Friday, March 16, 2018

Some News

Hi there, I hope this newsletter finds all of you very well and every day more committed to your artistic craft. 

I have some news to share. 

A-  I'm working so hard to present the final version of my solo play. I will be on stage at The Pocket Theatre on Friday, April 6th and Saturday 7th, 7.00pm with:
If You See Something... Play Something (the Whole Story). It is an ONE-hour solo performance of Stories, Poetry, Masks, and Music about the struggling of a nomadic immigrant dealing with American Culture. Tickets are $ 10 online and $14 at the door. Follow the link:

B- I applied for a grant at 4culture for a project about new immigrant stories (theater, poetry, and mask). The idea is to collect performances from all over the world. I'm looking for pals willing to organize it with me. In May, I will know if I got the grants..... Volunteers available please send me a message

C- from I received an interesting communication for a summer workshop in Muncie, Indiana... somebody wants to join me this summer?
The Mask in Actor Training
July 15 – 21
Tuition/housing/breakfast and lunch: $475
Workshop Leader: Jonathan Becker
Learn the practice of acting with masks.  Learn the practice of training actors with masks.  Participate in the oldest form of storytelling and explore with masks that speak to a universal human experience.  

D- A beautiful idea will be to go to Sardinia (Italy) in June 15, 16 and 17 for the first "Festival Internazionale delle Maschere" MAMU-MASK....

Friday, December 29, 2017


Two amazing example of transformation

1) the Chinese "changing faces" artist

2) Arturo Brachetti on Stage

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Onions, Masks and Humans: many interesting layers.

Onions are one of the few vegetables that every culture valued and keep valuing. I’m personally very proud of my ancestor Pieter Pieri who imported the famous Italian onions in Walla Walla. That was the end of 19th century. People says Pieri was a French soldier retired in the Corse Island. Corse was Italian before Napoleon and it is very close to Tuscany coastal. Consider that Pieri as last name come from Tuscany like a modification of Pietro (Pieter) and/or Piero, and the Onion seeds he brought to Walla Walla were coming from Tuscany, this is another gift from Italy. Of course, I do not think I’m related to this guy but my last name makes me very sympathetic to him.
Anyway, why this sweet and tasty vegetable are so important in all dining table around the world, despite cultural, religious, linguistic and local differences? Curious!
Why is it one of the most popular metaphor to use represent human personality?
I admit, the idea of a man, or woman personality built as layers that you can peel out one by one, going deep and deeper every stage, …. Yes, this metaphor is powerful, it seems invented by some shrink’s good marketer!
But what is there, at the end of the peeling?
Oh!!! Here our metaphor begins to diverge from reality. For some at the end, there is a core, an onion core! Your real Ego. Your only and unique trustable YOU!  Meaning the previous layers were not “really” you or at least not the “trustable you” we’d like to have.
Now, how’s that even possible! First of all, onions are one of these vegetables that you can eat every part of it, except the external layer. Technically speaking the “core” of the onion it doesn’t taste very different from a more external layer … and they are, all of them I mean, just “Onion”. To keep with the metaphor, at the end of the peeling job you get to the core and you have… let’s see, a naked and vulnerable onion core? For sure, again Onion as the layers you just peeled out.
For some people, the personality layers to peel out resemble masks over masks over another masks. And here the analogy is only in the way the wearer can take off the masks over another masks. But again, at the end of the taking off process you’ll find the very trustable and authentic “Self”, someone says.
I disagree! Totally. Onions are “onions” in the core as well than in the layers and a “self”, is an authentic and trustable self as well all of the masks we were able to take off.
So, a “Self” in my opinion is just a collection of masks that we made and we wear according to circumstances and ecological niches we are in.

In this way questions are changing a little bit. How many Masks we can build? How every mask I build will relate with the others? What are the skills you need to manage all these masks? What do you need to know to build a masks? 

The Onion. Wislawa Szymborska

The onion, now that's something else.
Its innards don't exist.
Nothing but pure onionhood
fills this devout onionist.
Oniony on the inside
onionesque it appears.
It follows its own daimonion
without our human tears.
La cipolla è un’altra cosa.
Interiora non ne ha.
Completamente cipolla
fino alla cipollità.
Cipolluta di fuori,
cipollosa fino al cuore,
potrebbe guardarsi dentro
senza provare timore.

Our skin is just a coverup
for the land where none dare to go,
an internal inferno,
the anathema of anatomy.
In an onion there's only onion
from its top to it's toe,
onionymous monomania,
unanimous omninudity.
In noi ignoto e selve
di pelle appena coperti,
interni d’inferno,
violenta anatomia,
ma nella cipolla – cipolla,
non visceri ritorti.
Lei più e più volte nuda,
fin nel fondo e così via.

At peace, of a piece,
internally at rest.
Inside it, there's a smaller one
of undiminished worth.
The second holds a third one,
the third contains a fourth.
A centripetal fugue.
Polypony compressed.
Coerente è la cipolla,
riuscita è la cipolla.
Nell’una ecco sta l’altra,
nella maggiore la minore,
nella seguente la successiva,
cioè la terza e la quarta.
Una centripeta fuga.
Un’eco in coro composta

Nature's rotundest tummy,
its greatest success story,
the onion drapes itself in its
own aureoles of glory.
We hold veins, nerves, and fat,
secretions' secret sections.
Not for us such idiotic
onionoid perfections.
La cipolla, d’accordo:
il più bel ventre del mondo.
A propria lode di aureole
da sé si avvolge in tondo.
In noi  grasso, nervi, vene,
muchi e secrezioni.
E a noi resta negata
l’idiozia della perfezione.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I had a dream... and It was in English for the first time!

Yessssssss. I had a dream and for the first time, after almost six years living here in the US, it was totally in English. So my subconscious finally learned English too. 

I know for most of my readers this is not a great topics, but maybe ... We use to think Change as dynamic movement and improvement strictly connected with our consciousness. We want to change, we want to improve ourselves, our situation, our life. For sure "we want". 

However mister "mysterious"  Change, sometimes seems not very respectful about our consciousness. Change can work, will work always, despite we want it or not. 

For one side, we need to take care of our Subconscious, this guy who live in our head without paying any rent, hidden often like an illegal alien, but very necessary for a lot of reason. Coming back to my dream, I was waiting this moment when also your dreams got another possibility of expressing but sincerely I did expect this moment ... years ago. It took me month to start dreaming in Spanish when i learned it. English is more difficult for an Italian so, I thought, maybe one or two years! How to maintain our consciousness aligned with subconscious? Or the other way around? 

On the other hand, thinking Change as a conscious decision make us proud and is very anthropocentric. It is a point of view that put as like "aware" human at the center. Now, despite quantum physics seems to give as like observer the privilege of "creating" the reality we see, this doesn't involve conscience, at least not always. Change often happen and no will is involved.

I have a question: how do we deal with not wanted changes? 

Siiiiiiiii, ho fatto un sogno e per la prima volta era totalmente in Inglese, dopo quasi sei anni che vivo qui! Quindi il mio inconscio sembra finalmente aver imparato la lingua. Ok  probabilmente per molti dei miei lettori magari non e' un grande argomento... oppure. Ci piace pensare al Cambiamento come ad un movimento dinamico, un miglioramento, strettamente connesso alla nostra coscienza. "Vogliamo cambiare, vogliamo migliorare, noi stessi, la nostra situazione, la nostra vita". Sicuramente "vogliamo".

D'altra part pero' Sua Maesta' il Cambiamento a volte non sembra cosi' rispettoso della nostra coscienza. Il Cambiamento puo' lavorare, quasi sempre lavora per i fatti suoi, che lo vogliamo o no!

Da una parte dobbiamo prenderci cure dell'inconscio questo altro che vive nella nostra testa pera altro senza pagare alcun affitto, nascosto come un clandestino e sempre necessario per il lavoro che fa. Tornando al mio sogno me lo aspettavo molto tempo fa. Quando imparai lo Spagnolo ho cominciato a sognare in quella lingua in pochi mesi. Essendo l'Inglese per un Italiano piu' difficile mi sarei aspettato uno o due anni! Come mantenere allineati la nostra coscienza e l'inconscio? Oppure e' il contrario?

D'altra parte invece pensare al Cambiamento come una decisione conscia forse ci rende orgogliosi ma e' veramente antropcentrico. E' un punto di vista sul Cambiamento che ci mette al centro. Ora nonostante la fisica quantistica sembri darci come osservatori il potere di creare la realta' che osserviamo, questo processo non implica neccessariamente la coscienza o, almeno non sempre. Il cambiamento a volte avviene e non c'e' nessuna "volonta'" coinvolta.

Sorge una domanda: cosa ci facciamo con il Cambiamento che non abbiamo voluto?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

When Change Happen…but is Not What I Wanted!

As dual citizen I witnessed the American Election Day and today I received the ballot for a very important Italian Referendum about our Constitution Changes to made.
Despite one fact being done and the other yet to do, both of them have triggered my curiosity.
What happen when change is at work… but the results are not what expected? How do we face with not wanted changes? Denying it? Protesting? (and to who and for what?). Pretending nothing happened it’s allowed? Or just we get caught in depression and dark thought? Blaming others? Whining all day long?

We believe that change is ours breathe, it just goes on and on. There is no need to think about it or, worse, to avoid it.
However, like on these days to me, change seems going a little further: toward sides I don’t like and I won’t. Of course the change running in a political arena is not the same of the one you have to ride on your life.

But how we can transform these very common attitudes in a positive and more useful way? Oh that’s very interesting thing to coach around!
Collecting facts around the change. Refuse the odd analysis. Change your glasses: what did not you see? What other people will describe it? What do they say to explain themselves? Try to walk in their shoes can help.
Working on your emotions. How do you feel? How do you show these feeling? Accepting all dark and depressing emotion can help too.
For sure one last work we need to cope with: how you deal with impotence? How stay in a cage like an animal on the zoo, without losing your soul? How you restore your energy to fuel hope?
That’s remind me of the way Clowns are used to cope with failure. Playing it again and again until poetry, irony and imagination combined together will make you and your audience crying with no knowledge about the reason.

Of course, that’s not very easy to do so! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Not to change is not an option!

   “Nothing is more real than the masks we make to show each other who we are.”  Christopher Barzak, The Love We Share Without Knowing) 

    Change is like breathing. It happens. You don’t need to do anything. It is a life process. If you are alive you are breathing and change. Every second.
       Since I began to write this little article all of my cells changed several time. Literally I’m a different person since I start writing.
Tranformational mask - Vancouver BC - Anthropological Museum 
   Of course you can hold your breath, for a while but in a few second you go … fiuuuuu! Change is kind of the same. You can hold, especially the change you don’t want to have, for a while, but after that again, whoahhhhhhh! It goes.
    Like human living been we are set to change a little bit every second all along our life. A kid that I was it is very different from the adult that I’m now. Different dimension, weight, tall, brain. A human body that is not changing anymore is gone, death.
Everything in me is different any moment and however it is still myself. (that is another story!, please wait for another telling)

   Now if change is like that, why we are so afraid of it? Why we spend so much time and energy to avoid that? Why every change in our life is giving us so much intense emotions, anxiety and trouble? Why is so difficult to flow in this river and enjoy the current?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Acting on the stage of life / recitare sul palcoscenico della vita

There is a lot of scientific literature comparing life to a theatre and people to actors and performers.
In the last month I was trying to make that thru, so I took acting classes. I love acting classes because they bottle up your creativity. Acting and writing seems to free something hidden deep in my mind.
Anyway,  when after two “solo performance” classes I decided to apply to a Studio Series Incubator Project and I did not know exactly what is was up to do.
It was “only” twelve minute of solo performance acting but I rehearsed and planned everything in a very professional way. I worked with a director, a mentor, a technician and a producer.
Because I worked very intensively, not so strange, I got some learning. And that is what I want to talk about.
1. In acting (in life too?) details are more important than the things we think they are important. They are the biggest part of the job. Where to put your accent or breath when saying that word, how to make that gesture, when looking at this side, which shocks to wear, what to do to keep your mouth moisturized. Acting (living) is mostly a question of thousands of little and only apparently insignificant details!
2. You can fake it until you feel it! We should value differently the idea to fake something. If you pretend to feel something for a sufficient amount of time, you’ll feel it, seriously and truthfully. And the more you rehearse the more you feel it, deep and real!. However if someone look at you rehearsing at the bust stop, while walking on the park or buying grocery… he or she, coming back home, will easily say “oh Honey, today I saw a crazy man …”.
3. Acting (living) is a strange activity where you need to be focused, prepared, very rational … and emotional. I mean on stage (and in life) you’ll be really and truly excited, tense, close to scream and at the same time, really and truly rational and concentrated.
Of course, I did my play, I got congrats, claps and compliments. I think now I’m addicted to the stage!
C'e' un'importante mole di letteratura scientifica che paragona la vita ad un teatro e le persone ad attori. Nei mesi passati ho provato a farlo per davvero. Ho preso serie lezioni da attore e scrittore, Mi piacciono le scuole di teatro perche' danno la stura alla tua creativita'. Recitare e scrivere sembrano attingere a qualcosa ben nascosto nella mia mente. Tuttavia, quando dopo due cicli di "Solo Performance" mi sono anche iscritto allo "Sudio Series Incubator", non sapevo esattamente a cosa andavo incontro. Sono stati "solo" dodici lunghi minuti di monologo, in inglese, ma mi sono preparato come un vero professionista. Mesi di prove con regista, mentore, tencici e produzione. 
Ho lavorato intensamente e quindi ho imparato due o tre cosette di cui vorrei palare:
1.    Nella recitazione (come nella vita?) i dettagli sono piu' importanti delle cose che noi pensiamo siano importanti, Sono la parte piu' importante del lavoro. Dove mettere l'accento o il respiro, quando dire quella parola, quando fare quel gesto, quando guardare da questa parte, quali calzini mettere (che si trattava di scarpe vecchie e nuove), come mantenere la salivazione!. Recitare (vivere?) sembra una questione legata a migliaia di piccoli e solo apparentement insignificanti dettagli. 
2.     Puoi fingere fino a sentirlo per davvvero! Forse dovremmo valutare in maniera diversa il "fingere" qualcosa. Cercando di fingere qualcosa per un tempo sufficientemente lungo... arriverete a provarlo, per davvero e in profondita'! E piu' si prova piu' si sente, dentro! Certo se qualcuno vi guarda mentre "parlate da solo" alla fermata del bus, camminando nel parco, o alla cassa del supermercato... Tornando a casa potrebbe dire: "Amore, sai oggi ho visto uno un po' matto!". 
3.     Recitare (vivere) e' un'attivita' molto strana nella quale devi essere focalizzato, preparato, molto razionale... e molto emotivo! Voglio dire, sullo stage (nella vita) sarete sempre molto eccitati, tesi, magari sull'orlo di una crisi emotiva e, allo stesso tempo, perfettamente razionali e concentrati.

Alli fine ho fatto la mia parte , 3 repliche appluaditissime e con molte felicitazioni e complimenti! Adesso ho un po' di nostalgia per il palco! Sara' la mia nuova dipendenza?