HOW IT ALL BEGAN – A.K.A. MY BIOGRAPHY
Cristina, aka me, was born and raised in Italy. More specifically, in the South of Italy. Apulia, the land of Trulli, good food, olive trees and, of course, the Land of Magic.
You just can’t grow up wanting to be an international spy. You want to be an Artist.
I started taking dancing classes when I was 4. Mostly because I was a pest, I guess my parents thought I needed some ballet to learn some manners and to help me digest the huge nonna’s mains, based on parmigiana and orecchiette with bolognese. This aside, I actually enjoyed dancing. To the day of today, is the discipline that makes me feel most free and invincible.
I was lucky enough to get admitted to the Academic Acting Programme at the early age of 14. At the time there wasn’t a Performing-Arts-oriented High School in Italy – well, at least one my family could afford – so I had to go to a private academy.
In other words, I was attending a Foreign Languages-oriented High School 8.00am – 2.00pm Mon-Sat (that’s right, that’s where I found out I love foreign languages and pronunciation, learnt English, Spanish and German), then 2.30-10pm Mon-Fri plus Weekends 10am-2pm.
Approaching all sorts of performing arts. I was youngest in the group.
Of course, I learned a lot in those 4 years at “Accademia Unika”: respect for the stage and the group, reliability, punctuality, staying focused and above all, being passionate, and understanding what sacrifice is- how is it to immerse yourself for a higher cause.
Attending that program, I developed a great interest in singing, which also led me, by singing American Musical Theatre songs-my favourites-, to work on my English pronunciation.
I was 18 when during a Masterclass (yes- one of those where you experiment your body language and feel the others and all those “weird things actors do, like acting like a bug or a stone #andstufflikethat”), I got the proposal I was waiting for to get married with theatre: my first leading role. And guess what? I was going to be a Greek princess, who, according to the legend, had the power of predicting terrible things, and for this reason, she was getting mocked and abused. Yay!!! Give an actress a #CharmingStruggling role and she will love you to death. I will always be grateful to Andrea (the director and writer) for the role of Cassandra, and, later on, for the Jellyfish Princess role in the WWF educational theatre, and for all the other performances we worked at together. #seemycv)
Developing my professional career I experienced all sort of and acting techniques and performing styles with different theatre companies, working from Shakespeare to Chekhov, from Experimental theatre to Musical Theatre, from stage acting to acting for the camera.
In 2013 I won a spot in the IMake Academy for the Commedia dell’Arte Masterclass.
Some would argue: -uh, that’s an old art! You just wear a #WeirdLeatherMask and empathise your movements, but trust me, there’s a whole interesting world of history and techniques behind every single move. And it’s damn hard -and fun.
We created a Theatre Company, put up a “Pop-tragi-comedy show” in the Commedia dell’Arte style, and even managed to perform it in an ancient authentic Greek Theatre (yes, in Greece!)- and that, THAT my friend, gave me real goosebumps. Acting where for millennials other actors had performed. It was like I could still hear the echoes of their voices.
But there is one thing I haven’t mentioned in this Biography, #Iknowyouwanttogo #Italianschatalot, and is my deep love for musical theatre. Since I act,sing and dance, it is a perfect match for me. It all started thanks to the (-in my opinion- amazing) performer Maria Laura Baccarini. I attended a few masterclasses with her and thanks to her, now I’m bound to it to death. After studying with her I went to get a bite of the Big Apple in 2009 (I was 17)- and yes, NYC really is the performers’ paradise – and I decided I wanted to live in an English-speaking Country one day.
In the following years, I got some of my greatest professional achievements in Italy: play a singing role in a Musical at the famous Sistina theatre in Rome, win a talent show, and most of all perform more than 50 times a deep and intense One-woman-show accompanied by an exceptional jazz duo – piano and double bass players.
What about screen acting? I love it.
You’d say, is there something you don’t love? I mean, if you love theatre you can’t love the camera. Wrong.
It’s like you want to ask a kid if he prefers a Schnitzel with French fries or a piece of Mud cake. They are two different dishes.
In December 2013, I finally got that one-way ticket for Australia and there, started my personal challenge: making it in an English Speaking Country.
I attended the Acting Residency at the prestigious NIDA, and it was interesting studying with an Australian/American approach, both to theatre and camera.
Proudly, I performed and got featured in various plays and projects in Sydney and Melbourne, #seemycv.
Most importantly, in Sydney I ticked two items off my #bucketlist: being a Monologist at the 2016 Sydney Biennale – hence, “transforming myself into an ACTUAL piece of art”; and finally performing, in 2017, at the illustrious Sydney Opera House as Female actress.
Now? I am on the move again, in Indonesia at the moment, coaching singing, acting and public speaking, and staying open to collaborations and new projects.