Kaunas as a source of inspiration 4

Deimantė Dementavičiūtė-Stankuvienė
www.kamane.lt, 2016-04-21
D. Gavenonis in the 5th grade, on the way from school. Laisvės avenue, Kaunas. Photo from the personal archive.

In brief: Theatre and film actor Dainius Gavenonis, Lithuanian National Culture and Art Prize winner has been previously awarded with Ministry of Culture prizes for his great roles; he had also received the Golden Stage Cross and Silver Crane among other awards. Actor, born and raised in Kaunas, shares the lively and sincere memories of his youth - one of the most important stages of life, full of fatal decisions.

I was wondering what attracted the actor to the J. Naujalis Art high school, as a child. D. Gavenonis says that his parents told everyone that he did not even care for clothing, nor food. Upon waking up he would just get up and go to the table, take a pencil and start drawing. "Our class had very interesting personalities. Even if they had not become professionals of their chosen specialty, they all grew up to be special people. Childhood and youth spent in that school was quite an exceptional time; it raised true personalities and they matured early. Each student started working in a unique style from an early age. In that school each person was considered unique. The majority of kids’ parents - neither mother, nor father - were artists, but their children grew up, graduated from academies and became really unique individuals," D. Gavenonis spoke of his school.

I was curious to know why the actor exchanged his passion for fine arts to performing arts. Dainius Gavenonis says, "Since I became interested in film and theatre, I did not think I would become a fine artist. Then, one summer, I accidentally met this girl Jurga, who told me, "I hear you want to get into performing arts, here, this university is gathering a course of philologist actors." I told her I wanted to be an actor, not a philologist. After that I went to J. Naujalis School and I was offered a night watchman's job. I worked there for almost half a year. And after I was let go, I went to Stanislovas Rubinovas Youth Studio, which I was attending since 16, because I wanted to be close to theatre and so I could pass the exams."

Actor adds, "But before the academy a future actor can hardly imagine what this profession is about. It is impossible to feel or understand until you end up in the academy. It is always far from how you imagined it. And it is a very difficult profession, also quite nerve-wrecking, because you are very much dependent on others."

"And speaking of Kaunas, I agreed to talk about it because I can say so much about this city. People, who live in Kaunas say that it is a city of people who like to take walks without rushing. In Vilnius, it is difficult to see a person or a family, who just went out for a walk, not to a shop, but simply to take a walk. But in Kaunas there are many people who are simply taking a walk in Laisvės avenue. I also feel really relaxed when I come to Kaunas. I go for a walk, thinking that I might meet someone, because in Kaunas it is easier to meet a person and in the end, that person whom you have longed to meet will appear out of nowhere. Kaunas is a source of inspiration. You inhale in Kaunas and exhale in Vilnius," says Dainius Gavenonis.

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