Aloha Friends of TAG. It is that time again where we present interviews with those cast members who would like to share a bit about themselves with us. Today, I am proud to introduce Amrita Mallik, who will be playing Yazmin Ortiz in Water by the Spoonful.
I have always been a performer and began training as an actor when I was 8. I performed regularly throughout college at Brown University and then took a slight detour to go to law school and become a civil rights litigator. About three years ago, I realized how much I missed performing, so I came back with a vengeance and cannot imagine a life without acting in the future.
I’m classically trained, so I tend to gravitate to the oldies-but-goodies, hence my love of Shakespeare! But this script really struck me with its complexity, nuance and absolutely beautiful use of contemporary dialect. This is a wonderfully ambitious show, and perfect for TAG. I am so honored to be a part of this exploration of the importance of family and human connection.
With this show especially, it really is all about listening. I try to be as present in the scene as I can, completely absorbed in what the other characters are saying and doing so my response can come from an authentic place. This is the privilege of performing live theater, having the opportunity to explore those relationships, the calls and responses, every single night to find new spaces for beauty and connection.
Last year, I was convinced play the role of Puck in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but rewritten in a nonsense language. As performers, we were challenged with telling the story and having it make sense without being able to fall back on the language that the audience already knows and loves. It was extremely challenging but so rewarding to push myself to go beyond the spoken language and use all my other actor tools to tell the story. Plus, I got to wear a neon green jumpsuit and a light-up mohawk, which was hilarious! If child-Amrita knew that adult-Amrita would still be able to play dress up like that, she would be rightly thrilled.
Be audacious and put yourself out there! We need such a diversity of talents to tell these wonderful, weird, unique stories. Don’t take yourself out of the game just because you are not sure how you fit; instead, keep moving towards the roles that call to you and beg you to grow.
Just like Yaz, I am an over-educated woman of color who occupies multiple roles at any given time. Trying to fashion a cohesive identity out of all the things the world expects, and needs, you to be is a constant challenge of both Yaz’s and my own daily existence. I profoundly feel for Yaz: for her confusion about who she is, for the anger that stems from never fitting in neatly anywhere, for always having to struggle to figure out what she is supposed to be and why she is here. I am fascinated by the journey she takes from teaching at an elite college to focusing on helping her people in the barrio, and the way she has to code-switch with her use of language in different situations. Connecting everything is her big heart and her profound love for her family. It is a challenge and a joy to inhabit her world, and to get to grow with her every night.
When I was about twelve, I read the Wrinkle in Time Quartet by Madeline L’Engel and those books blew my mind right open. It cultivated a love of science and a firm belief in magic that I still hold today. My niece recently turned 12, so I bought her a set of the same books, and she has devoured them. I love that I could share this with her, and I can’t wait to discuss them next time I visit.
Get your tickets now!
Come see the Hawaii Premiere of ‘Water by the Spoonful’ by Quiara Alegría Hudes at The Actors Group (TAG), directed by Peggy Anne Siegmund. ‘Water by the Spoonful’ is running June 30 – July 23, 2017. Get your tickets online at http://www.taghawaii.net/ or call for reservations at 808-722-6941.
TAG, you’re it!
The world needs theatre and TAG needs you!
TAG-The Actors’ Group
The Brad Powell Theatre
The Shops at Dole Cannery
650 Iwilei Road, Suite 101
Honolulu, HI 96817
Order tickets online: http://www.taghawaii.net
Validated parking in Regal Theater parking structure.
Bring your ticket!
TAG is honored to be a member of Hawaii State Theatre Council. The mission of HSTC is to promote live theatre in Hawaii and encourage excellence in its management, performance, and production.