Category Archives: Curiosities

5 Tips to Enjoy Opera for Noobs!

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What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear of Operas? Do you picture overweight women singing in a foreign language with a shrill voice? Do you think of saxophones? And is that all you can conjure up in your mind when someone talks to you about Opera? Well, in that case you have a lot to learn about operas. Firstly, they are plays where the dialogues are all carried out in the form of songs. Secondly, no, they are not all about fat shrill-voiced ladies! There is a story which might be comic, tragic or romantic, or a combination of either of these.

Now, if you are planning to visit an Opera for the first time, or have already visited one and didn’t quite “enjoy” the experience, here is a few tips that might help you the next time:

Know about the Opera

Do a little research about the Opera before attending. It shouldn’t be very hard to find information on the internet. Learn about its genre, the plot, its setting in advance. Or better yet, rent a DVD and watch the opera before actually going to Watch it live, you can watch them online too. Once you are aware what exactly you will be going in for, you’ll be able to shape your expectations accordingly and actually enjoy the performance a lot more.

Who should you bring along

Bring anyone you wish, no one is so much as going to blink an eye as long as you are properly dressed (yes, dress code is kind of important, opera is by large a place for the snobs, so if you are not one just act like one unless you want to invite innumerous slighting glances). As for the person you drag along, make sure she/he can survive without using the cell-phone every 15minutes for at least 3 hours (it can drag longer, of course) or doesn’t need to use the restroom very often. Try not to bring small children along. The screaming and nagging doesn’t go with the opera environment.

The basic etiquettes

Once the light goes dim, it’s show-time! The show often begins before the curtain is even raised! Yes! You hear people applauding? This means the show has begun and you need to focus. If the opera turns out to be too long or incomprehensible for you, you can try amusing yourself by glaring at others! But hush, don’t you yourself make a noise!

Things to carry

You are not a noob! Or at least you don’t want to seem like one! Carry an Opera glass or a binocular! They are essentials and they’ll help you to observe the ongoing action more clearly.

Enjoy Yourself

Since you will be paying quite an amount for the tickets, at least enjoy the ambiance which truly is great with all the music and lights. And once you start following the story, you will understand what the entire craze is about. If you still find it hard to sit through the show, leave quietly during the intermission.

Top 10 common superstitions of actors

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Actor folk are no doubt a superstitious lot, and given the contribution of luck in their success, it is not surprising that actors have maintained certain superstitions on stage. Some of these superstitions are irrational and have no concurrent evidences to support their theory, while others are based on proven claims. This article attempts to unravel some of the most common superstitions that prevail among actors, and will also try to explain the corresponding theories behind their existence.

Here we go:

Wearing blue on stage

blue_stage

Actors since times unknown have avoided wearing the colour blue on stage, unless the blue attire was countered with some silver tones. This superstition dates back to early times when blue colour dyes were difficult to make and actors would adorn them to fool their audience and give them the impression of false success and a star status. Wearing of silver along with blue signified an authentic wealthy background of the actor.

The Unlucky Three

candles

Actors have always avoided having three candles alight on stage, during rehearsals or actual execution of plays. They believe it brings bad luck as apparently the person standing closest to the candles will get married early and will also die early. This superstition originates from the early times when electricity was not yet introduced to theatre and it was lit using candles. The latter only increased the risk of fire and might have brought about burn accidents in actors of the past.

No Peacock feathers onstage

peacock-feathers

Peacock feathers are believed by actors to be malevolent and a curse to the sets. This superstition is based on a Greek myth which states that peacock feathers have a monster eyes that can only bring bad luck and chaos. Indeed, whenever peacock feathers have been used as costume elements, or props, sets have collapsed, curtains have caught alight or other disastrous events have ensued.

Gift of Graveyard Flowers

flowers

It is considered a good omen to gift fellow actors, graveyard flowers at the closing ceremony, or after the play or film releases. Graveyard flowers like lilies and pansies are given at the end of the performance and not before, to symbolize complete detachment from the show and moving on with life.

The Mirror curse

The mirror superstition is probably the most universal of all myths and it is staunchly believed by actors that breaking of mirrors bring about seven years of bad luck. This belief is based on the logic that the mirror forms a reflection of the actor and breaking it breaks the reflection too. This weakens the essence of the soul and creates misfortune.

Ghost lights

lights

Empty theatres and film sets are always kept alight in order to ward off malefic spirits and invite positive souls. Although this is a superstition, it has a lot of practical use in that, well-lit stages are lesser prone to accidents and injuries to actors.

Wishing good luck

Actors are always careful about wishing bad luck to each other before the camera starts rolling or the curtains draw up. The believe that wishing someone ‘best of luck’ before the show is a sign of an impending flop show. In many theatre groups, the phrase ‘break a leg’ substitutes for ‘good luck’!

 

The actual list of actor superstitions is quite exhaustive and may differ among actors of varying cultural backgrounds and mentality. Some superstitions have gained worldwide acceptance and actors swear by them, while others are simply good for some light-hearted humor. Whatever it is, actors do every bit to take precautions, believe in these superstitions and never push their luck too far!