Producer Marilia Stavridou shares some recent experiences.
I find myself constantly in awe of how things turn out and how consistently random, but at the same time properly expected, one’s life can feel.
Traces of thoughts made in the past become familiar faces manifesting in the present, while conversations spoken and senses felt today hold on to a lasting familiarity which might creep up on you sometime in the days to come.
Riding on bus Number 8 from Bethnal Green, filled with women wearing burkas, while two loud Italian girls go on and on about their love lives sitting in the back; listening to a band of a cappella singers from four different Balkan states performing traditional folk songs in front of a mystified audience in Thessaloniki; watching a group of amateur film actors from Afghanistan stealing the scene from experienced professionals in one of our previous film productions – and then meeting one of them again at the Phone Home workshops and finding out that he is now performing on the stage with one of the most well-known Greek actors – ; actually feeling safe living among strangers; being invited to join the ‘circle of trust’ and talk about a multinational performance of Euripides’ tragedy inside a mens’ prison; my eyes stinging with tears hearing Greek unexpectedly after spending too much time abroad – and the girl just said: “do we have any bread at home”? – ; sharing one of my most devastating memories in a made-up language with people I’ve just met, but with whom I already feel a strong connection through Phone Home…
We tend to lose perspective and live too much inside our own shell. And rarely stop to think how things might have been different, if we had just been born at a different time or place. But then we start choosing the places we pass our time in. And the people we pass it with. What is our excuse then? We might feel lucky or awkward, blessed or even guilty: because it might have taken another person’s tragedy to teach you a life lesson. The truth is, at the end, it’s what you chose to make of it that matters.
And to go on living without fear. And without blinders.
Marilia acts as project co-ordinator for Phone Home at Highway Productions, Greece. She was born and raised in Athens, has studied Theatre, Film and TV and has been active in the production sector since 2003. In the last couple of years, she also started teaching theatre to children.