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Kat Graham Appreciation Week | Day 1: Kat, the Actress

According to the Natya Shastra, there are nine fundamental emotional states that an Indian classical dancer (or any performer) can elicit in an audience. They are known as the Navarasa, and they are essential to any art that must convey emotion. It’s a slightly different framework than in Western art philosophy, where actors are encouraged to embody their character, to become their character… Here the focus is on the audience, on what the viewer is made to feel.

The Navarasa are srngaram (love), hasyam (mirth/laughter), raudrum (anger/fury), bhayanakam (fear), karunyam (sorrow/compassion), bibhatsam (disgust), viram (valor/pride), adbhutam (surprise/wonder), and shantam (peace/tranquility). 

Performers hone these tools for years, perfecting an art that seems simple and intuitive but can be anything but. In a way, Kat Graham is one of those performers, perfecting this craft that makes us feel so much. In my opinion, she’s the best actor on the show. Her years of hard work shine through every week on screen, and we’re the lucky audience.

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