Anna Shcherbakova: “On a tour in China I felt like a rock star every single day.”
Interview with Anna Shcherbakova. About shows, trip to China and Aliona Kostornaia’s wedding.
source: RSport dd. 23d August 2023 by Vasilii Bogdanov
Olympic champion Anna Shcherbakova is currently performing one of the main roles in Tatiana Navka’s show “Sleeping Beauty,” which is taking place in Sochi. Before her upcoming performance, the athlete spoke with an RIA Novosti correspondent about her role on the show, recent trip to China, and future plans.
Anna, how’s your mood? How have you been received in Sochi?
Anna Shcherbakova: I’m in a fantastic mood, and the show is being held at the highest level. However, I’m here for work, so I don’t engage in many activities before my performances. I’m saving energy all morning and day to participate in the show.
Nevertheless, you managed to visit the local amusement park.
Anna Shcherbakova: Yes, my sisters came to visit me, and one day we were able to go together to Sochi Park, which I was really happy about. I love roller coasters, for example. But after such entertainment, honestly, it’s difficult to gather myself for the show. I don’t have any plans for daily visits to the amusement park.
So, you enjoy giving yourself a bit of a thrill?
Anna Shcherbakova: Yes, I’ve even tried skydiving.
Did you scream out of fear on the roller coasters?
Anna Shcherbakova: No, only one made me a little nervous. I love rides, so I handle them calmly.
Let’s get back to the show. You’re performing in Sochi in two productions simultaneously — you play a goddess in “The Love Story of Scheherazade” and Leia in “Sleeping Beauty.” Which character do you feel closer to?
Anna Shcherbakova: I actually really like the opportunity to portray different roles. That’s where my interest lies. You don’t have to be the same all the time. I wouldn’t say one character is closer to me than the other, but as far as I know, the audience prefers me playing Leia. I like both roles since they’re different. In “Scheherazade,” the goddess’s character is more majestic, authoritative, strong, while in “Sleeping Beauty,” it’s a light, open princess.
Have you ever wanted to play a villainous character?
Anna Shcherbakova: As far as I remember, I haven’t played negative characters. It might be interesting for me to try. But it seems they would still cast me in positive roles; they suit me more naturally.
In your Telegram channel, you mentioned rushing from one show to another and tying your skate laces 30 seconds before stepping onto the ice. Is it tough to live on such a schedule? And what if you were late for your performance?
Anna Shcherbakova: There were a few days like that, but one of them turned out to be the most extreme with venue changes. Usually, there are a few minutes to spare, but we got delayed on the road and just made it in time. In any case, the organization here is top-notch, so they would definitely sort out such situations. It hasn’t happened yet that we were late somewhere. On the first day, dealing with this schedule was a bit tough, but I adapted afterwards. It’s even kind of cool that you have to switch performance locations and characters in such tight timeframes. It just adds excitement to the show.
You recently visited China. How was the trip?
Anna Shcherbakova: To say that I was delighted is an understatement. It’s hard to find words to describe my impressions. I felt like a rock star on tour. I didn’t even fully grasp the reality of what was happening. From the very first seconds, I was amazed, starting from the airport reception where an incredible number of fans had gathered. And it was like that every single day. After my performance on the ice, there was an incredible amount of toys thrown, and I experienced something like that for the first time. When I stood in the center and thousands of toys were flying from all directions, tears welled up in my eyes from the overflow of emotions.
Have you encountered anything similar in Russia?
Anna Shcherbakova: China was a unique experience, though. I visited there for the first time after the Olympic Games, during which there was a quarantine, so the stands were empty. As a result, the fans who appeared during our Olympics only now had the chance to see me for the first time. So, I think that’s why there was such excitement, although I couldn’t even imagine its scale.
What happened to those thousands of toys?
Anna Shcherbakova: Some fans took them home, and some were donated to charity in China. I have to say that local fans not only arranged fantastic surprises for me but also helped organize the delivery of the toys to my home after the performance.
You recently attended the wedding of Alena Kostornaia and Gosha Kunitsa. Did you try to catch the bride’s bouquet?
Anna Shcherbakova: This is actually the second wedding I’ve attended as a guest, and both were this summer. I participated in the bouquet toss both times, but I tried to stand behind everyone, hiding behind the others.
Why is that?
Anna Shcherbakova: Well, I’m not eager to be in the front rows until I have the goal of catching it. I think it’s fun to participate; it’s a cool tradition. But at the moment, I’m not rushing to be in the spotlight for this.
Do you already have thoughts about what you could do if it weren’t for figure skating? Maybe trying yourself on television or in music, like Sasha Trusova?
Anna Shcherbakova: Probably, this is one of the main questions I’ve been thinking about in the past year. I try to explore different roles, to develop. I’ve already had experience as a TV host, and I’ve also hosted a sports award show. There are many interesting paths for development, but I haven’t found something specific that I’ll definitely pursue in the future.
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