We are a Lazy bunch of people in our team. So the leads literally had to pull us into the practice rooms. But little did we know that this would turn out to be a fun ride, with surprises..
What’s the story of the skit?
Our company follows a performance appraisal rating system where people are rated as one of these: X, E+, E and E-. X being the topmost and E- being the bottommost.
A fresher 'kid ' in the company aspires to get the topmost grade “X” during performance appraisal. During the first year, the kid works diligently but his arrogant manager gives him an E, but promises a better grade the following year. The following year, kid works harder, but the manager is replaced and he ends up with an E again! The kid is frustrated.
In the third year, the kid is no longer a kid. He's grown into this macho, scary man wielding cycle chains, knives and the like. (We actually replaced the thin timid looking actor with a huge, muscular one to make the transformation obvious!) . And this time, the manager is a timid, diffident chap. Our guy threatens the manager with a knife and a gun and cruises his way to an X. Hence the title “X – factor”.
We also had some interesting characters in the skit: like the cool dude who always gets an X, the filing assistant (not the administrative filing, but filing the nails of the 2nd manager), etc. Another thing about this skit - it was a silent skit, no dialogues! We selected songs from Bollywood to match each character and situation.
The Fun Part
You see, we are software engineers and we are used to changing roles and responsibilities everyday. So we felt free to would swap our roles during the days of practice. The director clueless of the swapping would pull his hair, and re-align the characters. Ooops! I forgot to mention, we had a director for the play, whom we drove so mad that he lost quite a bit of his hair during practice session.
The characters kept coming up with weird ideas to implement in the play, and added to the confusion. One of the leads felt there was enough confusion and decided to take matters in his hands. Moment anyone would come up with a weird idea, we had him running after them, shooting at them with the toy gun and bullet. Two days before the event, couple of the main character threw in the towel and withdrew from the event (project pressures!) We had an hour long serious talk to decide a “GO” or “NO-GO”. Finally it was not-so-unanimous “GO”.
Well, the most important part of the skit, Me!!I play the role of the second manager. My entry would be accompanied by the jingle from the movie Kuch Kuch hotta hai “Ms.Breganza...aaahaa”. , followed by “Haaila!! New Manager!!”. To record “Haaila!! New Manager!!” we did many takes and retakes, tested everybody’s voice. Phew!! Finally!! Got it recorded. And yes forgot to mention this. When I am on stage I will have an assistant filing my nails.
A couple of practice sessions and individual acting tuning, the skit shaped up well. We were all excited about the real show.
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