Javier had only one dog before the quarantine. Now three dogs animatedly welcome me at his door, ready for the interview and portrait, which they associate with the memory of people come and gone during the tough time of the pandemic.
With the closure of theatres, Javier’s whole life as an actor came to an abrupt halt. His best friend and flatmate for 10 years left on the first day of quarantine with overdue rent and bills, and even abandoned his own dog, a greyhound, just when Javier, who already had a dog, lost his income from the cancellation of his planned tours. It was the beginning of a nightmare. Javier could not find anyone willing to move in and had to pay double rent. The landlord refused to lower the rate, sending a notice of eviction instead. However, the government protected people who had lost their job, and he was given 6 months to sort out a new accommodation. While Javier was studying new ways to survive with his two dogs, his partner moved in to spend the quarantine with him. Later, he left, failing to see the gravity of Javier's emotional breakdown. Javier's lowest point was when he considered suicide.
His dogs helped him “by just being there,” he says. YouTube lectures by psychologists also helped. What helped the most was writing down his feelings with irony, writings which are now being published in the book: "Brus Wilis no sabe cantar pero le pone ganas" (B.W. can't sing, but he tries). Javier now shares a new house with his partner; they reconciled as he learned to open up and ask for help: “The pandemic taught me that there are things we just can't control in life. If you reach a certain level, you don't want people to see that you have stopped fighting, but it's unbelievable how powerful it is to put your struggles into words! Nobody will lend their hand if you don’t let them know what you’re going through. People feel good when they help others.”
Javier's third dog, another greyhound, is his partner's; they are now a big family! He got to teach acting in a school and is beginning as a life coach. He is also a physiotherapist: “I ask myself why the hell I only wanted to be a successful actor. Life is short, and we need to be ready for changes.”