May’s Man of the Month is:
Here’s a little bit about him:
Stefano has been working in the entertainment industry as an actor, teacher and producer for over 15 years. He recently finished work on Disney’s “Girl vs Monster” (in the role of ‘Scarecrow’ on his 3’ stilts!) and co-produced and performed in the world premiere of BellaLuna’s play “FRESCO” about the Italian Canadians in Vancouver during WWII.
Earning his reputation as “Above Average In The Funny Department”, Stefano has starred on TV’s least-watched comedy reality show “Sketch Troop”, guest starred on the sit-com ‘Always a Bridesmaid’, and has had over 100,000 children across Canada laugh at him in various theatre for young audience plays. His personal highlights include being accepted into Cirque du Soleil’s casting bank as a physical performer and touring Axis Theatre’s renowned play ‘The Number 14’ which will again be on the schedule this coming fall.
This summer, his contract on Vancouver Island performing in ‘Animal Tales’ at the Chemainus Theatre Festival will coincide well with his passion for surfing and riding his Vespa scooter.
And here’s how he answered my 6 questions about creativity:
What does it mean to you to be creative?
Being creative to me means being honest and not limiting ideas. As kids, we played make believe and our world had no limits; as adults, we often stop ourselves when it’s no longer safe, or socially acceptable. We cringe with embarrassment if our child asks ‘Is that man pregnant?’ but on a TV show, it’s hilarious. While many people think that saying or doing something zany is creativity, the most valuable element of creativity, and often the hardest to conjure, is the obvious. One is never moved to tears or laughter as much as when genuine emotion is expressed. And my job as an actor is to find that and share it with the audience.
What triggers your creativity?
I do my best work in the bathroom. Ok, get your mind out of the gutter! But seriously, if I’m stuck on an idea, I often find the most surprising answers while brushing my teeth, in the shower or yes, even sitting on the porcelain throne. It may be because the WC is a place where nobody can interrupt my thoughts, or maybe, like Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’, it’s just the best position for creativity and thought!
What hinders your creativity?
Nothing, I’m perfect.
What’s the wildest journey your venturesome spirit has taken you on?
Over the past several years I’ve toured shows to seemingly every nook and cranny across Canada. While many actors loathe the idea of small town tours, I really enjoy the ‘road trip’ element. Sure, I’ve had to choose between a hotel that reeks of either moldy smoke or empty beer cans, but I’ve also seen some of the most spectacular views and sights this country has to offer. This includes taking a dip in Liard Hot Springs, viewing ancient totem poles on Haida Gwaii, skating Winnipeg’s Assiniboine River and taking a piss in the Atlantic Ocean at Peggy’s Cove.
What does being bold and provocative mean to you?
Some artists try to be provocative for the sake of political agendas. I like getting people unsettled to rattle the mundane (and sometimes just for my twisted enjoyment). It’s so easy to get used to seeing our world in the pattern we’ve built, so if I can play a practical joke or offer someone a show that makes them laugh and cry and think, I get a kick out of it, and they get a fresh look at themselves and the world around them. My favorite example is in BellaLuna’s play ‘Futuristi’: after over an hour of avant-garde experimental, material, we made the second act only 30 seconds long. Some people expected act 2 to run long and left (those IDIOTS!), while some audience members stayed well after the curtain call…just in case!
What’s next for you?
I have a year of work in theatre that will take me to Vancouver Island (Chemainus Theatre’s ‘Animal Tales’), and across Canada from Whitehorse to Montreal (‘The Number 14’ twentieth anniversary tour), but I’m most excited about spending three weeks this summer with my girlfriend Ella Simon (featured as April’s Woman of the Month) in my family’s hometown of Lucca in Tuscany, Italy.
And here’s a play that inspires Stefano’s creativity:
Did you know that during WWII, 44 Italian-Canadian men in Vancouver were sent to internment camps without trial? Read about BellaLuna’s FRESCO to learn more.
Thank you for unsettling the mundane Mr Perfect!
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