#12You receive invitations to festivals easily and often, but you always have a problem with the money and how to reach a festival destination?
In September last year I applied with the Ministry with the invitations that I had received fro 2005. From these festivals I only realized the invitation to Sarajevo Winter, the Festival of Monodrama in Kiev and the Theatre-Space Festival in Istanbul. This year I also lost the official competition of the Cairo Festival with Father, and I did not manage to participate at several other festivals, I did not go to Yerevan with the Diary of the Madman… This is a loss for the country, because I represent the theatre achievements of the country in the best way with these plays. There has to be a way in the Ministry to have the budget for these projects that do not go as tourists around the world, but to present the theatre achievements of the country. One should not allow that any theatre or any play or project goes around the world. One man should not decide on the money for these tours, but a group that will make the selection on who can represent us outside, The best example is what they told me in Kiev: the festival had it sixth anniversary this year, and I won the first award as Poprishchin with the Diary, while there had been plays from here visiting for five years, but I don’t know which ones and why.
The fate of your Father and Diary of the Madman is strange – they are played much more outside than at home?
Unfortunately, they are played only outside. One evening the writer Ilhami Emin met me and asked me when Bajrush Mjaku will visit Skopje. I live here, I create here and it is very difficult to organize the plays. Of course, not with respect to the audience. I am always called by Albanians, Macedonians, Turks who ask me when they can see the Diary of the Madman or Father. The Diary had its 35th show in Kiev, and Father its 22nd in Saint Petersburg. We have agreements with the teams for the two plays for ten shows each, and now we manage for all others.
How does it go, how?
What we receive from the festival where we play is divided among the team. I participate with my family budget with every visit abroad to what the Ministry gives me.
Is it the reason why some people of the theatre give it up, become MP-s, advisors, ambassadors, presidential candidates?
Huh… This shows that we are good at everything. We are smart! Let’s be serious: there are two categories of actors in theatre – those who like themselves in the theatre, and not the theatre in themselves, and those who knowing that they are no good at it look for a way out. They run from theatre because they are convinced that they have nothing to give to it. The other position gives them the possibility to earn much more – 4 sessions in the course of the month, at the City Assembly level is a full actor’s salary.
#13This autumn is full with visits abroad, and you also prepare a play – you as a director and two more actors; is this a new kind of work?
I have never thought in my life that I should run from my profession and do something else. The directing is not new for me and I’m not doing this play because I’ve imagines that I can be a director too. We agreed with my colleagues Vebi Kerimi and Sefedin Nuredini by chance that we can work on the text of the ZOO Story by Edward Albee; Vebi plays Jerry and Seydo Peter. Because I support the ambience theatre, I make the project outside – in an ambience. If it is a ZOO story, it should be in a park, and that is why we chose the area of the theatre yard. But this does not mean that I’m starting to work in directing. No, I’m an actor and I will continue as long as I am convinced that I have what to give to the audience.
Last year you were in Paris with the Diary and Father; there were remarks that Macedonia will be presented by an Albanian play within the Days of Albanian culture, and this month you played there again?
The days that were organized in Paris, at L’île-Saint-Denis municipality last year. I was invited to play my two independent productions – Diary of the Madman and Father. This year this event is organized for a second time, as Week of the Albanian Culture. The organizers, who addressed their municipality for funds, were told by the Minister of Culture for this municipality, who is an artist and was happy with my two plays, that they would get the money if the Diary of the Madman comes again and that he would see that I also play another municipality. Knowing that I would have problems with the finances and that I have to find a way how to reach Paris myself, this is an amount of 4-5 thousand Euro, knowing that I would not have the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, I proposed that the Albanian Theatre from Skopje goes to the Week of Albanian Culture with the dance theatre play Towards Oneself. I sent a DVD and there was a man from the organization of the Week who came here. So, I played the Diary on 7 and 8 October, and Towards Oneself was played on 10 and 11 October.
You did not clarify the remarks that you represented Macedonia at the event of Albanian culture?
That’s not true. That was a Week of All-Albanian Culture where artists from Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo participated. And if the people think that Albanian culture is in Albania only, I have nothing to say, because that culture lives in this area too, it has its history and its achievements. However, I think it is my big success that there are people who share my opinion.