Petra Mavridi >>

Petra Mavridi

I was born in a Greek city called Patras where I graduated from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. After that, I decided to go to Athens in order to become a professional dancer. I attended the professional school of dance ”Rallou Manou” but I felt that I didn’t fit. And so, I started my Master’s in financial systems while I was working as a researcher at the same time. A year later in some more works as a programmer, I finally knew that I wanted to become an actress. Last but not least, I graduated from the Drama School of the Greek Art Theatre ”Karolos Koun”. In the last five years, I am an Athens-based actress and performer and I‘m very happy with my decision.

-As a child, I loved Sylvie Guillem. She is my favourite dancer. I had some photos of her with Akram Khan from the duet “Sacred Monsters” on my wall. “I am a classical dancer. I have been trained as a classical dancer, but I cannot say that my ‘reli- gion’ is a style, a technique, or a tradition. What I can say is, that the ‘place’ where I perform, whatever style I perform, feels strongly a ‘sacred place’. The stage … a monster … my sacred monster.” Sylvie Guillem, August 2006.
Movies are something else that I am fond of. When I was young I used to borrow movies from the video club nearby, and when I was on vacations I used to borrow two or three movies every day. Movies were my companion back then. A good movie is a great companion for me until today. Some of my favourite actresses are Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter, and Rossy de Palma.

-Art is the product of a unique vision, and honing an artistic voice requires skill, practice and disci- pline. While many artists choose not to pursue a degree in acting, there are many benefits to doing so. Students undertaking an acting degree program are introduced to various aspects of act and drama history prior to concentrating in a specific medium. Additionally, the formal education envi- ronment offers aspirants opportunities to work with and make professional connections with peers, professors and other actors. The world of art is incredibly competitive and can be quite frustrating; artists must continue to learn and be persistent in efforts to last.

-I am glad that since 2015 when I finished drama school, I maintain a steady presence in the film and theatre scene of Greece, having played in many theatrical plays, performances, and films. And since 2018 I have been doing my first steps in greek tv series. I am also glad that I have participated in projects outside the greek borders. I have worked in films and performances with French, English, Dutch, Germans, and Italians. All these projects have of-
fered me invaluable experience. I am always curious about finding out how people from different cultural backgrounds work as actors but also how they are running a project. That’s one of the reasons I always look forward to working in projects abroad. It is a great opportunity for me to ex- pand my knowledge through new experiences.

-Currently, Greece has some of the lowest rates of women’s employment in the European Union, is the lowest ranking country in the Gender Equality Index for EU countries and also there is a gen- der pay gap. The way women are portrayed by the media also needs to break away from stereotypes.
-The country is now at a critical point of transition after an unprecedented and prolonged period of austerity measures, which have impacted profoundly on every aspect of people’s lives. The loss of jobs and the rise in precarious work because of the financial crisis continue to disproportion- ately affect women, rendering them more vulnerable. Efforts to change current social norms and gender stereotypes through the education system and the media are critical. Without strong intervention, the opportunity to accelerate women’s equal participation in the social and economic life of Greece will not be realized.

-In Greece, you can see more than three hundred theatrical productions every year that taking place from a big theatrical scene to a garage. On the other hand, I cannot say the same thing for the film industry. Only a small number of movies are produced in Greece every year, most of them with minimal funding and low budget. Many foreign film production companies want to make their shootings in Greece because of the extraordinary natural landscape and the sunlight, although the lack of film studios and the bu- reaucracy make their plans very difficult. Apparently the government is trying through the collabo- ration with foreign partners to create a film production studio and solve these problems. Let’s hope that we will have news soon.

-Approaching a new role is like approaching a whole new world. The way I am approaching the text is through receptivity. I am not deliberately trying to make it interesting or make it work but instead, I leave myself open, receptive and let the script guide me during the first steps. I let it has its way through me. I let it penetrate and evoke something in me! I keep rereading the script as many times as I can throughout the rehearsal period, finding the parts that capture my imagination and the parts that help me to further connect to the character. I am doing external research reading up on any concepts I am not familiar with and internal re- search by digging up my own observations, experiences, and understanding about life. In addition to all the above, I never forget to trust my initial instincts.

-I haven’t found yet the balance between personal life and professional practice. Achieving a work- life balance is a daily challenge. It’s not easy, but always I am trying to do my best. In my free time, I love doing acrobatics. Working out and training is an excellent way to getting rid of the daily stress, decompress and make the transition between work and home.
getting rid of the daily stress, decompress and make the transition between work and home.

-Currently, I am working on a Greek TV Series called “The Red River” based on the Pontian Geno- cide. For more information please visit the following link: river. Also, I am really happy that the next month I will start shooting for a new short film called “Par- adise can get better”.
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