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A tryst with the stage

Cassiano Edward D’Souza’s tryst with the stage began at a young age.
Today, he has made an indelible mark in the world of tiatr

JP Pereira 

Popular as Eddie on the tiatr stage and Konkani films, Cassiano Edward D’Souza is an actor who has proven his talent. A winner of many awards, this actor from Morjim, has made a mark in tiatr, both locally and professionally. As a young boy, Eddie remembers watching his father act in village shows and was inspired to do the same. “My dad was not very encouraging as he wanted me to complete my education but that did not deter me,” he recalls. And when he was in class 12, the aspiring artiste wrote and directed a one-act play that went on to win the second place. He also began helping with prompting for shows. “This helped me memorise the script. And on the eve of the release of one tiatr, when the lead actor had to leave to join service abroad, I offered to do the role. The writer-director, Joaquim Faleiro agreed. The role was of a person who had no arms. I even ate food on stage holding a spoon with my foot. I had made my debut on the Konkani stage and was given a cash prize of `500. Quite a sum, in those days,” he says.

For six years he worked in a restaurant. But there was no job satisfaction and something was missing. And when ‘3 Idiots’ the Amir Khan-starrer was released in Goan theatres, Eddie’s dream of being an actor returned. “I went for the show, enjoyed it and suddenly, was hit by a thought that I was in the wrong profession. My dream was to act and I had to follow it. Merwyn Miranda saw me acting and advised me to join the three-year theatre course at the Kala Academy. At the age of 26, I was quite skeptical but went ahead and enrolled for the course,” he says adding that the next year he married his girlfriend, Eliza and in the third year, was blessed with a daughter. “More responsibilities. But I also completed the course,” he says with a big smile. Three achievements in three years!

It was then that Konkani playwright-director-comedian Prince Jacob saw the actor performing at the Kala Academy tiatr competition for ‘Dhirvem’ and booked him for ‘Teg Bhav, Deva Pav’. Eddie went on to work with this director for five more shows. “It was a joy to work in Prince Jacob’s troupe. The discipline, the family atmosphere and the goodwill that pervaded, was a good experience. Whenever there were late shows I stayed at his house overnight and was always welcome,” he says. He later acted in ‘Omtea Kollxear Udok’ by Mario Menezes, ‘Eke Avoicho Aunddo’ by Roseferns, ‘Goem Goynkarachem’ by Irineu Gonsalves, besides others. There have been award-winning performances in ‘Dhirvem’ and ‘Torni Xim’ by the Edmund Vaz and Shirish Naik team and ‘Disha’ by Carlos Fernandes. Besides these he played roles in plays like ‘Khelli Melli’, ‘Khell Khelliyela’ and ‘Brechtachi Vaanni Taklechi Kaanni’. 

Eddie has acted in various films and video productions. These include ‘The Pilates’ a Russian TV series, ‘Rakhonndar’ by John D’Silva, ‘Connection’ by Christ d’Silva and ‘Badde Abu’ by Nitin Supekar which featured actors like Rajesh Sharma and Deepa Moghe. He is now busy being groomed to play a role in a web series.

“God has blessed me with this talent and a family that cares. My wife Eliza, is my greatest support and my daughter Charisma, is already displaying a talent to sing. Realistic acting has got me many awards and I love to play various characters,” he says. Asked about the future of tiatr, he mentions that all will be well if politics and back-biting is left out. “We have to work for the upliftment of the art. Vulgarity in comedy is a big ‘no’. Youngsters should have the humility to accept corrections and not fly high just because of some praise. I will endeavour to make Konkani entertainment, something that many will enjoy,” he signs off.

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