Oleksandr Melamud, the co-owner of the “Dream Town” shopping center, a businessman being in the TOP-100 richest people in Ukraine, a poet, actor and theater producer, told Million about inspiration, business and creativity, the creation of Oleksandr Melamud Theater, his life views and literary preferences.
You are known as a person who can masterfully manage finances, earn money and enjoy life. Now they recognize you from completely other side as a bright and creative person with incredible charisma. How did this metamorphosis happen, at least, in the eyes of people?
I believe that life is a constant creative process. I work, sing, write music and poetry. All these are different facets of the same. If you remove something, then life will be incomplete. It will not be me. Business, hobbies, friends, women is a way of life. You do business, and subconsciously you start understanding something i.e. emotions that you throw out in your main work or ideas that wouldn’t have appeared if you didn’t do anything else. People often ask me: when do I write poetry? All the time! Now I'm talking to you, some thoughts come to mind and in one moment they are turning into the poetry or performance.
Two premieres have already taken place in Kiev i.e. “Sun Valley Serenade” and “A Dragon”. Why these works?
These are wonderful pieces. The “Sun Valley Serenade” and “A Dragon” are two absolutely different plays. The first one is an easy and carefree musical, where there are lots of jokes and jazz. And “A Dragon” makes you think. The philosophy is that a dragon is a kind of abstract creature that lives in every person. Everyone plays dragons. This way we showed what is happening in the world now.
You are on the same stage with famous actors and folk favorites. Do you have an old friendship with them or just working arrangements? How did you manage to assemble such a team?
With someone – old friends. I met Volodymyr Horianskyi, e.g., on the stage during my first play called “Inspector”, where I played inspector. That is why I knew some people, but not all. When the idea of creating performances arose, we globally understood whom to invite for what role. There were difficulties in finding actors to play in “A Dragon”, but I think that we coped with this task as well.
You have your own theater in Kiev. Does it mean that you’re going to change the cultural life of the capital?
No, absolutely not. I don’t want to change the cultural life of the capital. I plan to make my own theater, a small one for 700 seats. It should be comfortable for everything to be heard. And it must be well equipped, in terms of sound, light and other technical means used throughout the world.
There is the A.P. Chekhov International Theater Festival that is held every two years in Moscow. Theaters come from all over the world there starting from England and America to China. The festival lasts about two months. Every day performances are played at various venues. Something amazing is happening there, and with a lot of graphics. Now theaters work like that. Why do they need all these decorations, if they can be replaced by graphic and bring you to any point of the world or disappear therefrom. This gives great opportunities for the theater; it is not just a show, but serious performances, the play of actors and tremendous work of directors and designers.
Are you afraid of failures? How do you treat difficulties?
Failure is one of the elements of life, both in business and in everyday life. When you always get everything, when you have no misses in business, when all women are reliable, when there is a constant joy, then you lose control of the situation. We relax when everything is well. Failures are important in business in order to earn more. When you strain all your strengths and abilities, then you try to get the maximum profit. At long distances, when everything is good, you lose.
Share with us your favorite book that has changed your life. Is there such?
The novel “Crime and Punishment” impressed me much. I read and watched the play. It complemented all my thoughts. The performance ended with the scene, when Vysotskyi went on the stage and said that Raskolnikov did the right thing that he killed the old woman, but it was a pity that he was caught. I read “Crime and Punishment” in the 10th grade. It seems that we did not have this book in the study program, I read it myself. But I would not recommend reading this book so early in school.
I remember that during the first year of study at the university I came to pass exams and heard the talk of two boys-classmates, who communicated at the balcony: “Vania, what were we given to read for summer?”, and the second one shouted: “Yevgen Onehin”. The first one asked: “Did you read?” And the guy replied: “Yes I did – it was such bullshit” ... You see, sometimes it is too early to give such books to children to read.
What music would you recommend?
I love Rachmaninoff, “Romeo and Juliet” by Prokofiev. It is an unrivaled ballet! Different composers have some great pieces. You can start with the Chopin. If you listen to it thoughtfully, a lot of associations and thoughts appear. Music influences me a lot; it let me remember some moments. Emotional background makes you invent different stories, sad and funny. If we talk about old authors, then it is “Scheherazade” - a classic piece that you can always listen to. I love jazz very much. Last year I was at the Marcus Miller festival. A ship departed from Miami, and jazz stars performed there for a week. The performance took place in a large hall for 800 seats. But I recommend starting listening jazz with simpler things, e.g. Gershwin.
How do you think, why most people can't find their vocation and do one’s own thing? Do you have a universal tip that would change this trend?
There are no universal advices. A person who cannot find his vocation must first of all understand that you should never give up! After all, you can get stuck in the mud and walk your whole life with such hands. It is necessary to fight, try, achieve, seek, not to lose heart, enjoy life and all that you have at the moment. You should think positively only, cause thoughts are things. I realized that at the institute when I came to pass exams. Honestly, I studied bad or did not study at all. But I came being confident that I knew everything and it is important to emotionally make your teacher think likewise. Proper vision, confidence in the future and a lot of work - all this will help you find your vocation.♥