-To begin with, please tell us about your formation as a musician and singer. Who inspired you for a musical career?
Since childhood I have been making music. Mom says that I started singing earlier than talking – that is, I had no choice. My parents always supported my endeavors, so, thank God, there were no problems with this [adoption]. I am happy that everything turned out that way. Next was the music school: the button accordion class, then the piano, and so on and so forth. Because in childhood, where else will you be given? To study the classics, where else. So I didn’t hear rock at all. A turning point happened when my friend told me that, after listening to one group, I would definitely sit on it – and showed me “King and the Jester” (Russian horror-punk band). She really became my passion for many years. I liked all this mysticism, fantasy. Yes, and Gorshok (Mikhail Gorshenyov is a vocalist and one of the founders of the King and the Jester band) is very charismatic. After that appeared “Blink-182” (an American rock band), “The Offspring” (an American punk rock band) and other already pop-punk bands. I myself began to write in this vein about the age of sixteen.
-By profession, you are an actor in drama theater and cinema. What attracts you more: theater or cinema?
– In general, I’ve wanted to sing all my life, and went to acting because I didn’t work out because of a mutation in my voice. Although I did not see myself as an actor then. But then the profession gradually began to captivate, and I decided to finish training in this direction, but still engage in singing. Since already “breaking” on it has begun. It was lucky that I learned that the acting profession and vocals can be combined – in such a genre as a musical.
But I studied in Samara, and there was not much choice, and there were no musicals at all. There was a very good TUZ (Samara Theater of Young Spectators “SamArt”), and at that time I would like to work there if I had the opportunity.
On the other hand, I wanted to get into the musical. And I decided to go to Moscow, because then this genre was developed only there. Now there is still Peter, but then Moscow attracted me more.
As for the movie: it is closer to me in acting. I don’t like “theatrical size” (a special “enlargement” – strengthening emotions, facial expressions, etc.), to be honest. I like it only when the image is specially made grotesque, theatrical, like my image of Dalamar, for example. Theater is another storytelling language where metaphors and associations should prevail. This is what he is good at: in addition to telling the story, the theater excites imagination. But qualitatively, few people can do such things, basically – as we were kidding at the institute – these are cowards on a hanger. Allegedly a metaphor.
Cinema attracts me. But I understand that if you want to succeed in something, you need to focus on this. Cinema is not a priority for me right now.
And musicals are just mine. I have been doing this since I was ten years old, I love this genre and therefore, in fact, I work in it, even though it is not very popular. It does not bring, let us say, great financial benefits, but I do not give it up, because I really like it very much.
– Tell us how your theatrical journey began. Why did you go to Stage Entertaiment? What did the job in this company give you?
– I got to the Moscow Musical Theater, being a stage artist, – not knowing how to sing acoustically – and it was necessary to sing under the orchestra, without microphones, and I had to learn. There was a very good teacher – Alexander Petrov, he still teaches. Old enough, already grandfather. He explained to me literally in twenty minutes what I was doing wrong and how to fix it. Actually (for those who are interested, who study vocals), you need to listen to young children as they scream. They have a very high position, it is brought forward, namely in the mask (“singing in the mask” – singing with full use of the upper, head resonators). This cry is heard even at the other end [of the universe]. In an adult, unfortunately, this sound is lost. Throughout life, we listen to parents and others and adopt their manner of speaking: in Russia, it is mainly guttural speech (dull) and the same vocals. To understand what I’m talking about, listen to the children and Italians. Italians just do close singing, in a mask. It was difficult for me to rebuild, because pop singing, it … I do not really think this singing, after I found out what real acoustic singing means. I immediately had all these puffing, hissing and aching sounds gone.
And it started: I was sure that things would go further in my theater – and it happened. At first, since I “didn’t sing,” and still studied, they gave me small roles, they were with a dramatic bias, and then, when I was already full, somewhere in a year, they began to play the main roles in adult performances. That is, growth was good.
And then I saw Stage performances and realized that it was definitely mine, that I wanted to be there. They did high-level shows that really hooked me. I didn’t even care what quality to be there: on the role or in the ensemble.
For four years I constantly went to auditions with them. At the same time, I developed acting and vocally to match the level that I thought was in Stage productions.
By the way, the artistic director of the musical theater, where I worked then, dissuaded me from going to the ensemble to them: “They use you and spit it out”, which, in principle, most often happens – there is no development there. I came to the theater, four years later I went out – just heaven and earth. And in Stage for three years I can say, I just made money.
But thanks to them, I got into the industry and knew what a real professional cool show should look like. It was an unforgettable experience. Everything worked like a clock, now there is none like that anywhere. After such an institution, it is very difficult to be in Russian projects. They are already perceived as amateur performances.
– Now would you like to work in Stage again? Abroad?
– Not now. Abroad, definitely not. And in Russia, the Stage simply no longer exists; there is Moscow Broadway, which is also a cool company. Perhaps I would love to go to them, but just for the role. There are completely different conditions. In the ensemble you plow a lot, but you get less than a person in a role who plays twenty performances (and you play thirty-five). At the same time, he has the opportunity to combine work with other projects, but you do not.
Abroad, the ensemble earns more than principals. And this is natural, because they really work there constantly, especially those who still play the role (can replace the lead artist). It turns out that, in theory, they are better trained: they can sing, and dance, and all-all-all. It is quite the opposite with us: if you stand on a role, then you, consider, a star, and often those who play the main parts with us do not have enough dance or vocal training. They come to auditions, like dancing, like singing, but in fact, if you are famous and have already established themselves, everyone turns a blind eye to this. This is Russia, of course, but I still don’t quite understand where such a criterion comes from. Personally, I would ask a person.
–You actively realize yourself as a composer. What are the current plans for music?
– Well, as a composer … Just a songbook. So before our meeting with you, I finally finished writing the second verse of a new song: it is called “I Love You”, it will be released soon. The song is in the style of Jason Mraz (an American singer, known for mixing various genres in his songs: pop, rock, folk, jazz, country and hip-hop) and there are echoes, even, one might say, musical quotes of James Blunt (British singer performing in the genres of pop rock, soft rock and folk rock). There will be such an exclusively romantic composition.
Now I’m getting ready for the concert – on November 27th I have a concert in honor of my birthday. It will be very cool, so come!
(The editors of “From the Darks backstage” have already purchased tickets, and you, dear readers, advise you not to delay the purchase! Rather, go to smolinbirthdayparty.ticketscloud.org)
We are going to arrange even more than a concert, but a “party”. In Glastonberry. With the participation of all our musical artists, but it will be, as I said, not quite a concert format. I think everyone will enjoy it a lot, because there will be direct close communication with the artists. that is, this event is planned as a big party where the borders between speakers and spectators are erased. The invited actors are a little afraid that their fans would not crush them there, but we hope for their adequacy and that they will perceive all this normally. The party will be in the style of “American Pie” (“American Pie” is an American youth comedy from 1999 directed by Paul and Chris Weitz), as a big student graduation: contests and stuff, alcohol competitions, by the way, too. How I love: sex, but not drugs, but alcohol, and rock and roll.
And there I finally sing songs that I have accumulated. Yesterday I was going through the repertoire: many of the tracks that I want to perform, no one even knows yet. After all, I had the Magway group, then Rustim Bakhtiyarov and I had the Put in Paging group – from its repertoire there will also be a whole block that we will perform together with Rustim.There will be American covers at the concert, and purely our Russians – to dance! I don’t even know what musical to include in the program. I have not yet decided whether I will sing something from the musicals, but for the guys, musical artists, of course, I need to come up with something genre. Because you need to sing these songs in any scenario, the audience loves them, so a few compositions from musicals will definitely be performed.
– Would you like your solo ?
– This is my solo album. As if interspersed – the guys will help. Still, one is somehow bored. Again, this is not a concert in its usual sense, but such an easy mishmash. I think it will be a lot of fun. And all this action will take about three and a half hours.
– Among other things, you are known for their covers. Would you like to record a full cover album?
– Cover album – no. I don’t know how much this [album record] is actually relevant at the moment. I have already said that if you record something, then on vinyl. But so far I have not found my genre in songs. I just now more or less began to understand what is closer to me. And I just want to see at the concert what will respond in me and the audience. Including therefore, perhaps this will be a show for me. He will give a starting point – indicate where I should go next.
Now my songs are mostly multi-genre, and the artist should have his own recognizable style. I tried punk rock, then just rock, pop rock, and lately I’ve hit pop music more, but I don’t like it.
– What other areas would you like to try yourself? Perhaps in dubbing?
– Yes, I would like to, it is very interesting to me. Recently, by the way, a new musical was released in the dark. This is the voice acting in practice, you also use only your voice there.
– Speaking of the recently released immersion musical with your participation, “Light Inside,” which you mentioned. Tell us a little about the project, how did you get there?
– In December there was a casting. My friend Alexander Muravyov, an excellent double bass player and composer for double bass solo, just sent me information about him on VKontakte, and I, especially not believing, sent a request. I was invited, I passed the test, and that’s all, I was invited to participate. The casting there was quite unusual: at first we were led into the dark and checked if we could withstand it, because people have panic attacks in such conditions. They talked with us there, talked, and then only listened to us sing. True, already in the light.
Very difficult, in fact, the project turned out to be. In the sense that there were many obstacles to its implementation. And finally, we released it, and already many fans of the musical genre appreciated it – the reviews are good. There was little advertising, it was even, one might say, test rental. Because sponsors with whom there was an agreement, but who could not invest so far, were to come, because at first they did not understand what kind of product it was.Now, many very famous companies are ready to support the project. I think that now it will start abruptly and will reach a higher level – tours are already planned: they will give a ride here, then regions, and then China.
– It must have been a very unusual experience. What are your feelings about participating in the project? How does it feel to play in such a performance?
– While the rehearsals were going on, somewhere we had small pieces of light – then it was normal. But when complete darkness sets in, it somehow becomes uncomfortable. There is still technically unsuccessful done: the microphones are on the stand, and it is not very convenient to work when you are already used to the fact that the device is on your face and you are not enslaving yourself. And here in the dark you need to constantly look for the microphone, hold it, because a little you move away from it – we have narrowly focused devices – you fly out right away, and it is not very professionally obeyed. But I think we will solve this issue. And so, cool. I really like music, it’s generally bombing there. I like my character, Timon (the main male role). He is very cool.
– Can you tell us more about your hero?
– Roughly speaking, I play a blind man. I would prefer that you go to the play yourself and find out everything, because everyone has their own opinion on the outcome. The only thing I can tell: what is he doing. Since we stopped a lot of text, and this in the production became incomprehensible. We have the title character is the girl of the Light. And they [with my hero] meet each other in the play. Timon carries news from the village to the village where blind people live. And so he walks, plays the flute … The flute is his call sign. I did not go deep into the philosophy of why he walks with the flute. I think he, with her help, simply brightens his path. It is from the flute that everyone will recognize him – everyone knows that this is a signal that news is coming. This is a very important job, if you think about it.
– We’ll move on from premieres to native projects. Tell us how you got into the “Last Test”? What has this project become for you?
– I am very grateful to Ruslan [Gerasimenko] for inviting me to this project. I did my best not to deceive expectations, as I greatly appreciated it. And you probably know that I not only performed there as an actor, but Ruslan and I examined all sorts of directorial moments.
We shot a musical film together, which, I think, is just very cool, especially under the given conditions and taking into account the fact that we did it in one day. We were lucky with Pashka, the cameraman (Pavel Kochev, the director of photography for the movie “The Last Test”). He is really a very talented and professional cameraman, with someone else – I don’t even know if it would have worked out or not.
About the “Last Test”, what else to say … It is frozen. I don’t know, however, for how long and when to freeze.
– You have been the only Dalamar for a long time (the entire touring period and the first seasons of the Reboot). Is it difficult to part with this hero for an indefinite period, or is freezing a long-awaited vacation for you?
– I love the Dalamar tour. Now he is already an incomprehensible character to me. This is like a mixture of that Dalamar and something that I do not fully understand. But I am still very saddened that it was not possible to make a performance out of this performance that a new audience would understand “from the street”, coming to us for the first time. Perhaps, on the contrary, there is something correct: understatement motivates people who liked it to start reading literature, the source. But, as Ruslan himself correctly points out, this is not good for the life of the project itself, since it is difficult to sell.
My opinion on this subject is unchanged to this day: you need to invite a screenwriter or a professional librettist from the outside so that he, not being in this cauldron, build a thread that will be understandable to a [“stranger” person]. I still think that if we did start from there – because the fish rots from the head – from the script (which any movie and theater begins with), the project would not freeze now.
I myself suggested Ruslan to simplify the plot. We have already made the point that Raistlin is a close associate of the Priest King. And when we talked, we got to the point that he [Raistlin] initially wanted to open the Gate with the KZ – after all, he is also a bright priest – but he did not manage to persuade him.I wanted it to be like in a thriller … You see, the conflict should always be sharpened. According to my version, there was a small scene where Raistlin spoke with Dalamar that, supposedly, the King-Priest does not meet me, and tomorrow that same X day is coming. And then Dalamar himself may well say that there is another priestess – there she is. Let’s go to her. It becomes immediately clearer why Raistlin chose Chrisanius, and not someone else. Then. All this action begins. And the King-Priest is not really a fool, he all that the magician conceived, roughly suggests. In the context of what you can do him a double plan: he is also aware of the Istrian Gate, but does not want to set himself up, knows that Raistlin will bring another white priestess.
Nobody knows how to open the Gate correctly, that’s where they’ll get muddied. They only know that through the union of the dark magician and the bright priest. And how exactly is not clear. Here the King-Priest – since he is obsessed with sacrifices [the scene of the Mass] – thought that a mixture of blood or something like that should happen (but he did not want to harm himself).In my opinion, Takhisis at this moment [at the time of what is happening in Istara] is already starting to leave the Gate, but the only thing that does not allow her to do this completely is that they [the magician and the priest] did not love each other, and the union should be just a love one. But Raistlin thinks that the Dark Lady is about to penetrate the world and therefore herself destroys the Istrian Gate. My thought was like that. It seems to me that such a performance would be more understandable.
The second one. If there are other Gates … I immediately said that Raist, who knows about the second Gate, is bad. And what about the gates should tell him Crisanius, as the personification of the fact that she believed him. I wanted all the spectators who came to the musical and did not know the ending to think that the magician was going to avenge his mother – as in Indian cinema – and that he himself convinced everyone of this. Then the ending will just be stronger. Now this line is being traced, of course, but it can be done even more accentuated, so that it is clear why he is going, for which he is specifically taking revenge.
We also spoke the initial screen saver and registered a very good movie. So, there lived a little Raistlin with his brother. Their father goes to the war, which began because of Takhisis (she brewed all the mess), and there, accordingly, dies. Roughly speaking, she kills him. Raist was initially disliked at school, since he was already endowed with some magical abilities, but small. They beat him because of this, but he cannot answer yet. Once he is beaten so badly that Caramon brings his brother home in his arms, and his mother sees that Raistlin is already dying. She realizes that only dark magic can save him and turns to Takhisis. There is a moment in the play [the scene of “The Wizard’s Childhood”], when the Dark Lady “blows” on Rosamund and thus gives her magical powers. I don’t know if this is clear in the current version or not. And when she cures Raistlin, the transfer of those very forces takes place directly to him directly from her mother. Because of this, the Dark Lady robs Rosamund of sight as a payment for the service provided, according to the transaction they concluded. All this also needs to be shown visually.
Further. Takhisis made a deal with Raistlin’s mother for a reason – she knew that the child was already endowed with magic, and she could make him the greatest sorcerer. In other words, before that he was a mediocre magician, and when she endowed him with her power, she became very powerful. And this, too, could be removed: how still young Raist conjures, but does not realize what he is doing – he does not know how to cope with new talents. And that is why he goes to study at the Tower of Higher Sorcery, where he is haunted by dreams about his mother.And he wants to find out what kind of creature his mother killed, and where to find him. Soon Raistlin accidentally stumbles upon a book, which tells the story of Takhisis. He learns about the fact that she is locked, and about the way how to kill her: by combining the efforts of the dark magician and the bright priest. And Par-Salian finds Majere reading this book, which is why the Conclave expels him, because he understands that the student has begun to go deeper where it is not supposed to. And Raistlin ultimately became completely insane on the basis of the idea of getting to Takhisis.It turns out: a man goes to kill in the name of revenge, and gradually the dark forces take hold of him so much that he himself becomes an evil that he dreamed of destroying. In my opinion, a wonderful plot.
It seems to me, if there was something like that, it would be a success. It is difficult to explain, even more difficult to do, but for an ordinary person, when viewing it, everything will become clear. Not some higher matters, philosophy. All this is and will be in the text. I’m reading a little now, studying scriptwriting (but I’m definitely not going to write scripts), and there is a trick: you need to explain the meaning with simple sentences, without even using names, just pronouns.You have to say: “He came to this, did this, and this happened.” And the person who was told this should have no questions at all, and he should be interested. If you tell something else, he understands everything and he is interested – that’s all. Nothing more is required.
– Would you like to play a different role in PI?
– This role is probably not very suitable for me, but, in principle, I am interested in Caramon. True, I mostly play bad characters, I have a negative charm. My heroes are either villains or something so characteristic. Well, like Dalamar. We have such a characteristic villain. This is my role, but if you play in contrast … Raistlin is not interesting to me. He has a couple of cool arias that you can sing. But overall not mine. And Caramona would be curious to play.
– Finally, a classic ending for our interviews. Tell us about a funny or embarrassing incident that happened to you during a performance that was not visible to the viewer.
-At twelve or thirteen, there was a situation; I, in my opinion, already told this story. We played at the Samara House of Culture New Year’s Cinderella. High school students were there, taught me to use. But they know how to do it, I do not. And I opened the play, played a page. There was the first aria: “The whole city is like a city. And people like people around. ” It was fun: such a guy walks, staggers, his tongue weaves. ” I’m not a magician, I’m just studying, ”it must have sounded very funny too. How did not fall then, I do not know. And then I decided that in front of the scene I will never use again. Now I allow myself this only if the performance is bar. There are already people fed up, and you yourself have to be on the wave somehow. There – yes, but not in the performances, it interferes. It really bothers you, do not do so.
– What can you wish our readers?
– Come to my concert on November 27th at Glastonberry, because it will be very cool. I promise that I will finally do everything atmosphericly. I always felt that I just lacked an organizer. Because I can separately engage in creative affairs and do it cool, but organizational issues always take away from me that energy, which can be directed precisely in the creative direction. Because of this, I respect Ruslan very much: at first he did the “Last Test” almost alone, with Sergei Polyakov alone. At the same time he managed to play – it was just scary to look at him. It’s cool, but unrealistically hard. It’s good that now he has a big team. So now I have girls from the project “ARTmosfera” assumed organizational responsibilities. Yesterday we met with them, talked about jewelry. They said that they would do everything, and I had a stone directly fell from my soul. Come to me. It will be very cool.
Interviewed by: Carnot Anastasia
Lyricist: Tais Zakarzhevskaya
Editor: Anna Tarasova
Interview taken for the author’s magazine “Out of the dark …