Although this is his second visit to Nepal, Israeli artist Gil Alon finds this visit different from his first one sixteen years ago when he had come here as a tourist to see Nepal’s mountains.
“It was the year 2000 when I also worked with Nepali actors. Nepal has very wonderful actors with strong devotion in theater. They really give heart to the theater. They are very touching,” said theater director Alon.
Alon, who was recently in Kathmandu, spoke to New spotlight on the issues related to his workshop.
How do you look at the survival aspects of Nepal’s theater actors?
I visit different parts of the world and teach actors. I have visited 45 countries. However, the life of actors is the same everywhere. All of them want to be famous. If you are a real actor, you cannot be concerned about your survival. You can survive. You can survive anywhere. The most important thing you need to do is to love your acting. I encourage all the artists not to compromise their heart and wish and dream even though there is a difficulty.
Which form of art is difficult, theater or cinema?
Both are acting in different forms because the technique is different. It is not a question of which form is easy and difficult but a question of how one performs. Some see acting in front of camera is different and others see acting in front of stage is different. Actors should have both, the skills to act.
How does your project help the Nepalese actors?
My workshop is just to increase creativity. I concentrated my whole efforts to enhance the creativity to flourish and get bigger and bigger. This is helpful for everyone. I am not identifying creating creativity as it is endless. My workshop is the dig inside and finds more and more layers of resources and creativity.
How do you see the reflection of society in the faces of Nepali actors?
We don’t deal with society problems in workshop. We just deal ourselves and how we go inside and explore our emotion and thinking. In this sense, it is the same in every culture.
What is Zen Buddhism?
Along with three things I do as a singer, director and actor, I am also a teacher for Zen Buddhism, which is the philosophy of Buddhist religion.
How do you like Nepal in your second visit?
It is really an interesting country. Buddha was born in Nepal but most of Nepalese people like Hindus. It is like Jesus was born in Israel but most of the people are not Christian but Jews. It is very interesting to see the incidents and process of what is happening in the history.
Is your program part of Israel government?
Embassy of Israel and Foreign Ministry of Israel are involved in this program.
Is your program to improve the performance?
My thinking is that completion kills creativity and judgment and criticism kill creativity as creativity flourishes only in safe environment and in the environment you are never criticized. This is why I have never exercised good or bad in our workshop. What I want to see is the creativity of individual actor.
What do you suggest for actors?
Don’t try to be number one, just try to be yourself. Only in this kind of environment, creativity can flourish. Therefore, it is not a question of improving but it is a question for discovering. My experience of working in Nepal is overwhelming. I just travelled Kathmandu. I just like to know that these are the actors who go to very remote parts of Nepal to entertain people. They create the theater where it is very risky to go. I saw the videos of what the roads look like. They will go there, create the theater for the villagers. What I heard is that there are one thousand theater groups, which is unbelievable. I find enormous creativity among Nepali artists. I find a lot of audiences in all kinds of theaters even if it is related to experimental theater.