‘As a child, I used to put on shows for myself and my family. I once told a classmate that my dream was to become an actor and he said, “Oh, but you have so many other talents.” Now I don’t discuss my dreams until I have realized them.’
Sorin Aurel Sandu was born in Bucharest to a working class family of four. His mother worked in a textile factory and his father was a welder. ‘My father was my first mentor; he taught by example. He died when he was only forty-five. When I have a difficult decision to make, I ask myself what my father would have done in that instance.’
Sorin met his wife while working at Romani CRISS investigating a case of Roma in Moldova who had been harassed and beaten by local authorities. ‘She is the center of my world.’ They have a twelve-year-old daughter and a three and a half year old son. His wife speaks Romanes as her mother tongue and the children are being raised speaking both Romanian and Romanes.
Sorin Sandu graduated from the polytechnic university of Bucharest with a degree in physics and math, ‘but that was never my passion.’ Sorin decided to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming an actor. He applied to the National University of Drama and Cinema Ion Luca Caragiale. He had to pass both an individual try out and a written exam in Romanian literature. ‘What helped me get in was a story I wrote about the child of the sun. A simple story, but brimming with detail.’ Sorin’s professor later told him that his exposition brought every image to life. An early mentor was the actor, Stefan Bănica Jr. who helped get his career started.
‘I am an actor. I like to sing but I’m not a professional singer. I like to write, but cannot say that I am a poet. I’d like to be a poet but I am not. A poet is a creator; a bridge between worlds-between our material world and the spiritual world / the dream world.’
Sorin’s current production, BLOPII is playing at the prestigious Tudor Vianu Giurgiu Theatre in Bucharest. He describes the piece as ‘synonymous with innocence, youth, and joy.’ Sorin also hosts a nationally televised weekly TV show I was also born in Romania, with co-host Zita Moldavan. This weekend magazine features Roma and Non-Roma from all walks of life, contributors to the Roma community at a local, national or international level.
In 2010, Sorin appeared in a Romani language production of A Stormy Night co-starring Zita Moldavan at the Theatre Masca. ‘What I must do is to build Romani language theatre here in Romania. This would give voice to the profundity of the Roma soul. We need written work; tangible products; a chance to express who we are in the context of the world’s cultural dialogue.’
Sorin also plans to publish a book of his poetry in Romanes. ‘I am lucky to have been born a Roma in this time period because I feel the ancient verses in my veins and the multitude of extended Roma families across our global community speaking through me from the time we left God’s country up to now. ’
‘Accomplishment for an actor is creating a sense of joy. That is my role.’