Greeks of the World

“I was born and raised in Kavala, a beautiful city by the sea, in the northern part of Greece. I’d highly recommend it for a holiday! I have lived and worked in New York City, but at the moment I live in London.  Due to the nature of my acting work I travel to Athens quite a bit. I definitely see myself as a “citizen of the world”.

I decided to leave Greece to experience something completely different, and London was the place I chose to live and study. It is very diverse and has so many acting opportunities, be it theatre, film, commercials… all sorts! Apart from that, I love how it is a great hub and it has given me a great opportunity to travel to 45 countries in Europe, Asia, America and South America, in a much easier way than what I could have done if I was living in Greece.

From a very young age I was into films. I enjoyed watching traditional Greek comedies (Aliki Vougiouklaki in particular) over and over again. Then I started watching a lot of Hitchcock films and Woody Allen. Both different but very interesting. I remember how scared I was whilst watching “The Birds”, yet I persevered, sometimes watching in mute (to reduce my fear), to help hone my acting skills. Like most actors, I did a lot of school plays, but what is exciting is that my school entered a competition, where we went to Athens and won a special Karolos Koun award for our play and our performances. Since then, I felt that there was potential, so decided to pursue my dream in a professional manner.

I recently returned from Athens, where I was filming a feature film that has funding to go to the cinema which is super amazing! I have just finished filming Morgane Polanski’s debut in directing, a short film called “The Stroke”, and also another film called “Matchbox”, alongside Simon Callow and T4 Presenter Miquita Oliver.

When I am not acting I am a successful Programme Manager in E-Commerce (apart from my extensive acting studies, I have a Masters in E-Commerce and a Bachelors in IT). Those skills really help me stay organised and focused on my acting career since I treat it as a project – tasks, resources, milestones are all in there to help me achieve my acting goals. Creative and organised!

When I first moved to London, I really enjoyed going to all the malls and I had to stop myself buying too many clothes! I failed big time. All the West End theatres were amazing and I was going to a show a week!

My biggest challenge was the fact that I was not used to such big distances. In Kavala you can walk everywhere or take your car and drive 5 minutes to get to a place. In London I struggled with the large distances and with keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances that were living in the other part of town, but ultimately the amazing acting opportunities made up for this.

What I missed most about Greece was the weather. The sun. The beach. The views of the sea. The tasty fresh vegetables and fruit. Also, all the traditional Greek food that you could find in London, but they just don’t taste the same – like gyros, mageritsa, kokoretsi, patsa, sarmadakia etc. – worth a Google (and a taste)!

I wish that Greece had as many work and acting opportunities as the UK, and I wish the UK had more sunshine!

I absolutely feel like I have two patrides!  Once you have lived long enough in two countries it is natural to feel that you have two patides. I have two passports – a Greek and a British one – so I am definitely a girl of two worlds!”

Eirini, London and Athens

 

Gina Mamouzelos

Gina is a third generation Greek Australian who grew up immersed in her Greek heritage, including the language, traditions, culture and listening to her grandparent’ mesmerising tales about life in Greece. Passionate about ensuring the Greek language is not forgotten among the younger generations, in 2002 she became a panel member on the SBS Greek radio show ‘Let’s Talk Openly.’ She graduated with a Media and Communications degree from the University of Sydney and has put her lifelong passion for writing to use working in social media, public relations and advertising. Gina now joins GCT’s team as a writer.

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