KS: I graduated from Magnet Theatre in 2015 […] How has Magnet helped me? Magnet is amazing. It has challenges […] especially for young people coming from disadvantaged and impoverished communities. It has its challenges in terms of discipline, structure and understanding a different method but also it is very fruitful. I [now] think about personal experiences more than what I think about ‘work’ and that is Magnet’s biggest contribution in my life. It has given me tools, […] physically on the floor, but it has [also] helped me unpack so many things in my life and the world around me. And that is something that is priceless […] this is the one thing that I hold them very highly for in esteem, and [it’s] also very dear to my heart: the fact that it’s more than just an arts training programme. That it is really something that works with the root and the development of people […] So, yes, that is Magnet for me in a nutshell I think.
“And that is something that is priceless […] the fact that it’s more than just an arts training programme. That it is really something that works with the root and the development of people”
Currently, I am a freelance actress, both in theatre and on TV, and also looking at doing more socially orientated work […] looking at community and the macro of my community
Myrto Papoulia (MP) [Dialogue]: WHAT ARE YOUR INSPIRATIONS FROM MAGNET?
KS: Reflecting honestly and being honest – not only in performance but also with yourself and the world around you because something that we find, whether it’s a small gated community or your big bougie urban areas, is that people live in cocoons. They live isolated from the world and the realities around them. And Magnet kind of pushes you […] with their methods and as well as the different tools they give you […] We are so caught up in the chaos and the noise and so confined to just fighting for ourselves that we don’t see the bigger picture of what’s going on around us. So that is what Magnet has taught me – to jump in to say yes to challenges. I was usually somebody that first wants to feel the water and then I’ll decide, but it’s just that thing of taking off your clothes, jumping in and making do with what there is as well as using the tools to become more observant and silent and understanding […] when you come to the company […] you have to work closely with people from different communities, different backgrounds. Some of them will know each other, others won’t. So, it’s learning to understand to make two years together work – because we work with the good, the bad, the ugly, the pretty, the beautiful, […] once you walk here, you are usually told to leave everything outside at the door. But those things come with you, it impacts your performance and I think that is something that our country lacks – understanding one another […] working intimately, closely with people – they don’t have to walk out the door and be your friend after two years but just the effort of understanding [is important] – whether it is their talent, their culture, their ways of doing, their ways of being
“I was usually somebody that first wants to feel the water and then I’ll decide, but it’s just that thing of taking off your clothes, jumping in and making do with what there is”
There were many happy moments actually, many crazy moments … I think one of the most beautiful moments for me was right in the beginning of our training, in 2014, and the first Friday of our training we were going to go watch a show. One of the guys who was part of our training programme had a transport organisation, transport business. So, he brought one of their vehicles and he loaded all of us into the van and we went to the beach and that is something that all of us will forever take with us – because that was our first moment of connection. And even when things got tough in the class, people going through different things […] we could all still go back to that moment […] we just connected and we saw different people for who they were […] you could see them in their fullness that day on the beach.
MP: IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?
KS: No. I just want to thank the organisation for all that they’ve done, all that they’re doing. They are still growing and it’s difficult to keep up with the times […] So, they must just keep on doing what they are doing and, as they’ve taught us, to just keep on listening to their truth. They should always just remind themselves as a company also why they are doing this, and who they are doing this for, and I think that will keep them on the right path. Do for others what they’ve done for me and those that have come before me. Thank you.
“I just want to thank the organisation for all that they’ve done, all that they’re doing”
Please click here to access Dialogue’s other posts in this series of interviews with alumni and staff of Magnet Theatre.
The Full-Time Training and Job Creation Programme receives support from TK Foundation, Rand Merchant Bank, Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, Hosken Consolidated Investments Ltd Foundation, Rolf-Stefan Nussbaum Foundation, Ampersand Foundation, Potjie Foundation, Business Arts South Africa, Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports Expanded Public Works Programme, Joan St Leger Lindbergh Charitable Trust, and Distell.
Transcribed by Norah Ringma
© Dialogue Community Performance / Magnet Theatre