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Danica Grubački, Actress

Life On Wheels

I come from Zrenjanin, and that can’t be changed. Okay, Novi Sad is also an important factor in my life, I would say that I still mostly see myself as a lady of Novi Sad. On the other hand, my home theatre is located in Sombor, where I rented an apartment on my own for years. I also see the Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad as my home theatre. I’ve been there the longest and the first plays that I performed in are still living there. So, what am I doing in Belgrade?

I capitulated, accepted centralisation, and moved to Belgrade, where I’m attempting to broaden my field of activity. To be here until it becomes normal for me, and then when the public perceives me as someone who is available and present, I will return with a peaceful soul to Novi Sad, the stumbling block of all cities that are important to me. Why, for God’s sake, do I complicate my life, especially now that I’m in a relationship in which ‘finality’ doesn’t sound like a terrible word to me, and he is also in Novi Sad? Well, it’s because I think that, alongside the dozen or so plays a month that I have to perform, I still have a lot of free time, and in order to avoid spending time in the eternal cleaning of apartments, which I admittedly enjoy, I’m trying to exit my comfort zone, to move from the familiar and simple to the new and challenging, in order for me to be able to return to that first state, once I desire a routine.

A routine is nice until it gets boring, then I blow it to smithereens. After that I put blocks together in order to achieve it again. I’ve been living in those cycles for years, and as much as I sometimes whinge, I like to lead this life. I do a fun job, have no fixed working hours and, personally, I’ve been very lucky with the repertoire in which I perform. Realising that always cheers me up again and again. And one circumstance – that’s mitigating because I know what I want, and aggravating because of what I want – is the fact that I want to stay here. There’s no other place where I could feel such closeness, and there are no people around the world (except maybe our own in the diaspora) who could understand the context I come from, which is an indispensable part of my identity.

So, life on wheels. I believe that makes a lot of sense in principle, while on the other hand it’s exhausting and sometimes look like fleeing. I believe that this possibility to choose every day looks attractive from the outside, but it’s also challenging to wake up every day and create something. And sometimes it’s so hard to know what you want. As long as it’s a challenge, and not pressure, it’s good. Creating some kind value deserves one ‘this day counts’.

I believe that this possibility to choose every day looks attractive from the outside, but it’s also challenging to wake up every day and create something

Often it isn’t enough for me to ‘just’ have a show during a day. That’s far from saying that I perform in plays with incredible ease, but it seems to me that I can give more, and I know that the quality of my performance doesn’t depend on how I feel prior to it; on whether I’m full, hungry, tired, rested, worried and indifferent before a show. The best that I can do is to enter the theatre two hours before a show. That’s something that’s up to me. And even that doesn’t guarantee an impeccable performance.

In my free time, which isn’t objectively free, but rather what I determine for myself, I like to host guests, prepare food, watch series and organise! I sometimes think that’s a job I’d do better than what I’m doing. When the head decides on something, the brain glows from excitement. I spend a lot of time on the phone, but that’s an unavoidable part of our reality today… to some extent. And when I overdo it, I know that I’m not happy, but rather unmotivated or incapable of thinking up anything cleverer. Or rather not clever, better. Fun doesn’t have to be clever, as I’ve also learned.

I hope I’ll never stop seeking, losing and changing myself, again finding and meeting myself. I’ve stopped taking myself too seriously, but I still expect more of myself than I should, just enough to rarely leave myself to chance. However, I’m increasingly serene on my path, and if peace is the feeling for which I strive, then I believe this is the best possible path for me.

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