Interview with Apostolos Ioannides

Interview by Vassilios Nicolaos Vitsilogiannis
(IG @vassiliosvitsilogiannis)

Apostolos Ioannides was born in Patras, Greece and raised in Gastouni, Greece, but he has roots in Asia Minor.
First, he studied Culinary Arts, Confectionery and Baking in Athens and later Hospitality and Tourism Administration at the University of Cyprus. He is currently studying acting at the Vladimiros Kafkaridis Drama School in Nicosia. He is a radio producer at various radio stations where his shows have a large audience and himself has a lot of fans.

1. When was the first time you felt like you wanted to become an actor?

My first acting experience was in 2010 in Cyprus at Sigma TV Channel where Ι took part in the tv series “Ela Pare Me” (Come And Get Me). I had to play a journalist in a talk show. The proposal came unexpectedly, and if you ask I have no idea how it happened. All I can remember is that I accepted it without a second thought. It was something new for me and I was very excited. Since then, I had several small collaborations with various Cypriot TV productions. However, my career in tourism, my first field of study, offered me great financial benefits and did not leave any room for me to work professionally as an actor.
Still, I always had a voice in my head calling me to “dare”. A few months before the proposal for the tv series “Gi Tis Elias” (Land of Olive Tree) two friends who are also well- known actors, had told me “Apostolos, you will become an actor someday. That should be your path in life.” That was when I strongly felt the feeling of “now or never”.

2. Tell us a few words about your role in the TV series “Gi Tis Elias”; on Mega Channel.

My role in the series "Gi Tis Ellias" was a co-starring one. A “Long-lived Guest Appearance” as the production called it. Initially, based on the original agreement, I knew I would stay throughout the show. I played Lieutenant Grigoris Dousmanis, Assistant to the Chief of Police George Kourakou (Alexandros Martidis). I was his right hand. I was always by his side and yet betrayed him, paying the price with my life.
This role, although started timidly with few lines during the first episodes, gradually evolved into an important one. I participated totally in 82 episodes which left me with beautiful memories. During the filming, I had an audition for the Drama School and secured a place there. I promised myself that if I would get a place at the drama school, I would postpone my studies until the end of the series and then proceed with this journey. In the process, however, I began to think much more maturely, deciding that I should not be carried away by the success of the TV series. I thought that by the end of my studies I will have greater opportunities, so I decided to speak with the production manager. A few days later I was informed that my role would take another turn and I would be heading towards the end. In any case, I could never do both things simultaneously and that is not because of the production but because the Drama School has the policy to ban any work or screening in theatre, television, or cinema during the studies. I have no regrets about my decision. I believe that this role offered everything it has to offer. It was a great opportunity for me and I feel blessed that “Gi tis Ellias” was my first official acting job. I thank Andreas Georgiou
and Make It Production for this opportunity and as we know, I hope in the future I will have a chance for another collaboration with them. I was very moved that during the last episodes people started to love Lieutenant Dousmanis and until today I receive messages like “Tell us that there will be a twist and you will suddenly return”

3. They say that radio is a 'magical world'. What is radio for you and why did you choose to work for different radio stations?

Magical! Say that again. If one does not have the opportunity to experience it, one cannot understand it. There isn’t a more beautiful feeling than being behind a microphone and having to convey your feelings. The fact that there is no eye contact makes it even more magical. There were times when I turned off the microphone and cried. Many times, I also happen to sing and laugh out loud. Others I would run out of breath and almost choke.
Many funny stories and others not so much! Radio for me is a way of life, a way of expression, a way to show LOVE. Radio is my way to connect with the whole world. It’s not just a job. Radio is now my commitment to the people who listen and follow me faithfully. I cannot be absent from it. To return to your question about my collaborations with several stations, I want to emphasise that I make a specific broadcast pattern. The same kind of show is everywhere. I do the ‘old good radio’ broadcast where the listener has direct contact with the show host. A broadcast where people might send a love message to a loved one. I even answer some listeners and even talk to them. Maybe this is what the stations I work with appreciate. My goal is to spread my shows as much as possible. With the collaborations I have so far, my show on the weekends is broadcast live to Cyprus, Greece, Great Britain, Australia, and New York, mainly on the radio but also on a web worldwide platform. Finally, regarding the Radio part, I want to mention the fact that the Radio is the truest means of communication, regardless of whether it has been damaged in recent years. I generally do not listen to the radio. Unfortunately, I cannot accept a lot of people who are chosen to do radio. There is a way of doing things. There is a structured project, a subject matter, a correct way of speaking to the listener, and of course respect towards the listener. All this has unfortunately been lost today and we have turned it into nonsense gossip and telemarketing.

4. What is the daily schedule of an active man like you and how do you manage to combine so many things?

The truth is that 24 hours are never enough. When I was shooting the “Gi Tis Elias” my daily schedule was crazy, especially the last two weeks of filming, which coincided with Drama School, when we were rushing to complete the filming. My daily routine started at 8 in the morning when I would leave the house and I would usually return to the house at one in the morning. This was happening every single day. And on the weekends, I would find myself in the radio studio all day. But the radio industry keeps me busy every day.
Apart from the radio shows, I am also in charge of communications in one of the stations, where I am in constant contact with record companies for new songs, exclusive broadcasts, artist interviews, and social media management. Don’t you even ask me about my personal time? I used to go to the gym at some point but now there is no time for that either. You know something; it does not bother me for the time being. When you do something you love, you do not care.

5. Having been in contact with other colleagues, what is it that you find most stressful for an actor?

Time. It is very important. Do you know what it is like to have performances and rehearsals in the theatre at the same time and not be able to follow a steady schedule? TV shooting is not an easy task, especially when you are dealing with a daily tv series. The schedule is rarely followed accurately.

6. If you were asked to choose between theatre, cinema, or television, what would you choose without a second thought?

Well, probably you think I would choose television. Theatre is what brings you closer to the audience, it helps you find yourself and as a beloved actor in Cyprus says and I have kept it, “Theatre is to truly portray the truth”. In theatre, you do not have the luxury of lens safety, multiple shootings, and editing. Of course, this does not make television easy. It simply offers you security in covering possible mistakes. In conclusion, I will answer that I
choose theatre and I will continue with television and cinema, taking into account that with these two you enter the house of the people every day and you become recognisable to them from the first moment. Thus, an actor needs that too.

7. When an actor is taking on a role, do you consider it to be a practice that the actor has to carry out through his own experiences?

The only sure thing is that the actor must get into the role however he thinks helps him best. The important thing is to achieve this. Many actors use their personal experiences to carry out a role assigned to them, which I think is wrong. Why put yourself through such a test? Acting is “circumstances”. These are what the Drama Schools teach today and we must use them. I just pick the circumstance and use it for the role. Imagine if all the actor’s roles had to be from his personal experiences…that would be madness.

8. If you would have been reborn, which personality trait would you have liked to have again and why?

Being reborn? I don’t know why but I believe that I will be reborn somewhere in the future. The personality trait I would have kept will be my honesty. I am a very honest person and I never show the world something that I am not. So, I always want to be myself whether I’m in the spotlight or not. I want the world to know the Apostolos as he is. I remember myself in my first steps, being simple and welcoming to everyone. I see today the thousands of followers I have on social media but I am still myself. Let’s not forget that an artist exists thanks to the public. People hardly admire us and in just a second, they can wipe us off the map.

9. Is an actors experience equivalent to success?

Not necessarily. I think one should have the ‘star’. We see actors with many years of experience who are expressionless. On the other hand, some young actors are very remarkable and very talented. So, the opportunity must be given to young actors. There are artists out there waiting to shine. So, let’s give some of them a chance. I believe the public also needs it. This year we saw a lot of young actors appear and people liked that. Especially the television viewers in the last years that stay at home due to the situations we are experiencing had the need for such change. So, unfortunately, or fortunately, experience and previous service are not always the weapon for one’s success.

10. What are your plans for the future?

Plans are the only thing I am making! The fact that I was allowed to introduce myself to the world before going to Drama School is a great personal achievement for me, if I may call it that. For the next two years, unfortunately, I will not be able to appear in theatrical performances and television productions. So, the goal is to invest more in radio and prepare the ground for how I will move on with my acting journey when I graduate from school. Now it is a good time to mention that I have taken over the position of the General Manager of the Greek Record company REAL MUSIC in Cyprus and I am very happy about all this. Record companies have been an interest for me since the first day of my radio career and my goal was to work with some of them.

11. Were there some collaborations in your life that made you not only a better actor but also a better human being?

I would not like to dwell on the “best actor” part of the question because this is something that will never stop evolving. I will focus on the better human being, something that is sadly missing out there today. Of course, I believe that one does not become a better person overnight. I believe a good person was born. I was made a better person by my family who stands by me in every decision I make and I thank them publicly for that. They gave me the right values. Along the way, some collaborations just came to complete the puzzle.
And how did that come about? Seeing the wrong scripts of specific collaborations that I had, I did just the opposite. I took the black and turned it into grey and then into white. Fortunately, there is no colour around us. It is up to all of us to contribute a little to a better world.

12. What is the reaction of people who recognise you on the street or send you messages on your social media?

Well! This is an odd part about this job. There were times when people would curse at me and tell me that I will pay for everything that is happening on the tv show. The other day I was walking carefree in Cyprus and they just cursed me without even looking at me. Someone the other day had asked me “didn’t you die a few days ago?” However, there are good experiences as well. People say “you are very good, keep doing what it is that you are doing” They have even sent me several gifts and letters to the radio station, flowers.
Things I did not expect. On the other hand, the messages I receive on my social media accounts are messages of love and admiration. Many even request I make a turnover and return to the show “Gi Tis Elias”. There are also plenty of Instagram stories with my name on the series, tags with the radio shows as well as several fan pages that pop up now and then. Hopefully, I will not disappoint anyone in the future and continue to have the opportunity to contribute in every way to art and to people who recognise what I do.

13. If I asked you to describe your life with a song what would that be?

I can mention several songs because of the numerous songs I listen to every day on the radio show but I would rather use three words “Parte me kymata”. It is the name of my first single that I aim to release by the end of 2022 by REAL MUSIC records with a beautiful video clip that will be shot in Mani! The lyrics were written by Petros Vasiliades and the music is by Yiannis Thanos. It is an excellent song and I hope I can produce it with the right respect it deserves. I am not a singer and I will never become one, however, in art, there are no limits when something is made with love and respect.

14. And if I asked you to describe your life with a theatre play what would that be?

Without a second thought “Avli Ton Thavmaton” by Iakovos Kampanellis. A play that was first performed by the “Theatro Tehnis” in 1957 talks about the strong passion between two lovers. A forbidden love that did not have a happy ending. Besides, not all stories have the Happy Ending that we all want, that we all expect…

Photo: Dimitris Kapediotis @demetriskapediotis / @ eight.photostudio
Makeup: Natalia Tassoula @nataliatasoula_mua
Clothes: Square Boutique @square_boutique
Location: Atlantis Gardens Resort Cyprus @atlantisgardensresortcy

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