Alekos Syssovitis. (Text in english)
"When I do something I want to always do it in the best way."
The interview that the actor Alekos Sissovitis gave to us, shortly after the opening of the artspace "Faust Bar-Theater-Arts". Since then we support this specific place as media sponsors.
Q: Alekos Sissovitis, first of all I would like to thank you a lot for talking to our online channel. We should mention of course that we are in the artspace "FaustBar-Theater-Arts", which was recently created by you and your colleagues. But beforewe talk about this very beautiful place, as an introduction we would like to hear a few words about your historical artistic career. Because as far as I know you did not start by going to a drama school but you initially started with other things and you “wedged” your way into theater.
Alekos Sissovitis: The truth is that I started from places like this. As a teen, at around 16-17, I started working in bars as a DJ, starting from Thessaloniki. So I found myself behind the turntables, because then we had vinyl disks and not CDs. This way I was trained well in the period of ‘80s in a scene that was black, white, rock, jazz, funk, soul, etc. where I spent four years behind the turntables and I was really happy at that post-adolescent period, what we call “getting to know music”. I was introduced to music. Not like a musical artist but as a person who was playing music on the turntable and I was really enjoying myself. Afterwards I started working as a barman and so I found myself in Mykonos, Athens and Thessaloniki, and this ended in around the end of '90. Then I wanted to change direction and I got involved in fashion. Fashion was a period of around two years. After fashion, at some point, the filmmaker George Panousopoulos produced the “Eleftheri Katadysi” (Snorkeling) – a very important Greek filmmaker whom we all know – and he was looking for a non-actor. By chance the person who was in charge for the cast found me in a club and made the proposal. I thought about it, I went there, I met him without having studied anything and I got in the auditions, where there was mutual respect and eventually we worked together and I got the role, which was a big role in a great movie. It was hard for me but ultimately it was a project that I really enjoyed. So that brought me into acting. I have not studied as I said before and I got essentially self-taught on stage during my 15-year career in theater, television and cinema. Then one experience brought the other. The experience I gained in cinema allowed me at some point to accept a proposal – an invitation from John Chouvardas, the director of the National Theatre now, who used to have the “AMORE” theater. Also there I found myself in a very maiden “field” without having the proper education and I say this with suspension because later I understood the technical or non technical difficulties involved in theater. But I dared. So, in a somewhat immature way but with great spontaneity, much truth and with a strong feeling, I succeeded to handle the role that I played.Indeed well because I got good reviews. The last 15 years I have a good track with at least 14 major performances, 7-8 serials on TV and some films. Thank God, I’ m doing well.
Q: Let's talk about artspace "Faust" now.
AS: Basically we booked a neoclassical landmark in Athens downtown. We are at Kalamiotou 11 and Athinaidos 12.
E: We should say that it has two entrances, one on each side.
AS: Right. It is an airy building where we use the entrance from the pedestrian street in order to give a good introduction to people with a private arcade that existsin here. And then we have a distribution of three places where we utilized the first one, the one we are in now, whichis the bar with the live stage. Music and musical - theatrical events will take place her. We hope to give the rightto artists to work together (musicians, dancers and actors and people involved in video art), and create something different, lively, experimental and alternative if possible. And not only that, because we will also be based on a classical structure. We will have many jazz nights with guests from abroad, individual artists and groups. Also because we like Latin, we will invite afro Brazilians. In general we will create a musical “umbrella” that will give the right to people to watch something interesting and nice in a place that we think has an aesthetic that something like this fits. I wish that we will be able to adopt also the “recipe” of musicals that are relatively difficult in Greece because our repertoire is limited, but here we are and we invite artists who assist inthis effort.
Q: I would like to point out two things now. First, this place gives me the impression that you searched a lot to end up here. And secondly, a question. Why Faust and if this word “hides” something referring to this specific place.
AS: First of all when I do something I want to always do it in the best way possible and that is why I do my best in order to succeed. I did a very big market research and saw about 50 places before ending up here, in a zone from Maroussi
to Piraeus. We finally decided to be in the center of Athens, because everything happens here. And indeed in the historical center which I consider to be the most beautiful neighborhood of Athens, from Syntagma Square to
Monastiraki. With very nice old buildings, with lovely pedestrian streets and a character of old Athens. So we decided to take this building although it has smaller spaces, but it has three spaces. One above the other. So we will create, in addition to the bar here on the ground floor, a foyer with artistic character on the first floor. And the second floor will be a theater for about 65 seats which will be transportable so that the stage can be moved forward,
backwards, right, left. And also it will be able to host dance performances. We want to have theatrical and musical performances, art, films (e.g. video art) or even poetry, lectern, literature etc. So we want many things to find their
shelter here. It is called "Faust" because of all these. Because the myth of "Faust" has touched literature, classical music more than any other art, so in extension all music genres and all other arts and mainly theater. Goethe wrote “Faust”, one of the greatest plays, that personally I adore, and because it is a play that negotiates the struggle of good and evil, something that we all have within us, but also because the word “Faust” is rooted from the Latin word “Faustus”, which means “auspicious, lucky”, something that people do not know and think that "Faust" identifies with the devil, which is not true. For all these reasons and because it is a profound text, but also because the etymology of the word means something that is lucky, we decided to give this stigma toour space.
Alekos Sissovitis, thank you very much for opening your doors to our online channel and for your trust in us as media sponsors. We are always close to you.
AS: And we, in our turn, thank you a lot.