FirstlingsFIRSTLINGS

What are firstlings? In this case, it stands for all that happened before the birth of solo plays in my theatrical career.

Yes, the list starts with “I am Csepke”. The title-role of the popular burlesque series was my first assignment from 1984 to 1986. I was given the role of an impish daughter of my actual parents, Gizella Karsai and János Karsai, along with Zoltán Tarcsa playing my brother in the short films directed by Ferenc Varsányi.

She was member of the CSIP children pantomime I was member of the CSIP Children Mime Company from 1982 and thus, I played several theatrical and television roles. The latter ones include – apart from Csepke – Öcsi the Star, the TELEMIM series, the Grüss Dich German language practice series, and Szimat Szörény, to mention the most memorable ones.

The season of 1992/93 was a defining part of my career: with my mime play, I won the Who Can Do What? (Ki mit tud?) television talent show in the category of “stage acting”, and I was finalist in the category of “other performance”. In this show, the audience witnessed my first two scenes, The Light and the Memory, whose positive reception turned mime and theatre from pastime to profession.

After this success, I became a solo artist of VITA-MIM Company having been metamorphosed from CSIP, and I could also work as an assistant teacher on the side of my mother and director of art, Gizella Karsai. I obtained the official artist-performer work permission in the summer of 1994, soon after this, I presented my first solo show entitled I Have Gone Out into the World.

Although I love being a solo artist, as creator and performer, I prefer to work in a team.

My first ensemble was formed by the apprentices of Rogers Person-Centred Primary School (Budapest) in 1996 under the name of Pantomancs. This small group functioned through six years, as experimenting, with more or less success.

There is also amongst firstlings, the try-out season of my first adult company and studio. The Melange Mime Company was founded in 1998 together with my ex-VITA-MIM friends, Orsolya Várvári-Illés and Gábor Várvári. Throughout the six-year existence – supplemented with guest artists at first, then with studio actors, and with new members – this company toured the whole country with its shows, had regular theatrical performances and was regularly invited to festivals and organizations. In 2002, we made a grand success in Strasbourg with my direction, Hungarian Grimace; however, our greatest achievement was that we could maintain the genre of mime on the Hungarian theatrical stage through three seasons via our mime play, The Bald Soprano adapted from Ionesco’s drama.

This play indicates the end of my firstlings period in my career, and it also opens the door for a professional and wider theatrical line of thought. So that, after various studies and training, I can give way to New Generation Mime Company and Mimage Mime Theatre and Studio; to several beloved performance and creative work at “home ground” and as guest.

Csepke (1986)
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