Arnold Pomazan: “Oh, my life, are you but a dream?”
He had his benefit night in 1995. When is the next one? It is approximately in two years. As it is common in theatrical circles it will be dedicated to a jubilee of some sort. People’s actor of the Republic of Belarus Arnold Pomazan hopes that he will have a chance to play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand — a role of a great idealist, he has been dreaming a lot of. He is not certain about the director though
This is how, in a nutshell, his life looks like. However, we will elaborate on this matter because today he is the guest of “Belarus.”
— Arnold, I can be mistaken, but is it true, that the most important event in you life, recently, is the prize “Crystal Pavlinka”?
— Of course. If you can recollect, at the Day of the Theatre, when I was awarded this highest award of the Union of Theatrical Workers, I said that I’ve played with 8 Pavlinkas, but only the ninth, the crystal one, fell in love with me.
— It is a good metaphor, but I feel that it is clear only to people, who know Kupala Theatre, as well as that the theatre has a certain tradition of role assignment in the play “Pavlinka”. By the way, how was it with you role of Adam Bykowsky.
— The role assignment took place on stage, right before the start of the performance. I explained that I have played the role for 32 years and I had more than a thousand performances. I wished good luck and long stage life to the young actor Oleg Garbuz. It was all not very serious, more for the audience…
— 1000 times in one role! Didn’t you get bored with it?
— No way! Every time is like the first time. I have bee able to reveal new aspects in the Bykowsky’s persona all the time.
— Why do you like him?
— Although he is an antagonist, but what a wide range of colors in his moods, in his character. I have always felt that Yanka Kupala, when he was writing his “Pavlinka,” half of his heart put in Pavlinka, and half in Bykowsky. Kupala himself had a style, he was not a show-off, but he definitely had a style. This role has a very rich external image — it has a lot of dances, movements. You know, I used to be a singer and a dancer. I learned to play harmonica on my own being pretty young.
— What is you first role?
— It is a role of Seryozhka Tiulenin in “Young Guard.” I played it in our school performance. This is how my infatuation with the theatre started. At that time we lived in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. By the way, I am really proud that it was my parents who built it.
— How did you come to live in Belarus though?
— First I lived in Lvov, because my father got a new job there. My parents wanted me to choose a “real” profession, like a doctor or what not. But I did not get into medical school. I have studied for two years at a railroad school. I even had a job of a second locoman. But the stage tempted me and I secretly started to attend studio-theatre named after Maria Zenkovetskaya, after I have seen an ad in a local newspaper. I tried to enter several theatrical schools in Moscow, but with little success. As soon as they learnt that I have already studied theatre and have played in a theatre, they rejected me at once. The decisive role in my career was played by the Ministry of Culture of the USSR — they gave me a piece of advice to go Minsk and to apply to Belarusian State Theatre and Art Institute (now it is called Art Academy — V.Z.). Minsk, compared to Moscow with its hectic life, seemed like a paradise city. This is how I became a Belarusian actor. I have been living here since the graduation.
— What made you become an actor? It seems like the fate itself was testing your ambitions.
— I have always wondered myself, why is it that life has such high requirements for me. My way to the theatre has not been easy indeed. I took several courses at BSTAI for audit before becoming a full-time student. I think that I became an actor because as a young man I had a chance to feel the energy of the audience. It feels like you are flying, rising over the ground. A doctor explained it to me. At the moment of applauses, actor’s body produces endorphins, so-called hormones of happiness. It is all about chemistry. Some people have a plenty of endorphins, some have less. Those people who have less become actors or athletes to get “charged”. People from the audience are also up for the same “product”.
— You are saying that this “chemistry” makes you think about new roles, don’t you? At the curtain call, an actor gets into “endorphin resonance”.
— I can’t live without work. I think that any well-accomplished work brings satisfaction. To say nothing about a well-performed part in a play, the one that you’ve been dreaming of. I am also an experienced “walrus” with 35-year experience. I like to swim in Komsomol lake in winter. I get my doze of endorphins there as well.
— What is your relationship with directors? Do you need their approval?
— I had a lot of parts in plays by such famous playwrights as Andrey Makayonak, Alexey Dudarev. I worked together with such directors as Valeriy Rayevsky, Alexander Gartsuyev, Vladimir Savitsky, Nikolay Pinigin. It has always been very important for me when a director after a performance gives a hint whether I acted well, or found a new aspect of a character thus making the role richer. Stage partner’s approval is also very important for me. We always had very artistic relationships.
— Are you such kind of a person who adapts to directors or can you get into artistic conflict with them?
— I do what my heart tells me to. If I feel that my heart approves of the acting I will do everything what director tells me. And I will work. But if my heart remains silent, it is very hard for me to warm to my role.
— Have you ever been afraid that you would not get this or that part in a play that you would not be noticed or someone will get a role instead of you?
— Certainly. One must be constantly busy in the theatre. One needs to think all the time, thoughts must go on, otherwise it is stagnation, a swamp. I had my periods of stagnation. I went to Rayevsky then a told him, “Valeriy Nikolayevich, a squirrel in a spinning wheel is working, and if you stop the wheel it will die.” “A squirrel also needs a rest though,” Rayevsky tried to calm me down.
— What can you say about the theatre where you are working now? Judging by your professionalism you are going to work there for a long time, aren’t you?
— I wish. Kupala Theater is a place of great kindness. It has warm aura. There is an environment of brotherhood, care, a spirit of something good ol’. It feels like a sourdough that you use to make bread, the one that stems from older generations.
— You seem like a happy person, are you happy?
— Happiness is just a moment. As every human being my life has stripes: both black and white. There are biological rhythms as well and we depend upon them. However, when I think about my life I ask myself the question posed by a famous poet, “Oh, my life, are you but a dream?” You know why? Because whatever life you have, life by itself is always a miracle.