Tuesday, February 6, 2018

In Which This Guy Gives Me The Day Off.

I helped some dude at my gym write a breakup text the other day. So yeah, my English minor is really paying off.

But today, I receive the assist. An actor/dancer named Franceso Pireddu emailed me, asking if he could write a blog entry about what he’s learned from working in Italy (where he grew up), the UK and the US. Absolutely, and here it is:
I have been performing for more than a decade and had the opportunity to express myself through the work of powerful choreographers and directors such as Lindsay Kemp, Micha Von Hoecke, Jacqulyn Buglisi and Stephen Pickover.

It has been, and still is, an empowering and challenging journey. The most important things I learned from each one of them is how to “lead the stage”, how to make it yours and allow the audience to capture every single moment.

Not so long ago, I performed at the Dixon place in NYC in Triptych, a play directed by Albert Andrew Garcia. I played Adam, the first man on earth. My character was raw, intense. I was against the wall. Completely wet. Scared, and apparently defeated. A strong light was guiding me. The movement became bigger, more intense, and almost frantic by the end. It was a methodical crescendo which brought my character to express himself with words that came from nowhere.

I played Adam by implementing the important notions I gathered from Lindsay Kemp, the world famous director and choreographer, who taught me the principles of commedia dell’arte, which is an early form of professional theater born in Italy (my country).

Commedia dell’arte is both scripted and improvised. Characters’ entrances and exits are scripted. I brought these principles to the stage; the movement was scripted and improvised at the same time. The entrances and the exits were scripted and carefully planned. Thanks to commedia dell’arte, I learned to improvise without ignoring the theme of the performance and getting off track. I allowed myself to trust the work and be vulnerable.
A few years ago, my friend Carolyn asked me to come see an actor named Jack Plotnick speak at a theater in Hollywood. Jack is a great, working actor whose method is to learn his lines, but deliver them as if they’re improv. It instantly raised my acting skills to a new level. I bring all of my natural inflections and mannerisms into a character.

Interesting moment – the day after I read Francesco’s story, Jack Plotnick starred in a Super Bowl Commercial for Sprint:

Thanks, Francesco. Nice job.

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