The first time I met Alexandra was over skype and the last time was after she had spent a week tracking down my lost phone from an uber in Bucharest, where she lives and I, do not. She is determined and focused and passionate and it was my pleasure to be a part of the first international festival in Bucharest. Putting variety shows together stresses me out, I can not imagine what it's like bringing an entire festival into reality. I can't wait to see what's next from this powerhouse. Enjoy.
ANDEL SUDIK: How would you like to be described?
ALEXANDRA Băjan: I would love to be described as a good human, trustworthy, a person with a good vibe. As a good child, a cool sister, a reliable friend, an improviser that you wanna work with, as a professional trainer with the right knowledge. A human that can inspire the people around.
AS: Where are you from?
AB: I am from Romania and currently, I'm living in Bucharest. I was born in a small town, called Campulung which is very close to the mountainside.
AS: Life story in half a page, GO!
AB: I am born (prematurely) on the 15th of February. I was a super-shy girl, struggling to manage this. So that's why I am an introvert and a well-trained extrovert. :)
I'm painting since forever and I think that's the only talent that I got by birth, with the minimum of effort. I moved to Bucharest in 2009 and I loved it. I have a bachelor degree in Management and I've been working in the executive search industry for over 6 years.
In 2012, on the 10th of May, it's what I call #TheSecondBirthday, because I've survived after a pretty complicated surgery. That was a big turning point in my life I am grateful for that. It made Alexandra be more open, happy, joyful, self-confident. Made ME do all the things that I wanted to do at that moment. I forgot to say that I am afraid of dying and darkness.
I turned improv from a hobby to my day-to-day job. I took all the good thing from my corporate experience and put it into art. I've been organizing tons of events (charity, cultural, private & corporate), and all the knowledge in my life-time-project, Neverending ImpROv Festival.
AS: How did you discover improv?
AB: Before the surgery in 2012, I started to take some acting classes because I wanted to go to the University of Theater & Film. I saw my first improv show and I wasn't impressed at all. Ending the acting classes, not passing the exam to the Theater university, I wanted to continue with some art for one more year when I was planning to go again to try at Theater university.
Improv made me go way above my comfort zone, it was scary and weird. Just like me :)). After some classes it was a deal: we started to have a long-term relationship. :)
I just organized the 1st international improv festival in Romania. So, I would say that I brought around 50 international improvisers at the same time in Romania. And we loved it. :)
AS: How would you describe Romania’s Improv’s style?
AB: We are more oriented towards narrative styles, we love to build relationships on stage. We tend to be a bit of talking heads on stage, but we love intelligent conversations. We are curious and eager to learn, and we are experiencing a lot. Of course, it's just a point of view.
AS: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Why?
AB: The first that pops up in my mind is Neverending ImpROv Festival. Everything was so new, with a lot of challenges, situations, stories. It all started with a dream and proved to be a super big project with a lot of responsibilities. I learned a lot, from many points of view: artistic, administrative, human, professional.
But I was super lucky to have some amazing people around who helped me to have this #GreatestAccomplishment.
AS: What is your biggest failure? And what(if anything) did you learn from it?
AB: I don't know if I can mention the biggest failure. But I failed soooo many time. Oh my God! I failed in kindergarten, in school & high school, in life, in relationships, on stage. I am a master in failing :)))))
AS: Best improv scene you’ve seen done?
AB: Speechless with Felipe Ortiz and Daniel Orrantia with Canadian DJ Mama Cutsworth. A-m-a-z-i-n-g!
AS: Describe your perfect day:
AB: Good coffee in the morning, well dressed (this is a big topic:)) ), nice people around, a good project from the creative industry, a good improv show in our future theater, a nice family time when I go back home.
But, who knows what makes us happy tomorrow?!
AS: How did you get where you are?
AB: I don't know exactly. I mean, I took some decisions but some of them "were taken" by the faith. It's a mix of work, passion, choices, faith, people, stories. Anyway, nothing was for granted by sure.
AS: What is one of your fears?
AB: Fear of vomit. It's in my top 5.
AS: What keeps you going every day?
AB: I always have a dream to achieve, a hope, or something to go towards and that's pretty exciting. And simple things but important, family, friends, coffee, improv, hangouts, travel.
AS: Last piece of art that spoke to you?
AB: A Romanian theater show, Faust. It's limitless and it "bothers" you in so many ways.
AS: Tell us an embarrassing story:
AB: 2 weeks before my bachelor degree exam, I wrote an email to my thesis coordinator calling him a "drunk asshole". And the message was written in a not so pleasing way. :))
Of course, I wanted to forward the message to somebody else but I pressed the reply button. #FaitPayBackTime.
AS: Pump up song?
AB: Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
AS: What advice would you give to someone who is lost?
AB: Talk to someone. Anyone. Talking is sooooo helpful. And sleep.
AS: Do you have a mantra or words to live by?
AB: Hmm... let me think...
AS: What gives you meaning?
AB: The logical way of things.
AS: What do you struggle with?
AB: Being more organized & driven (professional and especially personal)
AS: What is success to you?
AB: Health & Good Luck & Happiness aka. Fun.
AS: What are you working on that you’re geeked out about?
AB: Improv. Improv as art, as a personal development tool, as therapy. Improv in other industries, outside of the stage.
AS: What question would you add to this?
AB: Which is a weird habit that you have?
From Phylicia Mcleod: What are some self-care activities that you do?
AB: I am a little snob. I love expensive makeup and clothes. When I have money I like to treat myself like a queen. I am really spoiling myself.
I love to travel light, walking down the streets and get lost, I love to laugh until it hurts and having a chill time.
From Rachel Mason: What teacher changed your life?
AB: Those that were open-minded and made me push my limits
Unfortunately, those that were super-assholes, as well.
From Heather Kinney Kurdziel: What job career would you have if you could do anything?
AB: A doctor that cures and soul pain. Or and super-extra-hiper-talented actress that has the abilities to dance, sing and do magic tricks. :))