Anyone that knows me, knows I was born melancholy. I came into this world solemn and taciturn: as if bearing a responsibility. I had much to mine to discover my mirth … It is the moment I found I was an actor that levity entered my life …Because it was that moment when I knew that art can help me navigate pain -- the kind of pain whose origin you may not even consciously know.
100 years ago today, the #Ottoman government began its planned extermination of the #Armenian people from their ancient homeland … 100 years ago today, 250 prominent Armenians:lawyers, doctors, actors, writers, priests - our intelligentsia- were rounded up to be deported and killed. 100 years ago this year my great-grandfather Bedros was beheaded in Kharpert leaving his pregnant wife Lucine brutally widowed to have their child and walk 200 miles to Aleppo and somehow raise him in a refugee camp. She never spoke of what happened along the way.
This event has been something I have been processing for most of my conscious life -- since I first heard of the horror stories as a young child in#Aleppo on our summer visits. This event has become a defining element of who I am today as a human being, and as an artist -- working to understand, to process the pain, to reclaim joy while making art as catharsis and a means to understand the vastness of what it means to be a human being …
In the last couple years, we have also lost Aleppo … At times, it just feels surreal.
I woke up sick in #Yerevan today -- sore throat, fever. Oddly appropriate. But I woke up in my gorgeous Aunt Helen's house, able to speak my mother-tongue of Western Armenian and drink Armenian coffee and be here to witness the energy in this city, in this country as we come together to remember, honor and move forward with the knowledge that we are here.
And sadness and pain can be the path towards discovering a greater joy … but we must continue to speak, continue to tell our stories and share our humanity … this is not the end … and this is not a fight. It is an opportunity …#makeartthatheals