When Zoltán was talking about you for the first time, he said you were a kind of hero. What could this mean?
This may be true if someone who always wants to help others developing is a hero. But this doesn't mean that I want to rescue everybody, it's impossible. There are particular people and groups I can egg to develope, or at least I try.
Your estate agency is a quite innovative company, many improvements were introduced by you, and your colleagues are retrained from time to time. These are the basic principles in Maladype's everyday work too. Can you see any similarities in Zoltán's and your work?
Of course. We live and work in a similar world, we are almost the same generation, we have similar attitudes and all of these determine similar careers. I'm an economist, studied PR and marketing at university and l started working in the financial sector. After the regime change we started to build the capitalist world learnt from books, but I changed my way unexpectedly and purchased an estate agency. I didn't prepare to become an estate agent, but I liked it so much that I sticked to it. This was the kind of job that didn't have a long past or any traditions. Theatre has both of them in spite of being under the heel sometimes. So they are very different, but in my mind there is a link between them. Being an estate agent is about the way of selling your product. In marketing studies the so called war metaphor is the only recognized strategy, and it's about using the tactics known from warefare in market competition. I understood this concept but being high-minded I pointed out its deficiencies and found out something else. I created my new theory in the 90's, the main point of which was that selling needs acting skills. Clients are the audience, the house is the set and we are the actors. I explain my theory with theatrical metaphores, dramaturgy and examples like these – I think clients should enjoy the purchase. Theatrical metaphore is more complex than war metaphore because it can deal with dialogues and space geometry too – it's quite important where people stand during a negotiation. These are essential parts of cutting a dash. That's the connection between theatre and an estate agency.
The main difference between you and other patrons of Maladype is that you are the one who didn't only gave, but asked something in return. Zoltán Balázs made a communication training for you and your colleagues. What was it like?
It's unusual that someone asks something in return if it's about charity. But I'm a businessman and knew exactly what they could give me. I brought my colleagues and Zoli made a 2-day-long seminar, which was great because we work using theatrical metaphors and we understood everything Zoltán said to us and we could adapt it very well. If an ordinary salesman goes through such a training he wouldn't catch anything, because there was nothing similar in his studies.
I suppose theatre is not only important in business but in your private life too. How long have you been committed to theatre?
I saw many performances when I was a child. Although my parents were blue-collar workers they were very open-minded. Madách Theatre's snack bar had the best cheese-finger, I alwasy got one in the break.
Do you remember any actors, performances which had a huge impact on you?
In the 1980s we saw the same actors in theatres and in TV. It's shocking how much this world has changed so far! If you would ask me wether a great old actor is alive or not, I wouldn't know the answer – I don't see them in TV shows and I rarely go to the theatre. Many years ago they were almost members of our family, we could see them in TV series and in new year's Eve program. I didn't feel catharsis in theatre as a teenager, but I enjoyed watching them live. I only miss this experience.
One of Maladype's fans was talking about his memories of Katona József Theatre's Ubu King, which was a revolutionary performance in 1984 even for a child. I was wondering wether you had such an experience or not?
I saw that performance and it was a special one. Compared to our values, meaning the house is cleaned, everything is tidied up, this was astonishing. We were just sitting in the auditorium wondering what this mess was all about?!
Why do you go to the theatre rarely?
To tell you the truth I'm fed up with this “lame show” going on in Hungarian theaters. No money for set and costume but the real problem is that there's no idea or thought for them. Actors can not speak expressively. In the 1980s we thought we had to see the performance from the beginning till the end even if it was horrible. Nowadays it's not unusual that I escape in the break. Maybe I saw some really bad performances and that's why I'm so pessimistic.
How did Maladype come to your life?
I'm still open-minded... One of my friends suggested me to go.
There's not much money for set and costume in Maladype. Isn't it disturbing?
No. Minimalism is absolutely okay in the theatre. A cheap set can be fantastic and an expensive one can be trash in spite of the money spent on it. It's difficult to find the balance. Minimalism is very simple in a complicated way. Hard to find those particular objects, and fixtures which will define the spirit of the performance like the billiard-table in Platonov.
What is the difference between Maladype and a theatre you leave in the break?
Maladype is determined by one director which means every performance gives you the same values, attitudes, and concept. In bigger theatres this isn't so because the season is defined by the work of many directors. It's quite risky to buy a season ticket...
You watched Platonov with your son. It could be difficult to bring a teenager to the theatre. Why did you think it was important for him to see this performance?
It's important for him to see many different theatres. He hadn't read the play before so it was hard to understand the plot – in fact he didn't even know who was who. Moreover it was very fast, not easy to follow the storyline. It's quite risky to start a performance at 7 p.m. and do it with as much energy as Maladype does. In spite of these he really enjoyed it, mainly because of the conversation following the performance. Anyway we were talking about it in the break and after the show we met one of the actresses and continued the discussion. It was an impressive performance, we certainly have to talk and think about it for a long time....