ACTRESS PROFILE: ESTHER MARKAKI

It’s Greek to me. That just means that you don’t understand what the other person is saying. Of course, if you asked the Greek American actress Esther Markaki what that meant she would probably answer you in Greek. Having been born and raised in Athens, Greece, she is a native Greek speaker and being the daughter of a second generation US Citizen and having attended American schools all her life she is also a native English speaker.

You could also call her a native actor because it looks like she has been acting all her life. And singing too! We saw her perform at Cranky Cabaret, the sixth anniversary show, and she was as natural as could be. She made the audience laugh and participate while hitting every note perfectly and she commanded the stage as if she was born in a trunk. That means that she was born in a trunk in a hotel or railway station that was owned by actors. Anyway, rest easy, Esther was definitely not born in a trunk but her talent and her confident performing style resemble someone who was born into a theatrical family. Her comedic timing, acting talent and improvisation skills make her stand out. She’s a true entertainer.

We saw Esther in the off-Broadway show of Sophocles’ “Electra.” The production was stunning. We felt like we had been transported back in time 2,400 years to ancient Athens. The Chorus, in which Esther was a lead, is probably the most important part/character of an Ancient Greek Tragedy because of their interference with the rest of the characters, and because, in Esther’s estimation, most of the time they represent the audience’s opinion and perspective. Being in the chorus, Esther told an interviewer, was one of the hardest and most challenging things for her and other actors. The amount of sadness, despair, happiness, and anger that the characters have to feel and go through is very challenging. But after being part of such play, she told us, you become a better and stronger actor and can play any and every role that comes your way.

Esther has learned that to be a successful actor you need a lot of time, money, opportunities, and trust. It is a full-time job going to auditions, trying to get an agent, self taping, making a reel and at the same time working on acting projects to pay the bills. The cost of living in NYC is incredibly expensive and the competition is as tough as it gets. But if acting is in your heart then you do what you have to do and you keep moving forward.