I imagined myself as an actress and now Theater is my life. – Chrisa Zafiriadou (actress) by Life Treasure Collector
Chrisa Zafiriadou is an exceptional actress from Thessaloniki, Greece. Her last role in the musical play “‘With exquisite music, with voices..” of the National Theater of Northern Greece was a combination of acting, dancing and singing. To work in theater you need to feel it deeply in your heart and believe it, as she describes very well below.
“I started my career as an actress 10 years ago. I was living in Athens but after a few years I moved back to Thessaloniki. For me theater is my life. It is a way of living, it is the place I work, where I do what I truly love, where I have a good time, where I can be with my friends, it is everything to me! You can’t work in the theater unless you love it. Especially when acting is not one of the most well-paid jobs.
‘With exquisite music, with voices..’ was the last show I took part. it was a show about the history of the city of Thessaloniki, in Greece, I worked with people that I appreciate deeply. We came so close together since the beginning of the show. I loved this play in particular as it included both playing and dancing. I love the way the whole team of actors and dancers was working together. I often say to them how great it is that we did something that it made us so happy. I really love what I am doing!
Theater affects my whole life, even though, sometimes, I try not to. It depends on the show each time. For example, in the past, I had to play a role that was very difficult and emotional and you had to go through feelings that were not that pleasant. Sometimes you finish playing and the feelings are still with you, you see it in your feelings and behavior after the show, in your every day life. You carry with you a little bit of the character you embody.
I was imagining myself as an actress since I was a child. I was the one to entertain the whole family when I was little. I always loved acting, dancing and singing. I first learned about theater when I was a student in high school. We had someone visiting our school to talk about stage acting and I realized how much I wanted to do the same. It was clearly my own decision; I knew this was the only thing I wanted to do.
I cannot imagine myself doing anything else but theater. I want to be happy and this is the most important thing in my life that brings me happiness. As long as acting makes me happy I will keep doing it. If this changes, then I will stop.
Sometimes, you have to find your own references, you need to drag feelings and experiences and some of these feelings and experiences are not pleasant at all. However, it is good to do this sometimes as it helps you have a catharsis. You bring all these feelings and thoughts up to the surface again and again and again until they don’t feel unpleasant to you anymore.
I never use personal experiences, I mean if I have to play a role of someone that has lost a loved one and is grieving I don’t try to place myself into this position and try to remember the death of a closed person to me and experience the pain all over again, as this is a form of psychoanalysis and I’m against it when it comes to theatre and acting. But you can use something that you have learned from a similar experience. And you can clear yourself slowly and then you feel almost healed.
You learn many things through your acting roles. I learn things about myself than I never knew. Or sometimes, I discover characteristics that I could actually have. I could be that person.
If someone wants to work in theatre, they need to be honest with themselves first and understand if they really want to follow this route. That means that they truly want to become actors and not just famous. Stage acting is a different job than wanting to become famous. You need to be willing to work hard, really really hard.
Talent is something we have but it will disappear without hard work. Even a person with no or little ability can have success if he/she works hard. You need to bring your love for theatre into action and work with it every day. It is not easy to do the same thing everyday, but it doesn’t matter what happens in your everyday life, you need to do it. It is a relationship like the one you have with yourself and the people around you. You may love someone but if you don’t do anything about it you will lose the other person, it will stay a story in your mind. It’s like you fuel your love you have for someone or something with coal. My dad says that… every relationship needs some coal to work well.”