Romina Katsikian (photo Haik Katsikian)

A Critical Exclusive: Romina Katsikian Is Ready for Her Close-up

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ATHENS – Greek-Armenian actress Romina Katsikian exudes charisma and enthusiasm. A veteran of TV, theater and film although she is still in her thirties, Katsikian’s latest project is a hilarious series of TikTok comedy sketches titled “I went on a date with…” (@iwentonadate). The short 45-second vignettes always involve Katsikian in closeup talking to her on-line audience as if they were her best friends about various dates scenarios. These include going out with a porn star; a guy overconfident of his abilities in bed, and another who “disappeared…or died,” i.e. he never called her back.

Scene from the play “Remind Me Why We Came Here Again?” (photo Pinelope Gerasimou)

The show has a bit of a “Sex in the City” ring to it, but Katsikian quickly makes the material her own. In fact, she successfully channels a bit of both the Samantha and Carrie characters from that hit US series — no small shakes for any comedienne, but she pulls it off. The sketches are simple and lovely — the actress dispenses date and sex advice the way others peel an orange or discuss the day’s weather.

Meet Lucy in “I Went On A Date With A Guy Who…” on TikTok and YouTube (photo Romina Katsikian)

Katsikian herself is a slim, fabulously intelligent woman with looks at once feminine but androgynous that lend her extra points on the sexy meter — maybe that is one more reason the skits are so successful. When discussing this series, Katsikian notes: “Furthermore, the taboo of women going on many dates, meeting men and having sex with some of them, was something that I felt needed to be faced.” The show opened up a variety of scenarios for her to respond to as a woman and as an actress. The TikTok channel is in fact a continuation of a YouTube channel called “I went on a Date with a Guy” which she discontinued in favor of the shorter 45-second TikTok clips.

Born in Rome — hence her name, to fourth- and fifth-generation Greek Armenians, Katsikian has led a cosmopolitan life. This has included moving to Egypt as a child for six years and then to Switzerland due to her father’s profession. “Home,” she says firmly, “was and has always been Athens, Greece.”

Katsikian attended English-speaking schools in both Egypt (Cairo American college) and Greece (St. Lawrence College) before studying drama and English literature at Brunel University in London, so she is fluent in English, Greek and Armenian. Katsikian has been acting since the age of 12, having entered competitions here in Greece as well as winning the Drama Prize at St. Lawrence College. Her work includes a successful theatre play, a sold-out comedy titled “Remind Me Why We Came Here Again,” where she played a conservative, snobby woman who attends a nudist beach.

But most of Katsikian’s work is in fact quite serious and deals with the marginalized in one way or another, perhaps a result of her international background and her Armenian roots. She most notably played a Muslim woman on a Greek TV show called “Ethniki Ellados.”

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“This show,” explains Katsikian, “revolved around four women who, in their own separate ways, stepped out of their comfort zone in order to find their true identity through the game of curling. It dealt with social discrimination and racism. My character didn’t talk back and kept her mouth shut in order for things to run smoothly in her life…We live in a world where discrimination, bullying and racism of still exists: I find this completely unacceptable in this day and age.”

In another project, a play by the title of “Mechanical Falls,” Katsikian plays the sister of the protagonist and hero, who is on a road trip to a hospital in order to undergo gender transformation: “Although he also felt pain and rejection, in this case our hero was happy and secure with himself because knew that he was doing the right thing for him and his soul: he listened to his heart,” says Katsikian. “I felt proud to be part of these two projects because they both revealed pathways in which these characters fought through negative reactions and who, in the end, did the right thing for themselves and their own inner peace.” Katsikian has also starred in a few feature films including “Hike” (2014) and “Mavra Mesanyhta” (2008).

Working as an actress in Greece during COVID-19 has been trying because Athens is still on complete lockdown, but Katsikian hopes to take on more theatrical and film roles once life hopefully goes back to normal. Having grown up in a tight-knit Armenian-Athenian community, she also hopes to perhaps work on Armenian-related projects in the future.

Watching Katsikian act for the first time is truly energizing. She has a unique delivery, intelligence and talent that will hopefully take her far in the years to come. Ella yasou!

Catch Romina Katsikian at any one of her wonderful TikTok sketches:

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMeeF35bX/

Topics: comedy
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