I met Lyubshin some years ago. There’s this game, in which one person begins to walk behind or in front of another, trying to perfectly adapt his own gait to the other’s. Watching from a distance, you might think that there was only one person walking. When I was little, I would often pace along our quiet side-street like this with my friends.
Of course, it’s a crude comparison, but Lyubshin suddenly and unexpectedly starting walking in step with me. He was surprisingly good at it, staying true to himself and even building himself up a little. He started coming to the sound-mastering for a film of mine that he wasn’t working on. A well-known, you could even say famous film actor asks, for some reason or another, for the opportunity to record a recurring role – and did it remarkably. I only feared that everyone would recognize his voice, it would distract from the content of the film, and then nobody would understand why I bothered adding Lyubshin’s voice here. Afterward, he said that he wanted to audition for us in the theatre. That surprised me. At that time, so many actors were fighting to leave the theatre for film, and this one, so well-suited for film, wanted for some reason to come to the theatre. We then began to work together in theatre and on television.
He turned out to be very nervous – to the point of terror and sickliness. One day, someone started laughing in the corner of the set, and Lyubshin decided that the laughter was directed at him. He got angry at the girls sitting in that corner. They were unbelievably embarrassed – they really loved him, and didn’t even think to laugh at him. They were laughing at something completely different. Then in rehearsals in the theatre, as soon as anything happened, Lyubshin went pale, turned blue, he lost weight, his eyes fell, and so on. Eventually, he got offended by some trifle or another and ran out of the rehearsal.
Literally ran out. He buckled over strangely, and darted for the door. And right then and there gave notice of his departure. But several days passed, and we started to call each other again. I still didn’t completely understand him back then. Neither did the others in our theatre. And when he wanted to come back, they refused to accept him, even though I insisted.