“There is no talent.” Every statement Christidou makes during the interview is thought provoking, including her surprising response when asked what makes an actress talented. “My voice teacher once told me all humans could sing opera if they started practicing when they were 5. If someone has something very special, it needs to be worked and guided,” she explains.
Born 24 years ago in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, Christidou’s eyes have the spark of those who want to discover the whole world, with this curiosity being the reason she decided to become an actress. “I was eight years-old and I wanted to do all the jobs in the world. I started to do theatre and I realised that as an actress, I could be everything.”
She started to build up this dream seven years ago, when she was accepted by The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki to study acting. Christidou is about to finish her degree after having conducted her final project. “A play I wrote and performed with a friend about her erotic disappointments, the death of my grandma and our experiences during lockdown,” she explains.
Despite thinking that “talent is a lie,” she has become known in the theatres of Thessaloniki, where she has taken part in several independent productions. These include an adaptation of “Blindness,” originally written by José Saramago or the original work of two young Greek directors: a story of a boy and a girl meeting in the middle of a protest. Both plays were performed in three different theatres within the city.
Christidou during the play “Closer”, by Patrick Marber. Photo by Aggelos Kalfas
However, Christidou’s ambition goes beyond Thessaloniki, as she explains with a determined smile. “I took last summer an acting seminar in Berlin, and I met some incredible people: a boy and a girl from London, another guy from Chile and five other girls, two from Russia, two from New York and one from Milan. We are now creating via Zoom a devised play to be performed at the Free Edinburgh Fringe Festival next August. Then, my friend and me are trying to get an invitation to perform the play we did for our final degree project at the 49th International Theatre Festival in Venice,” she says.
Her qualities are praised by Georgia Diakou, a refreshing, young artist who lectures at Aristotle University and directed Christidou’s final project. “Viki is precise and meticulous when working on a project and she is a cooperative person who listens to the needs of the people she works with,” Diakou explains.
Christidou during her degree project performance. Photo by Andreas Makris
The young actress chooses the word “colour” to define herself and describes her existence as “chaotic.” From her words and energy, it can be inferred that her life is full of stories that could be the plot of a play. Theatre is a magical word, and she is able to explain what makes it so special.
“In theatre, we create a second world that I really enjoy,” she says. “We disconnect from technology and discover the things we ignore in our everyday life, realising how powerful our body is and how strong our voice can be. Theatre shows us what it means to be human. It is also a vehicle to remind people the problems of society and share the things that need to be communicated urgently: we are all equal, lets love each other.”
When asked what it means to study acting in Greece, where theatre was created, she does not hide her frustration. She explains with a hint of sadness in her eyes that theatre was “invented and forgotten.” She adds that “the state does not care about civilisation” and “if you want to be an actress in Greece, you can only do it in Athens, yet is likely that you would need to move to another country.” Following her own advice, Christidou will leave her city and country next year and move to Berlin in search of new career options.