19 Aug Alejandro Matrán, the highly gifted multitalented little Prince, who belongs to the World!
By Christiane Waked
Editor: Heath Doolan
Even the world itself may not be a stage large enough to the immense
talent this young man so effortlessly oozes through his craft. A mere glance
at his face on Skype shows a pleasantly unique fresh, yet complex young
face that seems to actually be asking questions of you, more than actually
making a statement.
Elegant resonating searching eyes, beyond their years. Searching for
something, from deep within looking outwards at you, imploring you to dig
The 23-year-old polyglot refuses to be labelled purely as an actor,
composer or writer. The aforementioned are pursuits that Alejandro threw
himself into from a young age, with great conviction. However, he sees
these more as necessary stepping stones, rather than the entire path itself,
in his journey.
Alejandro explains to me that his mother had a career in costume design
for TV. Alejandro instantly fell in love with the stage and this fascinating
new world his Mother would bring him along to see. His nagging was
incessant to become involved in this wondrous and fascinating new world
he has become introduced to. She wanted his childhood to be normal and
grounded. Not for her son to become a child actor. Brewing with the need
to express himself artistically, Alejandro instead studied the violin until he
was eighteen. However, a forever life changing near death experience
changed everything for Alejandro Having developed pneumonia from
contracting the H1N1 virus, he decided the time for complacency in life was
over. It was time to put his full foot to the floor and pursue life to it’s
Rather than continuing the forced effort of music school, Alejandro headed
off with some friends from the comfort of Spain to the brave New world of
England to pursue his hearts calling and develop his acting craft. Alejandro
quickly enrolled at Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático of Madrid
(RESAD) for the next 5 years. He then joined “Erasmus” in London
participating in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, performing there with his
I ask Alejandro if stage acting is his preferred medium in his acting?
“Theatre is an engagement with the audience, which I love” Alejandro
You can feel where they’re at, and it’s different for each and every night! So
I love receiving feedback and growing and learning from that interaction
with the audience, each and every performance”. Alejandro explains his
desire to also experiment more with his live acting. Alejandro doesn’t see
himself as a conventional actor with predictable aspirations, and auditioning
hopefully for roles, preferring to work with others he already has faith in and
mutual understanding, and choosing roles that challenge him.
Working together in an already established team where he can express his
thoughts freely, and play an integral part of the creative process from
beginning to end, rather than just be an “add on” of sorts. I ask him how he
prepared for new roles and characters to “become”.
“Rather than Method actors, who look for the similarities between the
character and themselves, I look for the differences and develop physical
changes to my demeanour for each character I play. An example is, I
change the way I walk and my stance for each new character I am learning.
My teacher once told me that even the shoes are very important as they
help you embrace each new character.”
Also each character needs to have a unique voice and accent that is purely
their own. You need to experiment with many different voices until you find
“theirs”. Then you must inhabit that character from the inside out. I like to
also spontaneously break into different accents without notice, Alejandro
explains, his love for versatility showing through more and more as we go
on. Alejandro gives me a private performance turning his low voice
masterfully into an accent of far higher pitch. When you feel physically
different, and this includes de voice, the acting starts.”
His performance is quite captivating, but I turn his attention now back to his
first love being music, and particularly his own compositions.
“For many years I studied music theory, Christiane. I played at the National
Auditorium. I deeply love classical music” he goes on. But my real passion
is creating, not following et agendas. This is why I don’t do auditions,
because I don’t want others deciding whether I should be in a play or not. I
am not purely an actor, but a creative mind seeking deeper involvement in
the entire performance process. Alejandro tells me of his love for
composing scores of his own music from a very young age. Gleaning from
different composers and observing patterns in their work. Incredibly he
knew nothing whatsoever about composing as a boy. “Vivaldi was my
greatest influence early on, as he was the easiest to see patterns in his
compositions. Then in time I learnt off Tchaikovsky and then Wagner and
Bach. As time went on, Alejandro was able to completely create from
scratch his own musical!
I was beginning to see, this was far from a normal 23 year old, still
bumming around as each day rolled on. Rather a young and brilliantly
talented man with a zest for life and unwavering faith in his own abilities,
you could not help but feel deeply inspired by. Alejandro went on to explain
his main musical influences lied deeply in British music, namely “The Who”.
From classical, to folk, to rock…
The main theme binding them together is music that expressed unique
identities and stories. Music that stirs visualization and evokes stories.
Alejandro still remains an avid and passionate writer, taking inspiration
when and where it appears and translating what he’s hearing. While not
having a writing blog as such, and only writing sporadically, he tells me that
Spanish theatre had its limitations as to what he wishes to achieve
personally in his career. With the structures too set for his liking and so now
this young man continues to grow his craft, on his terms. Having now
established himself in a like minded team of creators exploring the
boundaries of conventional theatre and producing something fresh and
innovative. A young man surely with a mission and the talent to back it up.
“In Spain, theater is really entertaining and full of fun and dance, but what I
really want to delve into is “social” theatre, provocative and thoughtful. So I
begin researching in order to develop my own aesthetic. I studied the
“Theatre of the Oppressed”, created by Augusto Boal, he explains.
I ask whether the audience can interact personally with this sort of theatre?
“Oh very much so!” Alejandro continues. It’s actually an invitation for
audience members to come and stage and try to solve the oppression
situations we’re putting forth. For the audience to in essence add their own
script to the live performance.
I explain how much I love this idea, which of course must force the actors
to readjust and perform entirely without rehearsal to the changes, each new
audience member brings forward, challenging the actors to their utmost, I
would imagine! Brass bones spontaneous acting in a live setting!!!
Mouthwatering I ponder… The audience in essence becomes part of the
set and indeed part of the problem presented. However in his thesis Violent
Theatre. For the reconciliation between the East and the West Alejandro
explains his intention is to attack the instinct of the members of the
audience, even if it’s feeling bad or distressed, they have indeed been
engaged and challenged not only mentally but also emotionally!!
Alejandro’s Father, an historian and aficionado to the Middle East
introduced his son to a whole new world of knowledge. Particularly Egypt
which Alejandro longed to visit since a young boy.
Most of his school friends were from Morocco, so he began learning Arabic
from 7 years of age in an attempt to come to better understand them and
their culture. Both the children and parents all but adopted him as one of
their own, admiring his passion to learn their ways and customs. Alejandro
explains that the theatre, that he is a part of creating requires an in-depth
knowledge of other cultures.
He finds traveling enriches his social knowledge, rapport with different
cultures, even new music and instruments that help enhance his musical
The whole experience of traveling he sees as essential to growth of a
human being, and he harnesses what he learns from traveling to better
improve his abilities, which of course transfers directly to each new
audience. Alejandro concludes that whether it be music, theatre or
journalism, you have to be rich as a human being. I most certainly am
richer for knowing such an engaging soul as Alejandro Matrán.
Christiane Waked is a columnist, Risk and political analyst, Arts & Culture contributor. She is the former Press Attaché of the French Embassy to the UAE and former analyst and linguist of the French Interior Ministry.