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On the Funny Side

J P Pereira

Dorothy Camara can make the audience of the Konkani stage, laugh out loud. Hailing from Borda, in Margao, she has been acting for some years now. And while her father Constancio and an uncle, Alfred, acted in local shows and carnival ‘khell’, Dorothy got the push to step into acting from her husband Lelwin Borges. Known on the stage as Melwin, a singer and actor, he used to compose lyrics and sang for various shows. Dorothy would accompany the husband, sometimes render a duet with him, and finally got the break she deserved.

Her first role was a negative role, when she substituted for a tiatr by the late William de Curtorim. Mini Mario then cast her in his Carnival shows and that is where her talent for comedy was tapped.

“I love to do serious roles, especially tragic ones,” says Dorothy, “But I suppose, I was cut out to be a comedienne as I have the ability to make people laugh.”

Dorothy then went on to do the tiatr ‘Dog Bailo Kopelakodde’ by William de Curtorim and toured Mumbai for the first time. Her husband was a part of this troupe and the two also acted in William’s ‘Panch Bailancho Ghorkar…..’

The offers kept pouring in after this. There was ‘Friendship Day’, and ‘Mother’s Day’ by Milagres de Chandor where again she acted with her husband, ‘Zo Assa To Hanv’ by Joe D’Costa, and ‘Blackmail’ and ‘Joker’ by Mini Mario. She also acted for other directors like Santana Borges and Cajetan de Curtorim. At present, she is with the Roseferns Dramatic Troupe which she joined during the director’s 82nd production, ‘Mog Assumdi’. She has since acted in ‘All The Best’, ‘Tuzoi Dis Ietolo’, Undir Mogan Poddla’, the recent ‘Ghorantti’, and will also be seen in the forthcoming ‘Eke Avoicho Anvddo’, to be released for Easter.

‘Ghorantti’ in fact was especially memorable owing to a hilarious incident that happened during a performance. In one scene she had to remove her shoe and hit it on another comedian with her. And each time, the heel of the shoe would fall off. “I would wear the shoe and walk on the stage. But the heel fell off, only when I picked it,” she says with a grin. “Fortunately, the audience felt it was part of the act as we added our own dialogues and covered the minor error.”

Dorothy has also acted for Lenten plays ‘Xink Aikpak, Aik Xinkpak’ and ‘Mhonisponn Vo Devosponn’ by Cruz Pinto. In fact, this Lent, she was seen in ‘Plan’ by Calado de Verna. While acting in comedian Marcus’ folk plays she has done both serious as well as comic roles. “There are three short plays in the Carnival khell. So I requested the director, to alternate the type of roles and I enjoyed doing them,” she says.

Dorothy also performed for ‘Life Time Award’ by Joslyn, when the show was staged in Dubai and Kuwait and was also felicitated there. She was also adjudged ‘best female in a comedy role’ for a Lenten tiatr. But the biggest achievement was, when she was selected for the Goa State Art and Culture Award 2018 for Tiatr, by the Government of Goa.

“I feel more young girls should join the stage, to do comedy. I am glad that the audience has accepted me. I have to endeavour to do even better and I wish to perform as long as it is possible for me. This is a good profession and I have enjoyed whatever I have done so far. I thank God, for these gifts,” she says.

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