Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
I’m Luísa Galatti, a Brazilian actor, producer and director based in New York City. I’m the Director of Creative Development and Co-Marketing Director of Et Alia Theater and a co-founder of It’s on the Box Collective (more on that coming soon!).
I actually call myself a scene artist. I’m always thinking about the creation of my projects as a whole, never just from the perspective of the title that was given to me. Maybe that’s why I wear so many hats. The titles mentioned above are the ones that I relate to today. But then I also write, devise, perform as a dancer/mover, do makeup… I’m always involved in projects as a creative, a scene artist. I took this term from a direct translation of the Performing Arts university degree from Brazil: the name of this major there is ‘Arts of the Scenes’. Needless to say, I relate to that title.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I develop plays and films that bring a fresh, but never light, perspective. I’m always seeking extraordinary stories and unique ways to explore theater and filmmaking. I look to break barriers and take risks; whether it is by doing something no one’s seen before or re-formatting something and presenting it in a new way. The short film that I recently produced, Fog Around August by Ryan Cairns, written by and starring Cornelius Boeder, shows the intimate moment when August finally tells his girlfriend about his desires and the lack thereof. It’s a one-take film shot in a 16mm film camera. It feels like you’re hiding in their living room peeking on their conversation. One of my latest projects with Et Alia Theater, Stella, Come Home, explored the story of A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, through dance-movement. Most people know A Streetcar Named Desire, most people have seen dance shows. What they haven’t seen before is a group of international women using their home countries’ music and culture to tell the story of an American (I actually prefer to use the term United Statesian) classic.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
My short film ‘Til Morning was selected to screen at aGLIFF, a film festival in Austin. The main creative team and I went there and had an amazing time. After our film was screened, one of the audience members came to us and, with a lot rage, said “You’re film got me so MAD and frustrated. I can’t believe that her girlfriend did that to her. And then the father…”; and she went on an on about the story and the decisions that the characters made. And then she said “You have to make a feature. I need to know what’s gonna happen to her.”. In my head I went “My job is done. I made someone feel impacted by a story she’s never seen before AND she wants more.”.
This is one of the small moments that I felt good about my art. I hate to say that most of the time I’m asking myself “what have I done with my life?”.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
Facing the responsibility of leadership is my current big challenge. I wasn’t seeking to be a leader; my energy and effort to make things happen naturally put me in that position. And that brought me responsibilities – which I didn’t feel ready for.
My main strategy as of now is to open a clear communication channel with my collaborators. I need to open a space that frustrations can be communicated so we can seek solutions. When mistakes happen (they ALWAYS do), I make sure to bring the topic to my closest friends and collaborators and we collectively come up with ideas on how to avoid that for the next projects.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
Such a hard choice, but here are the women that inspire me the most:
Nadine Labaki, the Lebanese actor and filmmaker. Capernaum is one of my favorite films. I have no words to express how much I admire Labaki’s delicate, beautiful work to tell that story. I would give everything to watch her filmmaking process from the beginning to the end: how she develops her creative ideas, how she plans to make it happen and, finally, how she actually makes it happen.
Florence Pugh, the English actor. My first passion is acting and I’m obsessed with it. Florence Pugh built an outstanding, unique career. Watching her perform is always an acting lesson. I would love to meet her and hear all about her process. And who knows… maybe act with her in a film directed by Nadine Labaki? What? Who said that?
Chloe Zhao, the Chinese filmmaker. As an international artist in the US, I’m always looking for people with a similar story as mine that succeeded. And that person IS Chloe Zhao. She not only is an absolute master of her craft with her originality and stunning work, but also made it to Hollywood. She built her career here and was the very first woman of color to win an Oscar as a director.
Honorable mention: Celine Sciamma and Frances McDormand. Sorry, I just can’t leave these two out.
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