Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
I owe many things to Harpo Marx. I am the first official translator of his iconic autobiography Harpo Speaks into Italian, my mother tongue. That was the first book that got me into the market on a national level. Actually, I’d love to write a TV series about Harpo, but that’s another story.
Yes, I am a writer. I consider myself a writer since I was seven and a half years old when my teacher forced me to tear apart the pages of a copybook where I wrote some stories about my classmates that she found offensive (they loved them, really). I currently write about musicians. An unofficial biography of Maneskin should be out soon, print on demand, in Italian and English. And I would love to publish my first novel, as soon as possible.
I am also a scriptwriter and, on that side, I have many projects and ideas in my deck, some suitable for the Italian market, some aiming to a more international audience. Like “Veronica, the honest courtesan”, a Tv series (from a true story) about a struggling woman in XVI century Venice that chooses to be a high-level prostitute (an honest courtesan, that is) because that’s the only role in society that allows her to study and be a poet. I co-wrote Veronica together with Elisa Guidelli and Ilaria Malvezzi.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I am Italian, I studied in France and England (and Hungary for a short while), I also speak Spanish. When my Indian friends in London used to talk about Bollywood, although I didn’t know the names they mentioned or the movies they clearly knew by heart, I found it incredibly fascinating (“Sorry Mel, talking Bollywood”). So I think I know what it means “international perspective”, it’s part of who I am. Moreover, I identify as a genderfluid person. There are several stories concerning bodies and gender identity on which I am working, it’s a type of self-analysis that can be useful to reinforce the narrative about non-binary people. “The Angel of Rome”, the story of the last castrato singer Alessandro Moreschi (1857-1922) is maybe the one that touches me the most. I am a singer too though I didn’t choose it as a profession and, though he wasn’t born that way, there are certain aspects concerning body-voice-self perception that I found incredibly resonating with me in Alessandro’s story, that apparently seems so far remote from us.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
As I said, I was seven and a half years old and I used to write short stories about my classmates. I vividly remember the copybook I used. There was a sweet big-eyed dog painted on it. Though my classmates asked me to be the main characters of my funny tales, for some reason the little copybook with the cute dog on got to my teacher. I thought she might like what I wrote, instead, she was furious, and she spent one hour telling me how I have been offensive to my mates. In the end, she forced me to tear those pages apart – a girlfriend of mine actually did it. I clearly remember her telling me in a very melodramatic way “I’ll do it, it’ll be an honour” like a Seargent doing something important for his general. That was my first attempt and my first censorship. Yet, my classmates were my first readers and from their enthusiasm, I knew that writing was something I was good at.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
Ah! I already told you about the Veronica project. What you don’t know is that me, Elisa and Ilaria won public funding of the Italian Ministry of Culture for it. And if you think this doesn’t sound like a “big challenge” that’s because you don’t know Italian bureaucracy! It’s incredibly long and repetitive, yet we are tough!
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
Amy Sherman Palladino, I love her and we both love Dorothy Parker ( I used to look a lot like Parker when I was younger, true story). I think she is one of the great masters of Tv writing, her ironic touch is something I’ve been studying for a while.
Laurie Nunn, Sex Education is brilliant, absolutely brilliant! I think I have much to learn from her.
Last but not the least, Peter Morgan. Concerning biopics and Tv Series he is the best. A piece of advice from him would mean the world.
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