He has great sense of humor, he is young, talented, handsome and…single! Actor Manos Zervakis, at the age of 34, is a new rising star in Greece and talks about his life, career choices, difficulties and opportunities and, of course, what type of woman attracts him more! An all – inclusive talk on bellasrealworld! You don’t want to miss this interview!
Bella: I’m so glad you chose bellasrealworld for your first interview on a foreign website. It is my great joy that people get to know you better from here!
Manos: My greetings to bellasrealworld and personally to you Sotia. It’s my pleasure to give my first interview in English for a so fast growing website and most importantly based in Greece.
B: I look at your cv and I do not know where to start from! Mechanical engineer, actor, children book author, clown animator, life coach and… you’ve done 3 years of taekwondo! Ok, how have you managed to do so many different things in such young age?
M: Since when I was a little kid I was anxious and hyperactive, I liked to do a lot of things together, and I still have this habit until today, but let’s take things from the start. I studied Mechanical Engineering soon after high school, and I decided to finish my studies, even though engineering was not on my first choices. I have to admit though that I learned useful things in the university and I became especially good at solving problems in both university and my daily life. No knowledge is a waste since I have also worked as a self-employed engineer. On the other hand, being an actor was my childhood dream. I think it was that need I had as an introverted kid to express myself in some way; to discover life and find a way to cope with it. And here it comes the fairy tale writing, as well.
I read a lot of psychology, went back on my childhood years and tried to understand and explain the way children react when playing games, why they always want to win, how they communicate with each other and, with what criteria they form their society. I started writing educated books that would help children learn about life values and this led me after some years to life coaching. It’s a chain, you see. One leads to the other.
B: You studied Mechanical Engineer and after a while you were found among the top students of Queen Margaret University of Edinburgh with BA in Arts. That’s a completely different career path…
M: Yes, it is indeed! As I said before, to become an actor was my childhood dream. I was the only child in my family, and as a child without siblings, I spent a lot of my free time watching TV when I was home. When we had visitors who had no children, so I hadn’t someone to play with, I liked to watch the grownups and notice their moves and facial expressions. As an introverted character, I was looking for a way to express myself, to release my energy, you know. I remember that one day our primary school teacher asked us to write on a paper what we would like to study when we grow up. He told us that it would be very difficult to follow our first job choice when the time comes but I did! I wrote the word ”actor” on that paper and, I made it!! However, I would like to have many lives to study .. .the knowledge about the world around you is not only power, it’s also beautiful…
B: Since 2005, you have participated in great and successful works both in theater and cinema as well as on television. Which of the 3 types of performances do you believe represents you better?
M: I choose theater because…it is my psychotherapy! It gives me the ability to express feelings, to get into another world, see the life of the main character from a different perspective, not from my eyes, and see how the audience interacts. Why does a theatre character do something? How does he do it? What does he want to say? Of course, I also like the cinema, as it has its own charm but theater represents me better.
B: 11 plays, 7 participations on cinema, 3 on TV serials and 1 awards show. What was your most difficult time? The moment you said, “Oh, and…Now I’m doing what?”
M: The most difficult time was on my first performance in 2005. You know, I was rehearsing my role for a play in which I was supposed to double another actor on the stage and suddenly I was told that I would play the main role at the opening night. All the worst case scenarios I could think of passed through my mind, from me forgetting or messing up my words, to stumbling and fall on the scene! Would my performance be good or not? Would an earthquake strike so I could escape performance at last minute? hahahaha ! After this play and, since no disaster happened, I was able to see this job with more enthusiasm, joy and thirst for creation and cooperation.
B: You have played Aristophanes and Aeschylus. Do you think that the modern audience still responds to the ancient Greek tragedy?
M: Yes, I think the audience wants to watch plays of ancient Greek tragedy and, it’s not only the Greek audience, you know. Many foreign people, such as tourists come to these performances even though they don’t understand the language very well. I think it is this uniqueness of ancient Greek plays, the clothes, the makeup of those times, etc., that attracts many people to watch these plays. Sometimes, it is enough to know what we see and what we want to learn from what we see. These plays and their messages are timeless!
They have survived for thousands of years simply because people’s relationships, needs and desires are always the same, no matter in which century we live. Every text of the ancient Greek tragedy is a life seminar. At this point, I want to tell you that I am a fan of the classical performances of Greek ancient plays. I believe that the ancient tragedy does not need modern views and different directors’ perspectives. It is not bad to have a different view on a play but in such huge plays, I think it is not necessary. It is as if you devalue the initial values and change the message of their ancient creators.
B: Apart from a good professional, you are also an attractive and handsome man. Have you ever had any proposal to become a model?
M: Hahaha! Well, thank you for your kind words but I am too shy to become a model. Plus, I don’t think I have the necessary qualifications to serve modelling. I never had any special proposal about modelling obviously, because I never cared about following this direction. All the photographies I’ve done so far were for my professional book as an actor only.
B: Since we have come to the external appearance and charm, may we go to the chapter women, as well? What are your relationships with the opposite gender?
M: Well, I think I have a good relationship with them! hahaha! Like every man, I like women very much but I especially admire active women with strong personality.
B: Have you ever been hurt by a woman?
M: Oooh yes! I think it is impossible not to be hurt when you had been having dreams about your common life with your beloved person and finally you see that those dreams are not going to become true. And I think that this emotional wound is the reason we don’t give other people’s chances in their relationships with us. We become stricter with others out of fear of being hurt again but this stance also deprives us from coming emotionally close again with others and feel the love we so much need. It’s a vicious cycle. Personally, I am a man who makes mistakes but I admit them and try to learn from my mistakes so as to avoid making them again.
In my relationships I give opportunities to the others because I also want opportunities. I make exceptions only for exceptional people, though. Love, as long as it is true, it can forgive some mistakes. I keep all the good things from my relationships, I wish everyone to be fine and I go on with my life…!
B: …and what would you answer to your fans’ question ”are you single?”
M: Do I have fans and did not know about it?? Hahaha I’m just kidding…Well, I believe that every person has an audience who likes him independently of his job or appearance. Regarding your question, the answer is yes. I’m single and I live a peaceful period of my life. Sometimes, we just need to pass some time with ourselves. I don’t make a relationship just because I don’t want to be alone. For me, what matters most is the quality of a relationship; the communication, love, trust and the mutual development, nothing more, nothing less.
B: Knowing quite well this ”media – art – celebrity”, and so on, world, I couldn’t help than asking you…have you received strange ”proposals” from men? If yes, how did you react?
M: Of course I had these ”strange proposals”, as you said. Even though I am a straight and clearly declare about it, there were some men, who showed they wanted something more from me than a simple friendship or cooperation. I deal with this situation with humor as well as with discretion and try to make clear that I like women too much to try something different…hahaha! Seriously now, I wouldn’t go against my will or sacrifice any of my personal values and beliefs to achieve ‘‘success’’, in any case.
B: How did the fairy tale writing come about ?
M: I believe that if children grow up properly, especially in the early years of their lives, and get all the necessary lessons they will not have to fear anything in the future as adults. They will be more protected. Children need the right examples, a good contact with their parents and a healthy environment. This is not always easy, but we do what we can. At this very moment we carry the good and the bad lessons that we were taught as kids and these lessons follow us in life. But as we are getting older, change is getting harder. For this reason, children must have very good foundations from the very young age. Children are the future! That was the main drive for me when I decided to write the ‘’Little Dreamer’’.
B: tell me a few words about the “Little Dreamer”
M: The little dreamer is a child who has a dream to do something important in his life but most of his friends discourage him. Even though this hurts him, he loves and forgives his friends because he understands that they can’t understand his deeper needs that make him dreaming. One day the chance to realize his dream appears but, will he eventually grab this chance? It is a fairy tale based on simple models with the main purpose to encourage children and young people to not be afraid of chasing their dreams. In the new season the story of the book and its characters will go live on stage, on a play for all families. At the moment people can find the book under the Greek title ” Ο Μικρός Ονειροπόλος” in all bookstores and of course on the internet.
B: At a time when there are a lot of financial problems in Greece, and unfortunately there are not many opportunities for young and talented people like you are, one could wonder, how easy is it to survive by making your dreams come true?
M: Very nice question. Some people say that work beats talent and I think they are right. You know, sometimes we need to do parallel, supportive things to achieve our dreams. If our dream is to please only our ego, even if all conditions are good, we may not be happy in the long run. But, if we work hard and contribute something to society and to people around us, then I think we will gain more pleasure. On the other hand, if there is difficulty in achieving our dreams, we may look for alternatives, to do things that are close to our field and we like them. That’s what I do, at least …
B: Many Greeks left Greece in a try to build a better future with more opportunities abroad. Are you thinking about leaving Greece?
M: I lived a bit abroad and, to tell you the truth not only I liked it, but I also think I could find a job and live abroad permanently, as there are more opportunities than in Greece. Nevertheless, I love Greece, with its ups and downs, it is my country and I love it and, if I ever make my own family, I would like to stay in Greece and raise my children here. That’s the reason why I’m trying to do my best here.
B: what else should we expect from you in the future?
M: Well, I can reveal you that in the new season I’ll start officially my new life coaching business “Ωριμάζω’’. In the meantime, I’m preparing another play, “ The Monologue of a Ninja” for the theater festival and, in the end of July I release my second book “ Η μικρή λογική και η καρδούλα’’ which talks about two little girls – the logic and the heart – who met in a forest and through many adventures, they advise each other and finally become good friends. That’s all for the moment and I keep going….
B: thank you very much for this interview and I wish you from the bottom of my heart all the best in whatever you do!
M: Thank you very much for this all-inclusive discussion. I revealed so much about myself and I also realized so much about myself! I feel you made me reveal some secrets about how I do things in my life that I hadn’t told to anyone… you have your own way to make others talk..hahaha. The bellasrealworld exists and fortunately there are and there will be in the future a lot of beautiful things to learn from here about real life and, I am especially pleased not just for the quality of the interview but also for giving it to a much promising Greek site! Keep walking and…Until we meet again!
Interview by Sotia Bella