‘Azerbaijani Charlie Chaplin’ speaks about his family, work

‘Azerbaijani Charlie Chaplin’ speaks about his family, work
ANN’s Jamila Ibrahimova has interviewed Uzeyir Novruzov, the "Azerbaijani Charlie Chaplin” whose performance at the "America’s Got Talent” show broke the internet. 
- You were born in Ganca, which is Azerbaijan’s second largest city, and grew up in Eysk, Russia. What are your memories of Ganca and Azerbaijan in general?
- Yes, I am Azerbaijani. In 1988, my parents decided to move to Russia. I was 12 years old then. So I grew up in Eysk. Many of my close relatives and friends remained in Azerbaijan. My mother lives in Ganca. When I have time, I always try to visit Azerbaijan to see her. The last time I was in Azerbaijan was in 2013.

- As far as I know, you have three siblings. Your brother said in a recent interview that that your sister was sent to a circus studio for children and he was interested in circus after accompanying her to the studio every day. You are also an actor. Can we say you are a family of actors?

- We were four kids in the family; three brothers and a sister. Everything started with my little sister. But she later gave it up. We, all three brothers, are circus performers or actors. So, yes, you can call us a family of actors.

- You live and work in the US. Your brother Oqtay Novruzov lives in Spain. The other members of your family live in Ganca. So which country or city is your favorite place of meeting? 

- Now I live and work in the US. My two brothers often travel to Europe and work there. We sometimes meet in Europe. Of course, our favorite place of meeting is our family home in Azerbaijan where my mother lives.

- As a teenager, you attended a music school. But then you ended up in a cooking school. Why did you decide to be a cook? 

- I attended a music school for only a few years when I was a child. I was admitted to the cooking school after the secondary school. I went there because I loved cooking. Then I went to a circus school.

- You also graduated from the State College for Circus and Variety Arts in Russia. Which of these schools you attended did have a bigger impact on you?

- The Moscow circus school gave me more. That was where I discovered my talents. I am still using those talents.

- Your "free ladder" performance is very famous around the world. The Washington Post, the New York Times and other leading media organizations of the world wrote about you and your "free ladder" performance. You are now a famous man. Does this give you more inspiration to do the job you’re doing?

- All these media reports about me just inspire me more and give me more motivation to do better. I think such a positive publicity is something every artist dreams about.

- What did inspire you when you started your famous performance, the "free ladder”?

- I got my first inspiration right after the Moscow circus school. I had the premier of the "free ladder” performance at the Moscow Circus in Prospekt Vernadsky a week after graduation from the school. 

- It is said that circus performers are fearless. Your famous performance was with a three-meter tall ladder. So, do you consider yourself a fearless man?

- The tallest ladder I have worked with was seven meters high. In circus you have to be fearless. You can't work in circus if you are coward. It is a very risky job. So, yes, I am fearless.

- What is the most difficult part of your job, your profession? 

- The most difficult part of my job is to perform in an empty house because the audience and applause are really important for an artist. For me, everything is easier when I have a cheering audience.

- You are a winner of the All-Union Circus Competition. You were a member of Moscow's Bolshoi Circus.  Now you work for the world-famous Cirque du Soleil. What has been your biggest achievement so far?

- Yes, I am a winner of the All-Union Circus competition in Russia. The First Big Apple Circus saw my performance at Bolshoi Moscow Circus on Vernadsky. After Big Apple Circus, Cirque du Soleil invited me. I worked at Corteo for almost ten years. I have been at Freeland for about a year now. For me, all stages are the same. The only difference is the audience. If you are a true professional, you can cope with the task before all kinds of audiences.

- Your idol Charlie Chaplin was a very famous man. Yet, he had a very difficult life. Do you compare yourself with him?

- Thanks God no. My life is not as difficult as Charlie Chaplin's. But it’s no less interesting than his life. It's just about how strong you are mentally.

- You and your brother won the hearts of the Azerbaijani audience after your performances at Russian TV show "Minuta Slavi" and American TV Show "America's Got Talent”. Do you plan to visit Azerbaijan with your "free ladder"?

- I would love to come to Azerbaijan one day and perform in front of all the Azerbaijani people.

- What would you like to say to your fans in Azerbaijan?

- First of all, I would like to thank all Azerbaijanis for their support. I also want to say this to everybody: I may have been raised in Russia. I may have traveled the world and worked abroad. Yet, it is the Azerbaijani blood that is flowing through my veins. Thank you!