‘Depths of Fear, Childish Curiosity and Moments of Admiration’

Klemen Janežič

With joint powers we had opened the enormous wooden archaic doors and a new space was right in front of us. It was a place full of secrets, stories, inspiration and potential. The jaded walls were silently telling their story that soon became a part of our own. Giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches were keeping us company. Depths of fear, childish curiosity and moments of admiration have arisen. Besides the searing winter air that was slipping through window cracks, we could also hear Birdy echoing in the background …

What does freedom mean to you (especially in the world of art and creativity or generally, to you as an inhabitant of this planet)?

I decided to study acting when I was in the second year of secondary school. I was a part of amateur theater group Drzne in Lepi (The Bold and the Beautiful) at Stična cultural house. We were working on an authorial performance Kava, čiki, alkohol, živci (Coffee, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Nerves). As you can gather from the title, the performance was perfect for a sixteen-year-old. When we were preparing the play, which was led by Dejan Spasić, an entirely new world has opened up to me. A world where anything was possible. I could be anyone and what is more, there was no place for prejudices. For someone who has lived in a village, the experience was new and fresh. After the premiere, I was completely obsessed with that feeling. At that time, I was practicing dance since only then was I able to express myself freely, but dancing was suddenly not offering me enough anymore. The freedom of theatrical performance has set me free. I think the timing could not be better. From then on, I am constantly trying to keep my inner freedom. The problem occurs when we find ourselves stuck in certain patterns and prejudices that people force on us persistently. The real freedom grows inside of us.

As far as our personal freedom is concerned, I am profoundly disappointed. We do not want to share our freedom with others, especially not with the people whose freedom has been taken away. What is more, although we are aware of the history and transparency of manipulation that is going on in politics, we humiliate and look down upon them.

Entrapment is merely a feeling.

My close ones help me deal with distress.

Fear is currently firmly ingrained within each and every one of us.

Theater is timeless.

The perfect place for home is anywhere where Nina is.

I experience Zen when I dance.

I rarely share my privacy.

I overcome prejudices with open-mindedness.

As far as their physical preferences are concerned, insects are a great inspiration.

Do you follow what is happening to the society at home and abroad? What is your opinion of trends?

I think that nothing major is wrong with the society. The problem is the politics that manipulates the society. I am disgusted by all the daily news for which it does not matter whether they are true or not, by social networks that give you a fake feeling of freedom and connection, by all unveilings of corruption and by other machinations. For these reasons, I decided to stop following daily progression of our country and the world. The main trend is that people only care about themselves and hence, it is difficult to speak of society as a group of people that harmonically coexist and make it possible for each other to live better lives.

If you had the power of speech so strong and convincing the whole world listened to you and did what you told them to, what would you say?

First, I would slap each and every one of them. Well…I would slap myself, too. Just kidding. I would tell them we were all in this crappy world together and that there was only one way out – by pulling together. I know, I know…I am young and stupid, but hope dies last, right?

What animal could you identify yourself with?

Every human has various animals within him. In different situations we react differently and if we pay close attention, we can identify all of them. Personally, I find this question very intimate, so I would rather keep my animals for myself.

Are you a child of nature, the wilderness or the city bustle?

I definitely see myself as a child of nature, but I definitely also have a wild side. I have spent all my childhood in Stična, a village in Lower Carniola surrounded by hills and forests. My home village has offered me a real fantasy world. Luckily, I had many friends and we were spending our days in the forest, on the playground and in the local stream. My grandparents had a small farm, so they always needed an extra hand. We also had many pets at home: goldfish, hamsters, two dogs, etc. Our stable in Stična is currently a home for four horses.

Is Slovenia your ideal home or are you searching for ideals elsewhere?

Slovenia is my home and I would never change that. Sometimes I ask myself what it would be like if I lived in a big country where some things are easily realized. Slovenia is not an ideal country, mostly because of our confinement and fear of something new and different; however, the real problem is the society and the people, not the country itself.

Searching for foreign ideals is meaningless. It is important to aim for your own.

Do you follow trends and fashion?

Honestly, I do not; however, I do know some fantastic Slovenian designers. I dress myself as I wish and do not follow trends, but I believe the marketing science affects my subconscious which partially dictates my style.

What influence do you think theaters have on society?

In the current “gadget era” people see theater as some kind of steam engine, something obsolete. The problem is that no matter how stimulating “gadgets” may be, they do not have the real energy. Yes, they sure do influence our brain receptors that trigger body reactions et cetera, but gadgets are still artificial and heartless. On the other hand, the theater does have a heart and so do the actors and all the background creators. The energy on the stage enables the viewer to experience one of a kind and unique moments. However, it is necessary to drift with the tide when the performance needs you to. In the theater, there is no place for defense mechanisms.

Theater can influence the individual and consequently, the individual can influence the society.

Which has been your favorite character that you have performed? Which character has a special place in your heart?

I prefer to occupy myself with thoughts about the roles I have already performed. I like to think about how different projects were illuminated or obfuscated. It sounds systematic, but it is not. Some findings come in all kinds of forms long after the premiere, even with a year of delay. I would love to perform the role of Hinkemann from Ernest Toller’s drama Hinkemann, written in 1921. Although I have already performed this role in SNG Drama in Ljubljana (2014), I would love to do it again as the character has a special place in my heart.

Editorial team

Photographer: Urša Premik

Make-up & Hair: Taja Koželj

Stylist & art: Simon Cirkulan

Model: Klemen Janežič

Assistant: Jani Ugrin

Clothes: Vintage Divas Store

Text: Simon Cirkulan