Nuances in communication

by Vimala Ramu
(Bangalore, Karnataka, India)

Having had a small opportunity of hobnobbing with different media-visual, audio and audio-visual on stage, radio and TV, my mind pondered over the slight differences in the types of communication on these three media.


A stage play of course is the multi-sensory communication with the audience. Before the advent of microphones one had to shout and enunciate clearly enough to project one’s voice ‘to reach even the last bench.’ In fact, in the regular auditorium, the architecture itself would be designed in such a way that the best of acoustics would be produced. This was evident even in the days of Roman amphitheatres.

When the pedestal ‘mikes’ were invented, the actors had to position themselves in front of the mike whenever their turn came to talk so as to be heard well. This used to give rise to lot of artificiality unless the movements were well rehearsed to make them look natural.

When the hanging mikes came, the actors had more freedom to speak from different positions on the stage and still be heard. But now with the clip-on mikes one can be as natural as one wants as they have the facility of voice modulation. One can whisper and still be heard. They have the added innovative facility of the artists speaking from among the audience.

During the radio plays, the broadcasting being single sensory, stricter rules was followed. Having chosen a set of artists with a variety of voices to suit the characters, each one would be asked to speak in their own pitch and volume and not to be carried away by the last speaker’s voice (How I wish this could be followed in real life too!). The artists were asked never to cut through each other’s dialogue unless required by the script as the listener would not be able to distinguish any word from the auditory mess served ( I remember late Vasanth Kavali reprimanding, ‘Gojju maad baydi’- (don’t make a sauce of the dialogues).

During the rehearsals and recordings the loose script sheets had to be dropped on the carpeted floor very…very…softly so that the highly sensitive microphones did not pick up the rusting of the sheets and amplify it. All this had to be done without a break in the delivery of dialogue.

The peculiarity of the TV plays with single video camera as had been the case those days was, the cameraman would ask the actors to mention a dummy word or do a dummy body action (which would be edited later) before starting the actual dialogue so that he could follow the cue and had time to turn the camera towards the speaker and catch the whole dialogue. Can this be used in real life also? Every time I start a dialogue with ‘No’ (ille/ unn in Tamil) my husband thinks I am contradicting him. My ‘no’ does not carry any negative connotation. It is just a dummy dialogue starter like some people use ‘you know’ as a starter/filler (mostly seen in novice cricketers when they are interviewed).

Such subtle nuances if followed in daily life too will avoid interruptions, clashes and shouting and make the world a more peaceful place peopled with good listeners.
******

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Jun 03, 2014
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nostalgia
by: vimala

Dear Nameless(Pankaja?), Your last few lines are so true. Nothing gives so much satisfaction as living out your dream. To aspire for greater things is good, but to be content what you have achieved gives immense joy.

Jun 03, 2014
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Vimala, I have not been exposed to all areas of communication except for taking up or being given
parts in radio-plays. It was fun, the rehearsals,
meeting so many people,( like the late melodious singer Kalinga Rao, Parvatavani, Yamuna Murthy,etc etc! The atmosphere was congenial to our temperament. I miss it. Your article giving a detailed view, brought back memories,transporting me for a while.Can i end this with what I said in an interview?
'For sometime at least I have led the life I always
dreamed about, met the sort of people i always wanted to know , done a little of what I always wanted to do, and now I am ready to depart.

Jun 01, 2014
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media
by: vimala

Dear Komal,
Each medium has its own plusses and minuses. But it is the stage that gives the maximum live audience contact and hence lot of satisfaction.
The comments page tried to suggest your name again as 'Komalaame' but I persisted. Let's see what you are this time :)

Jun 01, 2014
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article
by: vimala

Dear Seetaram, You are free to interpret the article in any way you like. I am very eager to know about your opinion about 'my shockingly frank book'

Jun 01, 2014
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nostalgia
by: Name

Dear Pankaja, when I dash off my articles, I forget that I have a friend who is not only senior to me in age but also in experiences. I feel so humbled. Thank you for the- prompt- as- usual comment.

Jun 01, 2014
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media
by: Komala

I liked ur topic,a unique one as usual.Of all the media, Don' t u think radio acting was the most difficult one ,with no audience and bringing out ur emotions only in ur voice?

Jun 01, 2014
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Good
by: Nuggehalli Pankaja

Your article is well written taking me back to those good old days. Yes, Late Vasanta Kavali was
very strict and curt in his comments but very encouraging when he could discern latent talent.
Thanks to his encouragement I had translated many English plays like 'Salome,Lady Winderemere's fan ' etc into radio plays and he had dubbed me as an English writer writing in Kannada!
Oh for the good old days! Your article stirs up
nostalgia !

Jun 01, 2014
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suspicion
by: H.R.Seetharam

I have a sneaking suspicion the article is meant for Ramu !! Or people like me !
Seetharam

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