18-12-2015
Ashot Ghazaryan: “My funniest love confession was the confession to my wife”
The interview with Ashot Ghazaryan was not an ordinary interview.

It was not only a question-and-answer session, but was filled with laughter and silence that changed my flow of thoughts and made me think and draw conclusions. I met Ashot Ghazaryan at his own school for humor and speech. It was hard to steal him from his daily activities and his students as they were rehearsing for their New Year’s events. I stood for a moment and simply followed them. Words can’t describe how cordial they were. Ashot Ghazaryan would address the students with their nicknames, kiss them and make them smile. “The kids love me, and I love them. They feel my warmth,” the actor says and adds: “I have the photos of almost all of them in my mobile phone. When I go out of town for a long time, I look at those photos in the evenings and miss them. There are good students. There is no relationship between a teacher, director and a student at our school.” The purpose of my visit was to talk to Ashot Ghazaryan about his younger years and reflect upon his past. I must say that it was hard to see a difference between the younger years and old age in such a lively man. Eritasard.am: How would you describe the young and the current Ashot Ghazaryan? Ashot Ghazaryan: The Ashot Ghazaryan today is cleverer and is thinking about serious things. Although his jokes have always conveyed a message, today his jokes are more educative and disciplinary. I can still sing and am still energetic. I sing and star in plays. The only difference is that when you get older, you become more serious and have different views on people, humor, work and everything, for that matter. Eritasard.am: How should one live in his prime? A. G: In your prime, you need to try not to make many mistakes because it will be hard later in life. You need to be serious and always pull yourself together. You need to read, work, do serious work and choose the right profession. Eritasard.am: What would you advise the young Ashot Ghazaryan? A. G.: I would say ‘Dear Ashot, you lived the right way, you lived well, but you wasted a lot of time on things you shouldn’t have done, use your time wisely’. There were days when I wouldn’t do anything that was important. I regret those days. Life is so short that you regret every day, minute and second that you have missed. Eritasard.am: What are you guided by in life? A. G.: My guidance is to be pure, clean and never hurt your reputation. You either have to do a good job, or not do it at all. If what you do is not more than what you have already done, then there is no point in doing it. You have to be at least one step ahead. Eritasard.am: What made you want to become a humorist? A. G.: I have always been humorous. I was born and raised in a family where there was always humor, and that is how I pictured my life to be. My father had a very good sense of humor. My mother was naïve, and so were her jokes. My sister and brothers have all had a good sense of humor. Eritasard.am: Is a person born with a sense of humor, or can he obtain a sense of humor during his lifetime? A. G.: No, you can’t obtain a sense of humor. You either have it or you don’t. It’s not genetic. You simply need to work on it, make it more beautiful and set it on the right track. You don’t learn humor. I was a student of Vardan Atchemyan at the theater institute. He would tell me, ‘we don’t inject humor, but we give that talent a direction, clean it up and cut off the needless parts. Even a merchant is born like that, but not every person can become a merchant.’ Eritasard.am: In one of your interviews, you said you are more of a dramatic actor? A. G.: Yes, I am more of a dramatic actor than a comedian. I play the lyrical parts of my plays with more pleasure. I feel better. Eritasard.am: What is your personality like? A. G.: I am a happy person. I am like that with my family as well. There are no fights or disputes in our family. We don’t scream at each other. There has always been humor and laughter in my family and, most importantly, love. Eritasard.am: If there was no humor in your life… A. G.: I can’t imagine myself without humor. There is a great film director by the name of Hamlet Hovhannisyan, who used to say, ‘Man is different from an animal in that man has a sense of humor’. Eritasard.am: What is the funniest expression you have ever heard? There is a joke that I like a lot. Two friends are talking, and one of the friends asks the other: -Did your grandmother sweat while she was dying? -Yeah, she sweat soo much… -That’s what saved her. Eritasard.am: How should good humor be? A. G.: Each humorist has his own perception. For me, humor has to be kind, disciplinary, sharp and convey a message. It has to be constant. Eritasard.am: What was the craziest thing that you ever did when you were younger? A. G.: When I was young, people would watch a lot of Indian films and would always come out of the movie theaters with teary eyes. Whenever my friends and I would go to the movie theater to see an Indian film, it turned out that we would laugh more than cry. During the film, I would say phrases that would make the whole audience laugh. The day when my friends and I would go to see a movie, nobody would leave the movie theater with teary eyes. Eritasard.am: Have you ever confessed your love in a humorous way? A. G.: My funniest love confession was the confession to my wife. When people start dating, they show their most positive sides. For example, a guy shows that he is attentive and disciplined. When they get married, everything appears, and it turns out that they are not much like what they were. On the very first day, I asked my wife if she liked me now. She said she did. I told her I was going to be the same in five days, ten days and a couple of years later and that if I didn’t get better, I wouldn’t get any worse and asked her if that was fine, and she said it was. After that, I asked for her hand in marriage. Today, we are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. My wife is my closest friend in the world. If I have achieved and still achieve anything in life, it is due to my wife and my family. As they say, there is a woman behind every smart and successful man. Eritasard.am: Do you consider yourself a happy man? A. G.: In some ways, yes, and in other ways-no. I am happy to have a good family, a good job and good friends, but I am not egoistic. There are so many things going on in the world, including fights and destruction. If that didn’t happen, I would consider myself 100 percent happy. Ashot Ghazaryan says his greatest achievement is his family, love and his job. The only thing he regrets is the roles that he hasn’t played. “I had many roles that I could play. I had to do it in my younger years.” Hrachuhi Almastyan