Name: Andjela Stamenković
Where do you live: Belgrade, Serbia
Known for: Acting, being a casting director, and founder of a casting agency.
Currently working as:
As a casting director in my casting agency “Savtajglumac”.
When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
As an actor you don’t have much space for any initiative, all you can do is sit around and wait for your opportunity or go to the opening nights, parties, meet people but not much depends on you. A few years ago I figured that I am a person who likes to follow her own idea, to cooperate with people, to make something on her own. So I decided to investigate the fortune of actors from a different perspective and with a friend of mine opened a casting agency which takes good care of actors.
If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
I still haven’t decided that. In a few months I’ll be visiting Tokyo and who knows… For now my city is Belgrade and I live with it – sometimes I hate it, sometimes I’m in love with it.
How would you describe your creativity?
As a sudden rush, I cannot resist it; it has to be done fast and perfect.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
The serious manner has come to us by itself. It just happened and in time when we have realized that we were working, we already had our office in the center of the city. The actors are coming in day by day, productions are calling us. Everything has started as an idea to make some space in Serbian media for actors. At first we wanted to make a TV show in which we would be talking to actors about everything, and we did a pilot and tried to sell it to a few Serbian TV stations. The problem was that no one of us had watched TV for a long time because of its content. So while we were trying to get to the TV stations one day we looked on our papers where we wrote goals for our firm and the steps by which to achieve them, and we suddenly realized that we have completed more steps towards making a casting agency than to sell a TV show and everything was clear – leave the show for later and start working on a casting agency.
What do you do at the moment?
At the moment I am trying to establish my agency so I could have more time to work on creative projects that I have in mind, in which to start an independent production where all the beautiful actors that we have found can act.
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Just believe in yourself and everything is possible. Of course you have to work hard as well.
Tell us how it all started.
It all started in my kitchen. I and my friend and colleague were trying to figure out what we should do with our lives. Being mothers and actresses, thus not being able to participate much in night life, we wanted to do something on our own, so we did just that.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
Energy. Plants. Light.
What is your favorite film?
Oh, there is more than one – Mulholland drive, True romance, Amarcord. It’s so lovely….
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
Hm… John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands… Don’t know why… They inspired me a lot in my life.
How do you like to spoil yourself?
I am already spoiled enough if you ask my husband.
What is luxury for you?
Luxury is a calm and happy life.
What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
I think the best compliment is the one that moves you. I was taking analog pictures for years. I have a few analogue cameras that I bought every time when I traveled, bringing cameras with me all the time when it’s sunny going across the town to take pictures. I was begging my friends and family to bring me the film from abroad but never actually thought I should do something more with those photos than put them in frames in my kitchen or post it all on Facebook. And one day a friend of mine asked me “why don’t you make an exhibition of it?” In a week I did it.
What do you fear most?
Don’t think of fears. They’re small and stupid. Except rats. They’re not.
What is a happy life to you?
Filled with love and creativity.
What does a regular day look like for you?
No way that I can describe it – daughter, dog, husband, love, work sometimes from my kitchen table, sometimes from my office, run here, run there… Go to the bank… No real routine.
Tell us about your dream project.
My dream project would be to establish some actors union in Serbia that would protect the actors’ rights.
Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
Authentic, sophisticated, emotional.
What inspires you?
People and nature, people who live like one with nature.
A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar.