Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Tete-a-Tete with superstar Sylvester Vaz

A Tete-a-Tete with superstar Sylvester Vaz

By Gasper Crasto, Team Mangalorean Kuwait

Kuwait Aug 6, 2008:

Tall and dignified, Sylvester Vaz, the 'Hitman of Konkani Stage' as he is popularly known among Konkani Tiatr lovers, is a simple and compassionate friend to all. He has directed many plays and musical shows and organized many Konkani and English programs in the State of Goa. He is a celebrated compere at many gala shows and plays host for weddings, parties, dances, etc.

At first year L.L.B, Sylvester was awarded a special prize for cultural
performances at the Goa University. For over 13 years, Sylvester has worked as
a professional Konkani stage artiste and is much sought after actor to execute
leading roles. He has acted and performed with the cream of Goa and Mumbai
artistes – acted in short plays and Telefilms of Goa and Mumbai TV-Doordashan
and sung many times. Gifted with an incredible tone, Sylvester has rendered his
voice in many audio and CD albums in Goa/Mumbai and Mangalore. The last audio
with lyrics penned by him was 'Tujem Upkari Hanv' together with Goa's
nightingale Lorna.

Besides acting in Goa, Mumbai, Mangalore, Bangalore, Ratnagiri, Malwan,
Udupi, Karwar, Ahmedabad, Delhi, etc, he has an international exposure which
goes to prove his star status. He has traveled to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat,
Qatar, Bahrain and now ofcourse based in Kuwait.

The multitalented star has a distinct record of singing the opening chorus in
almost every drama he features while winning awards has become a habit with
him. He has bagged 5 times Best Actor and 6 times Best Singer Award at the
Tiatr competitions organized by Kala Academy, Goa.

Son of Mestre Camilo Vaz and Catarina Vaz, Sylvester comes from Maddel
Grande, Margao, Goa. He is happily married to well-known stage artiste Irene
Cardozo and has a 10 year old son named Jeremiah.

The dashing personality landed in Kuwait in 2002 to perform in a drama and
fortunately to his good luck was invited to stay back for a job. Since then he
has performed in almost every Konkani show organized by the Goan community in

Deeply spiritual and having a strong religious grounding, Sylvester also uses
his voice to spread the message of God. He is actively involved in the
Charismatic Renewal Movement and is a prominent member of the Holy Family Choir
for the 8.00 am mass every Friday.

The star is set to sweep the audience off their feet with his screen presence
at the premier of entitled 'BLACK Nhesop Atanchem Fashion' - the first Konkani
E-Cinema scheduled for release on Aug 10, 2007 at Masrah, Hawalli Auditorium.
What makes this flamboyant actor-singer click? Talent of course, which he has
in abundance with hard work to match! Let's find out more in this one-to-one
with Gasper Crasto.

Q. How did Sylvester Vaz come to be an actor?
Sylvester: Initially, I used to organize stage plays and other variety
programs at the Holy Spirit Church, Margao where I was involved in many
activities specially in leading the church choir. My knowledge in playing the
guitar and keyboards was a plus point. During one such program I was approached
by Alex Rangel to act in his tiatr 'Koslo Kaido' for which I also composed
songs and reworked the whole script. I was spotted in this particular show by
Mr. Micheal Gracias - a regular participant with his troupe Kala Niketan,
Utorda, at Kala Academy Tiatr Competition, Panjim. He invited me to join Kala
Niketan and later gave me an opportunity to sing and act in the competition.
The biggest encouragement came when I won a merit certificate for just a one
minute role. After that I was a regular for the competition shows for 9
consecutive years. I won many first places for acting and singing during this
time featuring in prize winning plays like 'Valltti', 'Vadoll', 'Xhanti
Melltoli', 'Onupkarponachem Vojem', 'Bodmas Zalem' and 'Moronn' under the Kala
Niketan banner; and Michael Gracias' famed plays such as 'Moronn", 'Mukti',
'Zodd', 'Moipass', etc. Famous drama director Mario de Vasco who acted in one
of our shows was so impressed with my singing prowess that he cast me in his
first maiden show called 'Dhump', my first professional show.

Q. Who are the prominent directors that you worked under?
Sylvester: Under the banner Vell'lekar Nirmiti (Velim Productions) and
direction of Fr. Nevel Gracias I acted in 'Amche Ghorabhe Kosbeleat?', Nach Gho
Sundorea!', 'Amcho Bharat Mahaan!', Mhaka Tan Laglea', Tuji Xokti Dhi', 'Dev
Kallzant Asa', 'Mhojea Mogant Ravat', 'Khursachem Zoit', etc. For Fr. Planton
Faria, I acted in 'Goycho Saib', Kantteamcho Mukhutt,' etc. Other dramas I
acted are late Rosario Rodrigues' 'Hanv Kallokhant Sandllim', 'Soglech Kantte
Nhuim,' etc. Comedian Domnic's 'Tum Pasun', Comedian Agostine's 'Suseg', 'Sorg'
as a joint director, Ali's 'Mog Korat', Jose Rod's 'Tujem Nanv Vhodd Zaum',
M.Boyer's 'Kelear Chuk Kabar Sukh', Tony Dias' 'Thi Mhoji Maim (Part I) and Thi
Mhoji Maim (Part II), Jr. Nelson's tiatr 'Ghorkar', etc. Last show I acted in
Goa was 'Argam Tuka Dhonia' by Tony Dias in 2005.
I sang at the Konkani film festival in 2000 and also acted in a professional
English musical entitled 'Annie' directed by Fr.Valmiki Dias which was staged
all over Goa and Bombay. It was a dream come true to act alongside legendary
Konkani stage stalwarts like M.Boyer, Ophelia, Robin Vaz, Rita Rose, Rosario
Rodrigues, etc.

Q. What about your 'record' in Kuwait?
Sylvester: My first show in Kuwait was for Simon Gonsalves in 'Tujea Kallzak
Vinchar' in 2002. I also acted for Simon's 'Tuzo Gaum, Mhojem Naum'. Other
dramas I acted are Laurente Pereira's 'Lokachim Thonddam Bond' and 'Hea
Gharachim Daram Bond'; 'Bhurgim Maim Paichem Sukh' and 'Ghor Bandlem-Ghorabho
Moddlo' by Rosary Ferns; 'Almanachea Disa' by Marcus Vaz; Micheal D'Silva's
'Noora'; Salu Faleiro's 'Arxeant Hanslo, Arxeant Roddlo', Rafael de Majorda's
drama, Rosario Rodrigues Production 'Aum Kallokhant Sandllim'; Patrick
Dourado's 'Tujem Rogot'; Comedian Philip's 'Tum Voir Hanv Sokol', Kuwait-Goa
Tiatristanchi Sonstha's (KGTS) Mega Musical Show, 'Tiatr ani Tiatrist',
'Konknni Machiek Noman', and various other musical shows and programs organized
by Goan and Mangalore-ian communities.

Q. You are known as the 'Hitman of Konkani stage'? How did you get this 'apt'
Sylvester: In 2001, I had an offer from Tony Dias, producer of the superhit
drama 'Thi Mhoji Maim (Part I)' for a gulf tour
(Kuwait/Bahrain/Dubai/Qatar/Muscat). In Kuwait, the show was hosted by Navelim
Youth Centre at the Indian Arts Circle hall. This club made the propaganda of
my name giving me the title as 'Hitman of Konkani Stage'. It has to do with the
percentage number of 'hit roles' I have enacted. The sobriquet still stands
although I am a little title shy.

Q. What kind of roles usually appeal to you?
Sylvester: I prefer any kind of roles but most of all I like to play
character roles. I craze for roles where I can exhibit great style and wear
fancy clothes. I myself possess a passion to dress tidy and chic on stage. That
helps me to expose my talents with freedom and fervor - be it singing, acting
or dancing.

Q. Which role did you like playing to your hearts content so far?
Sylvester: The role of Doctor Romeo in late Shri Rosario Rod's non-stop drama
'Aum Kallokhant Sandllim'. This particular role specially written by Rosario
Rod brought me into the limelight on the professional stage. So also, I enjoyed
playing a classic negative role in Comedian Agostine's 'Suseg' for which I
gained a number of die-hard fans. Also, at the staging of 'Goencho Saib' people
used to come and kiss my hand and fall down at my feet…it was touching...

Q: Tell us something about your role in BLACK
Sylvester: I' am playing a character of a son working in a high status
environment in Kuwait. First and foremost the script is interesting and
moreover T-Bush, being such an intelligent craftsman, has spun around a tale
that will keep everyone at the edge of their seats even as they laugh along.
You know, it is such a lethal combination.

Q. Which actor or actress has impressed you in your career and in BLACK? Why?
Sylvester: I met late Bab Peter just once in Jose Rod's drama 'Tujem nanv
vhodd zaum' in Goa and I truly enjoyed working with this legend. He has a down
to earth personality. Among the females, Irene Cardozo e Vaz is my all time
favorites as an actress, and after my marriage to her she is my heroine of all
times. In Black, I enjoyed working with all my co-artistes. We had lots of fun
on the sets especially Comedian Philip's presence would add sparkle to the sets
– he is so lively.

Q: Did you get to see any footage of your role in BLACK?
Sylvester: (smiling) Till date – No! Hopefully before the release…..?

Q. What is your favorite scene from BLACK that you think people will want to
watch over and over?
Sylvester: Hmmm……all scenes are lively and well balanced. Though I don't have
a principal role to play, according to T-Bush, a lot of profundity of the film
is based on my character. Just wait and watch…..

Q. How did you prepare for your role in BLACK?
Sylvester: There was no special preparation. It's a 'standard' role and
frankly speaking T-Bush had faith in me that I would do it naturally. He kept
telling me this all the time. I feel proud that a 'director of international
fame' had so much confidence in me.

Q. What was it like working under the supervision of T-Bush?
Sylvester: T-Bush is a simple person, but full of zeal for innovative ideas.
Best thing is that he is not biased, treats everyone with respect. I really
appreciate his temperament and strategy to handle things in a suave manner
during the sets. He gave us all the liberty to feel at ease. I thank him for
giving me the opportunity to exhibit my talent and for adjusting the 'shoot'
dates according to my schedule. Not forgetting to wish God's blessing upon
BLACK and success in his future endeavors, I would love to work with T-Bush in
all his future projects.

Q. What do you expect for yourself as an actor out of acting in BLACK?
Sylvester: I have acted in many regional language telefilms such as
'Kranti', 'Somaz zago asa', 'Mhaka zaag zai' of Eagle Productions which were
dubbed in Konkani and Marathi and telecast on Goa and Bombay television. I have
done a few home videos as well but this particular E-Cinema is gonna be
something totally different. Iam looking forward to the premier of the movie on
Aug 10, 2007 and see myself there on the giant screen.

Q. What are your expectations of BLACK for the movie fans?
Sylvester: My expectations are very high. I've seen lot many things done with
great fortitude and perfection contrary to things that I have seen in my career
on stage. To undertake a mega project like this film (BLACK) that too in a
foreign country requires great nerve and determination. T-Bush seems to have
achieved it. I'am pretty thrilled to be acting in the film. Trust me, anyone
who misses this film will miss the opportunity of life because I understand
this film will not be available as a home video. I am sure the film is not just
for an Indian audience but an entire International audience. The subject is a
light hearted entertainer; it would surely meet with universal acceptance.

Q. What are you most often afraid of in life?
Sylvester: Jealousy, back-stabbing and hypocrisy.

Q. What have you learnt as an actor in Kuwait?
Sylvester: I have learnt a lot! They say experience makes a man wiser….sure
as the saying goes I have learnt to adjust with different 'creatures' who move
around with 'kam zalem voiz melo' type of attitude. I have survived from the
clutches of jealousy and back stabbing solely on my talents, and I still exist
to serve the Konkani Stage in Kuwait by the grace of god and strong support of
my family. To mention, the 'organizers' of shows in Kuwait should avoid
creating fissure among co-artistes and work towards the unity of all
'tiatrists' for a constructive future.

Q. What do you most frequently dream about?
Sylvester: Having my own villa on an island.

Q. You are one of the best singers in Kuwait, yet you have not come up with
your own album. Comments?
Sylvester: Yes, many fans and friends question me on this, the only answer I
can give them is, 'wait, wait, my time is not yet come.'

Q. What projects are currently in your agenda?
Sylvester: My own drama and my own home video album and possibly a mega
Konkani film. I have offers to perform in London, Canada, Germany, etc. Looking
ahead to keep myself busy!

Q. Is your family into tiatr?
Sylvester: Yes, my wife Irene is a professional stage artiste for decades and
my son Jeremiah also acted with us in 2 shows in Kuwait. He can play drums and
keyboards and is grooming to be a musician. My father is a musician and teaches

Q. Is there anything you would die for?
Sylvester: Nothing, but I have a great dream to act with Amitabh Bachchan.
One of my favorite actors since my childhood, I am always fascinated by his
high quality of acting and caliber. I remember once when I was preparing for my
Xth standard board exams, although I had an exam next day, I left my studies
and ran to see Amitabh's shooting of 'Mein Azad Hoon' in Margao.

More on BLACK:
Stage great Mario de Majorda in a new avatar
Black star Comedian Philip spills the beans
Black: Helen Pinto in a friendly appearance
A Tete-a-Tete with Cajetan Pereira
What makes 'Black' an E-Cinema?
Rowla Lewis: Amazing 'discovery' of BLACK
Crowning of 'Comedy Queen Querobina'
Black: Braz de Parra composes songs with danceable beat riffs
Lead actress of Black - Gracy Morais Speaks
'Black' film shot in Kuwait set for release

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