Tatiana Machlinovsky

Tatiana Machlinovsky immigrated to Israel with her family and following her parents’ breakup her father returned to Russia, leaving behind a great deal a debt, which forced her mother to send her to a state boarding school. Today it turns out that transferring to the boarding school was one of the best things that ever happened to me”, she says. After school and ahead of her military service, she found out about Lamerhav.

After going through the application process and being accepted, I’d come to the Lamerhav House in Hod Hasharon almost every day. I was in the Tzrifim military base and I’d take buses and trains just to get to Lamerhav. My social worker was Hagit, who was amazing but really tough. It started with her making me open a bank account and understanding whether my account was overdrawn. She really cared about financial education, and that’s really important in the program. Boarding school kids usually know nothing about money until they graduate and then they get a kind of shock about it. Hagit would constantly give me tasks and homework in dealing with the soldiers on my base, assertiveness exercises meant to help me learn how to put people in their place if needed. I got counseling for every aspect of my life and I needed to make decisions about it all, even if it was tough.

I took part in a writing workshop lead by Amit Klieger, a director and screenwriter, with whom I also worked on my Nisan Nativ acting school application. We were an outspoken and noisy group who met once a week and would work and write for hours and hours. We wrote stories and texts, and even published a book, a pretty good one.

Following her military service, Tatiana realized that her calling was the stage, but she felt like it was a really tough field to succeed in and needed another push from Lamerhav’s social worker to get the motivation to try her luck. “I applied to the Kibbutzim Seminar program but didn’t get in, which made me think there was no point in applying to Nisan Nativ, but Hagit gave me a push, and I applied and got in. My whole life changed there. It sounds like a cliché, but that’s what really happened.

I moved to Tel Aviv, that also happened because of Hagit, who always pushed us to be independent, so I rented a small apartment and began running an independent household. I bought a small scooter to help me continue coming to Hod Hasharon twice a week to meet with Hagit and for my group writing meetings. The process I underwent at Nisan Nativ can’t be put into words. I was a pretty shy person, what I thought I knew about acting and theater was nothing in comparison to the other students, and mostly I just wanted to die. Lamerhav is one of the main reasons I got through Nisan successfully. Thanks to the program I was able to get through those three years, in so many aspects.

After graduation Tatiana decided she was not going to leave her future in the hands of fate or that of an agent and she created her first job on her own. She approached other Nisan actresses and an actor from another school and suggested founding a women’s comedy ensemble, Bubachka Ensemble: “even during my studies I imagined this big show all about women’s humor, where women are the main stars of the show, and the reason for that is that as a woman I wanted to work on material that interested me, and if I was a man it’s probable I wouldn’t have thought of such a show on my own. At Nisan I had the opportunity to experiment with my own original material that I wrote and directed with other actors; we could create anything we wanted there, and part of it was awful and part was really good. The acts I worked on became the basis for Bubachka. I was picturing a cabaret, I imagined a show with lots of acts and already knew I wanted it to include all women, except one man to balance things out.”

“A women’s cabaret that will make you fall in love even with the worst female traits. A women’s ensemble, along with one man trying to deal with it all. An innovative, daring, and unusual performance, presenting the actors’ fantasies, desires, and thoughts. The original material is hilarious and mainly proves that we still have a lot more to learn about women” – Walla culture critic.