I don’t think Liam Neeson has too much to worry about in regard to the next rising up an coming Northern Irish born actor – but who knows? This past weekend, I played the role of Prince Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece at the Exarchos Carnival.
I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into at first. I was asked on Saturday if I would consider “dressing up” as the “Greek King Paul” as it was translated to me, and I didn’t see why not. I was told that I would need to “slick back” my hair, and wear a black jacket and trousers with a white shirt and tie, if possible. Well, that was a problem as I had not brought those clothes with me, so the people who had invited me to participate got to work and located a suit that almost fitted me perfectly. The trousers were a bit short, but other than that, it worked fine.
On Sunday morning, before the carnival began, out came a makeup kit and two beautiful women started to try to make my face look a bit more like Prince Pavlos’ when the “bajanaki” Nikos took over although he had never applied makeup before. In the end, he did an excellent job, spending about half an hour with makeup pencils and powders to “draw” a goatee on my face that resembled a recent photo of Pavlos. It was such a good job that several people did not recognize me at first.
I Have To Say A Few Words
After I arrived at the Village Square where the Carnival was taking place, I met with my “wife” who then asked me that when it was our time, to say some words in English like someone might say at a funeral. That’s when I started wondering what exactly was going to happen – and I decided not to think about it to much otherwise I’d probably end up with feeling nervous about the whole thing. I’m not much of a public speaker and the last time I did anything like that about 25 years ago, my knees were shaking and my voice cracked up as my belly felt like it was going in circles. I’ve declined speaking events ever since.
But I decided to relax as I knew I was in good company and this was all in fun. I have been in plays before, but I was a young child. The first couple of plays were easy, but later I would get stage fright so I’ve done my best to refrain from them ever since.
I sat watching the events and goings on at the carnival with much enjoyment which I’ll write about later. But I was wondering what was planned for me in my role and participation in the event… up to that point, my job was to hold a photo of King Constantine II, as if in mourning for him after his death.
At that time, I was not aware that in real life, Constantine had recently passed away in January of this year. I wished I had time to do some research but as things would happen, I did not have time to do so
Finally, my “wife” came and got me, telling me it was time for us. There had been a performance of some acting as Greek Orthodox priests, and behind them a table had been set up. The photo that I had been carrying was placed on the table along with Kollyva, a dish that is made from wheat and fruit and is in Greek tradition as something to eat to commemorate deceased loved ones.
My wife actor took me by the arm and we walked over to the table and stood there, looking and acting very sad and in mourning. I did my non-professional acting best to go along with this and make it appear that I was in mourning while wearing a mask over my eyes.
Finally, after a few minutes I was handed a microphone and gave my “speech” – it was completely “off the cuff” as I did not really want to try to practice something and then get brain freeze and forget all that I had rehearsed in my mind. In the end, it was not very long – just a minute or so along the lines of how were gathered together to mourn and bury “my father,” and how sad we all were at his passing, thanking everyone for coming.
The Message To Prince Pavlos
Then the priests began chanting and after, someone else gave a little speech, with words directed toward me as Prince Pavlos, along the lines that I was welcome back into Greece as long as I worked for myself and didn’t live off the taxpayers. It was apparently quite humorous and I’m sure if I understood Greek, I may have laughed instead of continuing to look sad and mournful.
An Honour For Me
Once again, I had a great time with the people of Exarchos and for me, it was an honour to be asked to participate in their Carnival! Although, I would have been better prepared if I had advance notice, and might have done a better job (but on the other hand, I might have thought too much about it, and ended up nervous and with stage fright).
A big thank you once again to all the people of the Village of Exarchos and including me in their very fun Carnival, an event that takes place the day before “Clean Monday,” the beginning of 40 days of Lent.
But I am pretty sure that there is no acting career in my immediate or distant future! Don’t worry Liam – you’re still the Acting Star Of Northern Ireland!