cape serves a practical purpose half the time. And even when such garments do prove to be functional,(don’t forget your hairdresser)you’ve got to ask yourself why. Take Superman, for example. Although he came from the planet Krypton, where everyone was purported to be highly evolved, why couldn’t the powers that be have come up with something more sophisticated than a cape for enabling flight?

    Ofcourse superman in his undies outside is not only a butt of jokes but iam still wondering at his intellgience especially coming from Krypton.

    Other than the cape, I’ve had a few other problems with my character, chief of which is her age. Fantomette is a mere teenager, while I’m a mature woman (I think so) of early fifties .When I first expressed my concerns about my age to my director, she simply told me the play was a comedy, and the more hilarity we could incorporate into the event, the better. All I had common with Fantomette was my height of 158cm. I’m all for maximising hilarity, but her comments did little to allay my concerns. Then she told me I looked young for my age. Like how sneaky is that? I’m sure this is something most directors will say to a middle-aged actress to get her to do something she’s not awfully keen on doing.

    Still, I’ve tried to remain optimistic about my abilities: artistic, physical and otherwise. I have tried to convince myself that in the right light, and from the right angle, and with the right make-up and clothes, I could probably pass for a teenager. Lighting, of course, is key. That and the audience having their eyes half-closed. Or maybe completely closed.

    I just hope the audience won’t be overly confused when Hercule Poirot in the play addresses me as “dear child”. Or when James Bond (another character in the play) says to me, “Ah, if only you were a few years older.” You see, the man playing the part of James Bond is younger than I am, and noticeably so.

    Over the years, I’ve probably watched all the James Bond movies, and not once have I seen him snuggling up to an older woman. He likes to be seen with younger women; women who look good emerging from the sea in a skimpy bikini; women who turn heads without even trying; women devoid of cellulite and sagging boobs and bottoms. It has never once occurred to me that James Bond suffers from some sort of unresolved Oedipus complex.

    In an attempt to look more like a James Bond babe, I tried a crash diet last week. However, it had been so long since I’d tried to limit my caloric intake that I’d forgotten that food deprivation can have a strange psychological effect on me. Usually, the more I think about not eating, the hungrier I feel, and the more I’m inclined to eat. One minute, I was eating cabbage soup for my dinner, and the next, it was midnight and I was standing in the kitchen eating chocolate spread from a jar.

    After three days of cabbage soup (and a large jar of chocolate spread), I decided to spare myself further guilt and loathing, and promptly ditched any idea of looking svelte in my black tights.

    I’ve just had another look at myself in the mirror. In the right light, and from the right angle, and with my cape artfully arranged around me, I can make myself look three kilos lighter. Lighting, of course, is key. That and the audience having their eyes half-closed. Or maybe completely closed.

    Capes are not such useless things after all.


    Jaya
     
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  2. Deaf woman

    Deaf woman Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Jaya mam,
    Lovely post about capes.I agree cloaking ourselves will definitely make us more shapely or should i say slimmer?If the director tells you ,you look younger ,please accept his compliment blindly.We shouldn't look at a gift horse in the mouth as the saying goes.Wish i can see you onstage acting as
    Fantomette.Never heard of this character until i read your post.Don't worry ,you will be a big hit with the audience as well as your co actors.Do share with us how you were received by audience after the play is over.Good luck with your cape and acting.
    Regards,
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  3. Mindian

    Mindian IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear jay..

    how is it possible...you made me cry with your fb to viji one minute back and here I am now :rotfl:rotfl....fabulous jay..Seriously ,you are almost on par with Cheeniya sir and oj da...and that is the highest compliment I can think of just now with my stomach growling for food...

    me paavam is too hungry now and taking a lunch break..will surely come here again after a detailed analysis of the various cloaks...now i know how viji feels about giving the first fb and rushing away to do something else that has gotta be done:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  4. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Jaya,

    Every blog of yours in an Oscar winner, or the one likely to be nominated for teh oscars, if there was one fro writing.

    You are the limit.Eyes closed eh ! 3 kgs lighter ! Superman with his chaddi, on top of his pants ! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    You have the ability to laugh at yrself, which i find very amazing, and of course good.Better than making fun of someone else.

    and dont u worry, i am with u, i am mid fifties, i too dont diet, and i too love to eat good food, damn the weight, and damn the pretty females.:biglaugh

    Superb,superb,superb.ive run short of breath and words.

    And i am nominating this one right now.

    Regards

    kamal
     
  5. shailmohan

    shailmohan New IL'ite

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  6. Padmini

    Padmini IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Jeya,
    What a wonderful write up!!!Linking all the characters of comic and fiction in a very humorous manner!!No words to describe your sense of humor.While reading your description I visualized the scene and imagined you like this. Hope it is half way through the real!:)
    [​IMG]
    Your referance of superman and bond is really hilarious. Coming to the age factor, nothing to worry. you openly admitted and the fact is you are looking younger. That matters much. You know one thing
    People who look younger than their age tend to live longer than those who look older than their years, a new study suggests.:)
    I will conclude this feed back with asokakkadhai.
    When I was in my college, my English professor came and told me that for the English week we could enact " Sleeping beauty" and she insisted that I should act the main role in it. ( Till then i took part only in tamil dramas and dances) So imagining myself as sleeping beauty, i collected the dresses, accessories and arranged even ahair dresser. With all hoped I went to the rehersal and she invited me with abeamig smil and handed over the dialoguesMy eyes popped out seeing the script, you know why, the portion was that of witch who causes spell!!!! And she told me " with your height and weight you would play this role very easily, blah...blah.... I could hear anything what she said, already I was shattered to pieces. Without uttering a word, I ran from there.how is it? Sorry for the long one.
    with love
    pad

     
  7. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Jaya

    I also agree with what Mindi and Kamalji have written. As kamalji has written every post of yours is an Oscar Winner. You are always a winnder. You have a sense of humour.

    I have not yet replied to your fb to my post about kairasi. You brought tears to my eyes also reading the fb. I agree wtih Cheeniya Sir that you should not bother about others comments. What to do our South Indian culture is like that so we cant say anything. We all are there with you Jaya dear so forget what others say. I dont know what to write as sometimes though I want to write something thoughts do not come fast.

    As Mindi has mentioned come out of those negative thoughts and we all want to see you happy. We all are there for you.

    love
    viji
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  8. Mindian

    Mindian IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear jay,

    I wanted to quote each line that made me :rotfl:rotfl but then realized that I have to quote the whole post..

    Talking of cloaks, I agree with you, ridiculously designed garments for the superheroes. Just recalling phantom, HE man, Spiderman had me:biglaugh

    And I had to know more about the character you have mentioned…So google tells me that Fantomette or Francoise was the first female superhero in French literature and is a girl of twelve…now jay, come on… adhu rumba too much illaya, you attempting to play that? hahaha

    By the way, it seems she has a side kick called ficelle a tall and "not very bright" blonde ( romba naala aasai to wear a golden wig) which fits me to a T…..Please tell me if that role is free???? Let us give Malaysia something to talk about…


    Dear paddy,

    Enjoyed your picture ..and your own experience even more…:rotfl:rotfl
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Jay,
    I wonder how you choose such ‘off-beat’ topics to post??
    A cape is quite functional, as you have written – don’t forget your hairdresser!
    Why do you bother how you will look, whether like a yellow insect et al??
    Do your role, that is best
    Leave unto the viewers the rest!!
    When I was a teenager, I had to don the role of Adipaarasakthi for a play, sitting between Lakshmi & saraswathi. I was asked to stand by the side of a lion figurine & smile continuosly while Laksmi & saraswathi were(supposedly) arguing over who is superior!! After the programme was over, the question that arose was,
    how did Barathmata come between the two”??
    This only proved to me how ludicrously I was dressed up!! My saree was off-white with orange & green borders – a la Ganga Jamuna style, as we call!
    If you can dress in such a way to show you ‘minus three kilos’,it is really great, Jay. Don’t think three kilos is a small no:. When it comes to dieting, it is a GIANT STEP. But, remember, women must look round & plump to look kind, matronly, gracious etc. That is my favourite one-liner!!
    Any extra kilo, here or (and) there, will be cleverly hidden by the cape. It can act as a real savior. Don’t bother to take refuge in cabbage soup. Go ahead with the best chocolate spread – cape will take care of the rest!:biggrin2:
    Pray light comes to your rescue too!:)
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  10. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    Jaya-san:

    You amaze me by your quality. Once again I must say that Cheeniya has produced a great student, someone with a potential to even surpass the Master someday. Well, may be not surpass, for Cheeniya is unsurpassable in my opinion, but at least be his equal.

    I loved/enjoyed everything in this post, starting from the title to the last little word. The humour and the wit were superb. Needless to say the Poirot and James Bond bit was the best. Well, not too sure about this either. I forgot about the diet part, which was cute.

    As before, I perceive a conscious effort on the part of the author to present a structured piece and this is an unmistakable sign of talent. She hopes that whatever shortcomings she presumes she has can be hidden under a cape and then with just the right kind of lighting and audience indulgence she can undergo a metamorphosis. Then doubts invade again -- may be the audience's eyes will be popping out when Poirot and James Bond arrive. If that happens, they will notice. So, should it be a slim me hidden by the cape rather than a non-slim me. Hence, the cape + diet formula. Too bitter a mixture to try out. So, leave it to the cape alone. And the lighting of course plus the audience indulgence. Circle/structure complete. Start with a cape, end with a cape and caper as you do the tight rope walking between the two end points. I always enjoy reading people who bring you back to where they started.

    I am dead sure now that the quality of writing at IL is on the rise. We have a number of talented and serious writers amongst us and reading them is an experience one looks forward to.

    oj
     

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