By Mariam Hovuni
Photos by Lusi Sargsyan
Narek Duryan: “I am crazy for my job”
Beloved actor Narek Duryan has been performing for Armenian audiences for several consecutive years now. After living abroad for a long period of time, he eventually returned to Armenia and gives many performances for Armenian audiences.

The actor performs unique, interesting and, why not, even entertaining plays, including “The Aunt from Paris”, “C’ est la vie”, “Us, Our Lies”, “Don Juan Avia”, “Operation Nemesis”, “Kaj Nazar” and “Como Nostra”, which have become close to the hearts of Armenian audiences for several years now. Today the actor is performing the play “My Wife’s Name is Morris”, and the audience enjoys the actor’s acting, laughs and expresses satisfaction after every performance. It had only been seven minutes after the play when’s correspondent was conducting an interview with Narek Duryan in his dressing room. Mr. Duryan, it was raining outside during the performance. Did that have any impact on you?

Narek Duryan: Definitely not. When I am getting ready to come out to the stage, I don’t notice anything, be it rain, hail or whatever. In reality, everything changes not only during the performance, but even when I enter the theater. If we met before the performance, you would see that I was already in a different state of being. In reality, nobody really felt like it was raining today, except for the fact that there was a slight problem with lighting for an instant. Fortunately, that wasn’t a disturbance. In fact, I hadn’t even noticed it. You came back from the stage feeling tired, made the people laugh and gave them a tremendous amount of energy. How will you restore all that energy, or is it endless?

N. D.: That is a very interesting question. You know, to be honest, I must say that it is hard for me to answer that question because I have never thought about that. True, people often ask me how I manage to do that, taking into consideration my age, but…Now I can say that I am crazy for my job, the audience and the stage. For me, the encounter between an actor and the audience is like a real love between two people. Look, the curtain goes up, I meet my partner. If he or she likes me and then loves me, then the relationship will work, continue and end. Yes, I am crazy for my job, and it is that relationship that gives me so much energy. People give many definitions of theater, referring to it as life, an incurable disease, but in reality, it is a job that can even make an actor get tired. Have you ever gotten tired of theater?

N. D.: This is definitely a job. It is an art. Just like a pianist constantly plays the same composition and the diamond cutter meticulously does his job, we actors also do our job. The only difference is that our product is different. In reality, we work like workers. Look at me. I am tired and sweaty. Yes, this is a job, but I will never get tired of this job. Mr. Duryan, I know that disappointment is the thing that you fear the most. You have been living for half a century. Haven’t you ever felt disappointment?

N. D.: I have felt disappointed many times, but I am afraid of being disappointed with myself. When you do something that can “switch off” your brain, for instance, when you are angry, this can lead you to do the wrong thing. We need to be in control of our emotions. We shouldn’t scream or make people feel tired. In reality, I have only had successes. There have also been failures and difficult moments, but it is those difficulties that have helped me achieve success every time. You have to try to do everything the right way and not be guided by the moment or your emotions since that can make you feel disappointed. It is hard for a man to play the role of a woman, much less make people laugh at the same time. How do you manage to do all that?

N. D.: This is a question that I can’t answer because I truly don’t know the answer to that question. I always give my advice to students, and I personally take that advice. What really helps me is consistency. I am consistent with everything. As far as playing the role of a woman is concerned, I have also been very consistent and closely followed women, their mimics and moves. It is this consistency that helps me. For instance, in the play “C’est la vie”, I show all that I have seen throughout my life. When you can recap all that you have seen, you do everything that makes it look natural. In one of your interviews, you mentioned that books have been your teachers in life. Which book do you recommend to others?

N. D.: It is very hard to set aside one of those books. I can only say that there are about 200 books that are enough for a person to be intellectual. I won’t set aside any writer or book because I think I might offend this or that writer. Mr. Duryan, is there something that you would like to do, but don’t have the time to do?

N. D.: My dream is to fly a plane. I would love to have the opportunity to lift it up in the air by myself. My friends in Paris have promised to surprise me on my 60th birthday. In Paris there is a place where you can fly a plane, with a pilot, of course. It is very interesting and conveys interesting emotions. The second thing that I would love to do is to move in time. For example, I would love to go back in time or move forward, better yet, I would like to go back in time. The past is more interesting. Mr. Duryan, can you remember the last time you gave an interview right after a performance?

N. D.: We can congratulate each other because this is the first time I am giving an interview right after my performance. It is hard for me to talk after a performance because I am tired, but since the section of your online newspaper implies an interview after a performance, we couldn’t change the time and place, and so I gave this interview, which was a great pleasure for me.

Until the next performance