This a special interview with Italian actress Anita Giovannini, who was very excited to talk about her upcoming one-woman stage show entitled Anita Luna, which she wrote and will star in. Besides showcasing her multi-dimensional character, she will be showcasing her static trapeze skills. However, what really makes this a special interview with Anita, is that it’s her very first interview in English. In light of that, this will surely expose her to a new fanbase, particularly in the United States, where she plans to bring her show in the near future.
The most unique faucet of Anita’s stage show is her aforementioned aerial silk acrobatics. She spends a good portion of her shows climbing and suspending herself from two aerial fabrics hanging high overhead from the theater rafters. She does a range of aerial maneuvers, narrates and sings, sometimes while completely upside-down, a few meters above the stage floor. Last year, while in New York, Anita decided to begin training on the flying trapeze, which she says she immediately fell in love with and she plans on incorporating into her act in the near future.
To say Anita has a bright and energetic personality is an understatement. Listen to my interview with her and you’ll hear for yourself. She has a very upbeat, positive attitude, not only about performing, but also about life, and even death, itself. Oh, and I neglected to tell Anita our Skype interview was going to be audio only, so there was no need for her to be “camera ready” when we talked. So, since she anticipated being on video as well as audio, she went to the trouble of getting dolled-up. However, Anita efforts didn’t go to waste, because the above photo was taken during our interview of November the 5th and is here for all see.
November 5th full interview with Anita Giovannini
Below are choice condensed excerpts from my audio interview with Anita.
CHRIS CHARLES: The lady who bought you to my attention was Andreea Boyer, our mutual friend. How did the two of you first meet?
ANITA GIOVANNINI: Actually we met on Facebook. and we follow each other’s work and I admire her so much for her talents, so we became friends. We are in touch and we want to do, in the future, something together.
CHRIS: When did you actually begin performing?
ANITA: Actually, I started when I was 20 years old, by chance. I was studying at the university (of Bologna), but I was not sure what to do with my life. So, I went to a casting (call) by chance for an Italian TV program, and I did it and it was good. I did just one episode of this TV program and I thought to myself; “Oh my god, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life! Just to feel this amazing adrenaline,” and so I studied at the school ….Galante Garrone (Scuola di Teatro di Bologna ”Alessandra Galante Garrone”), it was a school of theater and circus.
CHRIS: I see you’ve also had a lot of stage experience. You played Marilyn Monroe in a play entitled Marilyn Monroe Memories from 2005-2007. Did you have a lot of fun with that?
ANITA: Absolutely. I was so honored and so happy and so surprised because I couldn’t think that I would have done something like that, but this director, she was a female director, she said to me; “You have to do it because you can do it!” So, I did it and I sang and I had this great chance to play Marilyn and I love her ….and it was just the beginning. Like is strange, you know, it was the beginning of my new character. The character that I’m going to play in my one-woman show that will premiere in December. It is close to Marilyn. My character, Anita Luna, she’s the diva, and I inspired myself from her. So, it was something important for me, to do that show. Even for the future.
CHRIS: I was looking over your resume and I see you’ve done a few films, mostly shorts and some voice-over. You’ve also done quite a bit of modeling?
ANITA: Umm, just for fun (laughs). I love being in front of the camera of the photographer so, sometimes yes, yes!
CHRIS: There is one photo I’m curious about. It a photo of you nude, laying on a very long stretch of highway. It looks like the desert. Where was that taken?
ANITA: Ooh yes. I was in Death Valley.
CHRIS: Yeah, that’s where I thought.
ANITA: I was in San Francisco just some days before, for three days. I love San Francisco but I had to come back because I don’t have so much time to visit the city. I took a car and I drove to Death Valley. It was the first time
CHRIS: Yeah, that’s quite a long drive.
ANITA: Yeah, exactly, but it was so cathartic. For me, it was something really spiritual, too and I had this inspiration. Yes, it was really an inspiration. So I just laid down. I just took off my dress and laid down on the street and it was something so powerful, so strong, and so free, too. I really felt free. free with myself.
CHRIS: When did you start training as a trapeze performer? Was it in New York for the first time?
ANITA: Flying trapeze? Yes, it was in New York because I used to do static trapeze in Italy. Then I discovered, when I was in New York, I’ve been there a few times, and the first time I discovered the flying trapeze. Yes, I started training there and I literally fell in love with the flying trapeze, and so it’s one of my greatest passions.
CHRIS: You said you started doing static trapeze. You’re known for your stage performances.
ANITA: Exactly. Static trapeze and fabric (trapeze). Fabric is my best skill in the air. Sometimes I act, upside down and sing, too.
CHRIS: I guess from there (static trapeze), that inspired you to do flying trapeze?
ANITA: Exactly ….because I love to always try something new, to experiment and even to challenge myself. It is very important to risk it because I need to grow, I need to get better always. I want to. It’s a therapy, too, for me. Air is a therapy for me because at the beginning I was really afraid of being in the air. It was really difficult for me, but them I won (over) my fear, so now I’m stronger.
CHRIS: How often do you train in the gym? ….because you have to stay in good shape.
ANITA: Yes, absolutely. Three or four times a week.
CHRIS: Have you ever had an accident while you were on stage or while you were training?
ANITA: Umm, let me think. Actually one time, I fell down from the fabric (laughs). It was two meters high and it was scary, but I was performing and I immediately got up and I climbed up (the fabric) again and I finished my number, because the show must go on! (laughs)
CHRIS: And you just acted like it was part of the show?
ANITA: Ahh, actually I was at the school and this was in front of the students and the instructors, and I kept going (laughs).
CHRIS: You’ve mentioned this before so now we’ll cover it a little bit. You’re currently preparing for your one-woman show entitled Anita Luna?
CHRIS: I understand the character Anita Luna has several personalities.
ANITA: Yes! Absolutely. Anita Luna is my alter ego. She is a dive, she is THE diva, the greatest diva of all time. She can do everything. She can sing, she can act, but she has something different from me because (laughs) her pee is like pure water from the mountains of the Himalayas and he poo is vegan, so she is supernatural, she is divine ….and she can do all the things that I can’t do ….that I don’t allow myself to do, you know? She can be even arrogant sometimes but she has a big heart, too. She is very human. She is fragile, she is strong, she has so many contradictions. I love her because through her, I am discovering myself. So, it’s fantastic.
CHRIS: I understand you wrote this show, all yourself.
ANITA: Yes, I wrote the show by myself and I worked with the great director, Jango Edwards. He’s from Detroit, but he lives in Spain, in Barcelona right now. I’ve worked on this for two and a half years. This is similar to my personal story, my autobiography, but obviously with some fantasy, too. Oh yes. It was cathartic for me to write this show. Absolutely.
CHRIS: It will premiere in Rome on the 10th and 11th of December?
ANITA: Exactly. It will be not only a premiere, it will be like an event. We are going to record the show with the audience. We are going to do like the American shows, where they invite people and we do a scene and we stop and then repeat so it’s going to be really interesting because you can see the process.
CHRIS: How about after the 11th if December, is the show going to continue on in other cities?
ANITA: Yes, we’re going to do a show in Paris in January, but were going to do this premiere in December to take video and sell the show.
CHRIS: Maybe there’s a chance of you coming to the United States?
ANITA: Absolutely, I want to come there. This is my biggest goal because I’ve been there a few times and I always feel so good.
CHRIS: I assume you like stage the best because you can be more expressive on stage than you can in film, but you’ve done a few filme. There was a short film that you co-wrote; Health and Death. Yourself, Alex Arcoleo, and Giorgio Cappone were in that and in the film, the three of you sit around the dinner table, discussing death as being part of life and sharing anecdotes.
ANITA: Exactly. We talk about death and we talk about our personal views, and it’s ironic, it’s not something dramatic. I love to talk about all the things about life, death, birth, love, friendship, everything you know? But always with irony because you can laugh about everything.
CHRIS: You co-wrote it. Was all of the dialog scripted or was some of it ad-libbed?
ANITA: I had this idea, and I wrote the script together with the director Gianluca Caprara, a young Italian director. Yes, we improvised a little bit. I always do improvisation when I work. For me it’s very important.
CHRIS: You have many influences and inspirations. You’ve already mentioned Marilyn Monroe ….and Salvador Dali?
ANITA: Salvador Dali, yes, yes, yes, I love him!
CHRIS: And the rock band Queen, particularly Freddie Mercury?
ANITA: Oh, my god. I’m crazy for Freddie Mercury. As a performer, he may be my favorite artist. I really love Freddie. He’s my inspiration.
CHRIS: Who are some other strong influences?
ANITA: Ah, let me think. For sure, Woody Allen, Pedro Almodóvar, Abel Farrara ….and I had the chance to work with him, to study in a master class. He did these two big master classes here in Italy. It was fantastic. To me, he’s a genius. I love him, I love his movies and he’s a fantastic person too. As (far as) actors ….let me think, I have so many! (laughs) I love Bill Murray so much, and Robert Downey Jr., Kevin Spacey, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie ….you have so many amazing actors!
CHRIS: When it comes to italian actresses one of the first names that comes to (my) mind is Sophia Loren. Are you a big fan of hers too?
ANITA: Yes, absolutely. I love her too.
CHRIS: You have a few tattoos on various parts of your body. I notice a written quote of phrase on your back. What is that?
ANITA: It is a poem from an Italian poet and it’s actually very difficult to translate because it’s very ….ah, how can I say ….it’s very Italian (laughs). It’s something about the torment ….it’s about decadence ….it’s something not happy I can tell you (laughs). Because I used to be a little bit depressed, but now I work hard every day of my life to be happy and because I deserve it. So, this (tattoo) is something like a reminder for me. Now I’m very different (laughs) I’m a new Anita.
CHRIS: It really shows in your work that you love what you do, you enjoy what you do, you’re very expressive and it was really a pleasure talking to you, Anita. In closing, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans in the United States?
ANITA: Guys, I’m gonna come there as soon as possible with my show and it will be great! We’re gonna have a celebration together and I will make you laugh, I will make you cry, I will make you emotional. I promise. I can’t wait to come there!
Yoga in San Francisco, July 2015 ….
…and later that same trip, enjoying the sun in Death Valley, California
Last month at the 73rd Venice Film Festival
In the gym last week, where Anita visits 3-4 times a week
From the show Revenge of the Unpaired Sock, written by
Francesca Sanzo and directed by Alessandra Frabetti