Creating pictures – a show and tell showcase with Nkosinathi Gaar

Director, actor and poet, Nkosinathi Gaar is well known for his moving performances. We last saw Nkosinathi on the Word N Sound stage as one of our finalists at the Word N Sound Festival. We caught up with him ahead of his showcase tomorrow to find out just what he has been up to.

nkosinathi 2

We last saw you last year as the finale. What have you been up to since?
I have been touring a staging of Macbeth and continuing to manage and improve The Endjin Room an arts development space I have been part of setting up in Pretoria. Aside from that I’ve set-up a band called Honey Sugar Baby.

What exactly do you do?
I work as an independent director and actor. I am also actively involved in ASSITEJ South Africa which is an organisation focused on developing high quality theatre for younger audiences.

As an actor (I believe) a lot of what you do is shown/displayed. What, from the perspective of someone who shows and tells (as an actor and a poet), is the true power of words?
I think the power of words is that the pictures they create only exist in people’s minds. The audience doesn’t just sit back and wait for things to be brought to them -they actively create it.

Why theatre? Would/have you been on the small screen and why? Where do you want to see your career take you?
I love live performance so currently film and television are things I have no involvement in but at some stage in my career I would like to take on film making.

In an ideal world, what would the industry be like?
In an ideal world the industry would have a lot of space for developing independent work and original artists. There would be a lot of touring happening locally, across Africa and the rest of the world. Artists would have more support that allows them to focus on their art.

What kind of plays do you enjoy?
I enjoy heightened theatre – all the things you can’t do on film or on TV.

Who are your local icons?
I admire Yvette Hardie of ASSITEJ, Lara Foot Newton, Andrew Buckland, the late Busi Mhlongo, Tumi Molekane, Karen Zoid, and all the artists behind the band Lark. There are many more I can’t think of right now.

Had you not been doing what you are, what career do you think you would have wound up in?
I think I would be an engineer of some kind or be involved in advertising.

Why poetry?
Poetry can make connections in your mind that other forms can’t really. Sometimes when a piece is spoken you feel like you’re getting new knowledge without even necessarily understanding what that knowledge is. It makes it feel like a hole has been pierced in the universe

What can we expect from you this weekend? Any hints or clues you can drop?
I will do a poem which I haven’t done at word and sound before but I will also feature a lot of original music in my set.

As part of last year’s top 6, what tips can you give to those who step onto the WNS stage
I think what really worked for me was coming consistently. If you’re wanting to do well you shouldn’t miss a single session unless you absolutely have to.

What is one little known fact about you?
I’m a Scorpio.

Where can people watch you perform?
We will be putting out future performance dates through our No Name Consortium page on Facebook.


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