Amina Jindani is a performance art entrepreneur and founder of Mo One Drama. A teacher and a student, she has studied acting, creative writing and directing in London at the Royal Court Young Peoples’ Theatre. She embraced Malaysia as her home since 1991, and has explored theatre, film and television as an actress, presenter, producer, director, writer & performance educator for all ages.
A Speech and Drama teacher for over 25 years, Amina is passionate about helping her students grow from school children into creatively competent adults who are able to represent the nation on the world stage; giving speeches at international conferences; working in television, stage and film; winning awards at creative writing, public speaking and the arts; as well as possessing inspiring, creative skills that can enhance their profession in all types of careers.
Amina attained a Licentiate in Teaching Speech and Drama (Distinction) from Trinity College London and is certified and trained as professional teacher of Cambridge IGCSE Drama. Also known fondly in the arts circle as ‘Moone’, Amina was selected the Malaysian Winner of the Motion Picture International’s Script to Screen feature film pitching competition (2019) and won an Award of Excellence from Trinity College London (2017).
Team AFT spent some time to learn about Moone’s life stories and her latest projects; a radio play that is gaining attention from listeners around the world.
AFT: How did you ‘play’ while growing up?
Moone: I was one of those children who could play for hours on my own. Sometimes, I’d make things out of old boxes, toilet rolls and sticky tape, sometimes it was about dressing up and creating characters to play and sometimes I’d record soundscapes on tape and invite my friends over to listen. My favourite was making haunted house sounds for Hallowe’en.
AFT: What influenced your artistic eye?
Moone: I was very inspired by TV shows that taught children how to paint and make things but also museums. I think my two favourite museums when I was a child were the V&A Museum and the Commonwealth Institute. They made my mind explore culture and history and opened up my imagination and appreciation. Art is everywhere but for me it’s mainly in how people past and present express themselves.
AFT: Theatre of the Mind is a fairly new installation, why did you come up with this form of radio drama? Do you think there an audience for this kind of classic radio play?
Moone: There is a niche audience that is growing. When I was a teenager, I was challenged to make radio plays popular for young people and went on the radio with some scripts I wrote. I think it was the wrong era as other young people weren’t really interested. Then, recently, I noticed a new generation of younger people listening to audio online again. It was time to pick up the thread and reach out once again. I’ve waited a long time for this.
AFT: Did you produce any scripts or produced any plays or dramas during COVID19? What did you do to pass time?
Moone: The first thing I did was embrace the art of not doing anything at all! It was liberating. I lived like a cat eating, sleeping, stretching and sitting looking out of the window. Then I started to cut old clothes and sew them into a bedspread. I enjoyed the slow pace and listened to stories online while sewing. Then all of a sudden all these script ideas came flooding to me and I started writing. Shakespeare wrote his best works during the great plague and I realised why – ideas need space to develop – not a cluttered schedule of stuff to do.
AFT: What is the one thing you strive to do with Moone Drama? Tell us about the early days, how you started this company. Have you been successful?
Moone: MoOne Drama strives to develop performance arts pedagogy as the basis for all education. To develop creativity, expression, interpretation and to think critically with experiential learning. I started it because mainstream education is a rewards-based system focused on the end product and not the journey. I wanted to create a learning experience that is about the journey for the personal development of people – all people. In 2021, we won an award as Malaysia’s Best Performing Arts Institute. This year, we launched MO1 Productions where trainees can learn to work with established professionals. It’s growing and I’m happy with the progress.
AFT: Tell us about work that you have not finished or can’t complete? What happens then?
Moone: I have written screenplays with a lot of trial and error in the process. There’s such a big gap between writing a screenplay and producing one. I am determined to start getting these stories made one day. I will keep going. Sometimes, it’s about meeting the right people or it’s about the timing. Sometimes, you realise you need to do a re-write and so I work on these in the background.
AFT: Is health and fitness important to you as a scriptwriter and performance artist? Can you share a little about your daily routine?
Moone: When my mind travels into my ideas, I kind of feel like my body is not doing anything. I’m not even aware of it. After a while, I notice that I have not even moved. That’s when I decide to take a long walk. I don’t drive and have been a pedestrian all my life. Walking is my source of fitness. When I walk, I go on for miles and miles. When I don’t walk, I make sure I do household chores the old-fashioned way. I don’t use a washing machine – I hand wash clothes every day. I mop, clean, scrub, dig the garden and saw the excess branches off trees. It’s like going to the gym.
AFT: Finally, what’s your ultimate favourite thing to do?
Moone: Zone out! I can sit and do nothing and relish that feeling of incoming creativity. Ideas forming. After I zone out, I am so much more productive.
If your curiosity is piqued about what a Noir Parody Audio Drama could sound like, tune in to the Theatre of the Mind’s production of Derek Kong, Private Detective on Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud. Or, visit the official website: https://www.moonedrama.com/about-3.
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Originally published in AsiaFitnessToday.com AFT Interviews: Eyes on Amina Jindani and the ‘Theatre of the Mind’ collective is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Source: https://www.asiafitnesstoday.com/?p=12679.