Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Artist Life

When I was writing The Race yesterday, I thought of all the little moments that have tied our boys with their dad forever. Then, I thought of my relationship with my dad. Interesting, while mom was cooking for us daily, I remembered very well the days when dad was cooking for us; while mom was taking my sister and me out to the park daily, I remember very well the days when dad was taking us to the park.

My dad is an artist, an opera singer, to be exact. And no matter what task he would take on, it was processed through his creative mind and turn out very different and unusually cool.

Recently, I was invited to USC to attend a lecture by the School of Cinematic Arts Dean Elizabeth Daley, where she was talking about the interesting relationship between cinematography and science. But one phrase she said stuck in my head - creative people are difficult. And it is absolutely true! It is a nightmare for structured people to understand how creative people operate – they are moody, incapable of getting up in the morning, grabbing a quick breakfast and coffee, and running off to work until 6PM. For them, taking kids to playground is close to the torture. I heard that Leo Tolstoy would not even talk to his children until they grew up! Creative people are unable to come up with the same dish every time without adding some unusual spice to it. One day they are up, one day they are down. They live and love on their own terms. But, while they are difficult, our lives would be... very pale, robotic and uninteresting without them!

I have never seen my dad as the Artashes Ayriyan the audience sees him. I knew him as the dad who baked delicious cheese turnovers on Sundays and the dad who was taking my sister and I down the rocky trail to the water stream and helping us collect wild flowers for mom. Every time I smell wild flowers in the air, I remember those walks.

I also knew him from behind the scenes of the Opera Theater. I remember watching him putting make up on before his performance, and taking make up off after it was over. I remember watching him changing costumes between the scenes. I remember watching him turning into a king, or a passionate lover, or a funny servant. I remember getting terrified watching him getting shot fearing he would not get up after the curtains would close. I remember waiting for dad finish talking to producers, directors, other actors, dancers, singers, and fans, who would visit him after his performances, and falling asleep on our way home…

Dad certainly made my childhood colorful. And if I inherited just a little bit of my dad, I am honored…

Will be giving him a big hug this Sunday. 

Signing off till Monday.
With love always,
xo Zuma A.

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