It is quite established over the years that Make-up is a very important facet of the entire theatrical design. With globalization bringing in massive changes in the beauty industry since 1980s, the make-up artists mostly in theater that too in regional theater had to cope up with this change while adapting their skills and expertise. Modern beauty industry ignited the new possibility of mass production and mass marketing. Young theater make-up artists who were born in this transforming stage of the beauty industry, and are now found to be professionally working in theater had to face this change with a threat. They had learnt their craft from their teachers, who were unknown to this revolution in cosmetic-making technology. When they stepped in the professional world, they were trapped in the whirlpool of the innovations and new marketing strategies involved with beautification and cosmetics. Theater in India, mostly in Bengal, was never a mass art which could draw in huge profits. Make-up within that poor economic structure has had always been remained last in the priority list to draw attention regarding monetary investment, no matter how much skill the art demanded. Yet, the love and enthusiasm for the culture-hungry Bengalis nullified all the difficulties and acquired the required skill and up-to-date knowledge to create a character through make-up for stage fulfilling the market demands.
Sanjoy Paul is such a young make-up artist in Bengal who has traversed all these ravines in theater make-up industry and now is a very successful theater make-up artist in Bengal. He passed out from Rabindra Bharati University in 2009 with a specialization in Design and he learnt the costume, light, set, make-up in his University days but out of all the crafts somehow makeup caught his attention the most. Yes, there is a history to it; his admiration for this art had started since his childhood days, when he saw his family members to be working in an idol-making studio. Colours changing a face and giving life to it, grabbed his passion since then. After that his Guru/teacher Md. Ali, who is a very reputed make-up artist in India now, showed him the path and he followed. He stumbled, but never left neither his Guru, nor the path. Theater has been his passion and medium to showcase his craft, though applying his art for films is also his dream, if other material complications like the Federation or Guild (film technicians labour Union operating in Bengal) accept his registration.
The theater fraternity in Bengal knows Sanjoy as a loving and lively colleague. He takes no time to make a new friend and have a long chat with that person. While Sanjay told Kaahon it is a part of his process of theater makeup, as with that he creates a visual bank of imagination which has vaults to carefully preserve the many psychologies of human characters, from where he extracts the reference when any theater director explains to him about a new character.
He has worked with almost all; the leading theater directors of Bengal, be it Soumitra Chatterjee’s Homapakhi, Suman Mukhopadhyay’s Bisharjan, Bratya Basu’s Ruddha Sangeet, Boma, Tarun Pradhan’s Phagun Rater Goppo, Abanti Chakraborty’s Nagamandala, Soumitra Mitra’s Ek Mancha Ek Jibon, Sudipto Chattopadhyay’s Agshudhhi, Rajar Mrittyu, Debesh Chattopadhyay’s Tughlaq, Saudagarer Nouka and the list is endless.
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