I AM THEATRE: Olympia Dukakis

Uploaded by IAmTheatre on 19.01.2012

Over the course of the years as an actress, there were moments when it became necessary
for me to confront certain kinds of behaviors.
But the most compelling moment I had, happened during the rehearsals of "Long Day's Journey".
My brother, Apollo Dukakis was directing; my husband Louis Zorich was playing the husband.
Now, we had already done this play, actually, twice before. You would think - well, what
is there to unearth? Well, we started rehearsal and my husband is not looking at me. I couldn't
find his eyes and finally I stopped and I said, "Louis, why don't you look at me? I
can't play"
My brother got into it and he said, "Well, what's the problem?" And I said, "He won't
look at me. I don't know what to do." And my brother says, "Well, I don't know what
to do either when you start to want to control the stage."
Well this of course...I got very upset. He said, "You look like you're playing with people
but you're not. Unless you believe and agree with what they're playing, you won't play
with them, you won't trust them. You look like you are but behind your eyes, I know
what you're doing."
He was right and he kind of really stopped me in my tracks. Eventually when we went back
to it, I said, "All right, I'm going to trust that whatever Louis' doing is right for the scene."
And of course, what happened was that what I had rejected was exactly what I needed to see.
Even I had to see that if I was to stay an actress, I had to stop trying to win,
I had to start playing again. I had lost that, which is of course, a great pleasure.
Never mind that the best work comes from it. But it's a great pleasure.
I am Olympia Dukakis and one of the pieces that makes theatre, is acting.