…An initiative to get all the food that restaurants discard due to surplus at the end of the night to people in need. Wasting food is bad for the earth and its inhabitants.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Caterina Antonina Campagna. Caterina is a native New Yorker. She is a creator and she creates passionately. She opens up her veins to write, direct, act and dance.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
This will sound run of the mill at first, so I will apologize as you yawn, but it is just the truth. I always wanted to act. I am an only child, and I quickly learned that a great way to make friends with new people is to entertain them. I would recite lines from my favorite tv shows and movies to anyone who would listen. I also always loved stories, so I would write skits for the school talent shows, and if you watched me long enough, I would break out into dance and song.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
I played Eve Harrington in the Wisdom of Eve and in the play my character does all she can do to get featured in a top Broadway trade paper. Well, a reporter came to one of the shows and called my performance, “stellar.” I thought it was pretty neat how life imitates art. It was also surreal to me, because I started as an entertainment journalist, and I now find myself as the subject instead of the observer.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I don’t know if I would call them mistakes, everything we do “wrong” is what teaches us to make it better the next time. But if I have to be specific, I would say my mistake was trusting someone to bring the microphones he promised to set. Next time, I will insist that everyone be held accountable for their responsibilities. What was really comical was that he wouldn’t be so present either. He did everything from not bringing back up batteries, take long breaks, would show up late to set, and even donned a carpenter’s crack ever so often. A really hot mess without hot bricks. You asked for funny, and I guess I can laugh about it. Now.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am in post production for my directorial debut called THE SHATTERING GROUNDS. The logline is where fact and fiction collide. My friend describes it as an arty, real fly on the wall piece. It follows characters who are all a little tattered in their own way and how they make sense of the situation they are in. The leads in the film are a child of divorce, a former rock star and an undercover cop. Joseph D’onofrio is in it as well, and he did a terrific job! I have written several other scripts in varying genres and am alway looking for people to collaborate with.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I had just covered a Metallica concert, and got an invite to the afterparty. I have to say that Kirk Hammett is very kind and down to earth.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Collaborate with an open mind. You don’t always have to be one thing. For instance, if you usually direct, open up to a friend who writes or acts and say, “Today you direct and I will act.” Work every creative muscle you have. What you pick up along the way will serve you later in other projects. In short, be like water. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help or an opinion, it’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of wanting to grow. Another thing, don’t forget, this is supposed to be fun. So if you need a break that’s okay, too. Go run barefoot through a park, play on the swings, go for a swim, dance, sing obnoxiously loud in your car and feel the freedom of your imagination, because that is what you are attempting to bring into the world. I also find that when you quiet the voice in your head, that’s when the ideas come.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
- An initiative to get all the food that restaurants discard due to surplus at the end of the night to people in need. Wasting food is bad for the earth and its inhabitants.
- Programs that would allow elderly people to stay at home instead of going into nursing homes.
- Also, to get more music and theater classes in schools.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Oh wow! I can hear the stitches of those old wounds popping with this question. No, I have made peace with the scars. They are fading and I bless them for teaching me.
- No 1. People will put lots of effort and conviction into lying, and they don’t care if you call them on it, they just want attention. A “producer” once told me and everyone involved in the project that he had lots of cash through friends of his to put into it. This went on for two years, and one wasted trip to LA [from NY] later, I got woke
- №2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. See story one. Yup, I let other opportunities slip from my hands, because I believed a very insistent, attention-starved man.
- №3 You can make a movie. Dorothy, you had the power to go home all the while! Yes, no one ever told me I could direct. So I went around looking for someone who I thought was more advanced than me, and lots of them were, but if some people sense that you admire them, that means you are giving them an upper hand. You will learn a lot about people if there is a power dynamic imbalance. I say this with all honesty, if you are like me and wrote screenplays from your heart, just because you never directed before doesn’t mean you can’t. Get a camera or your camera phone and start shooting. There are plenty of user friendly editing programs out there as well. Take the power into your hands because that is where it is already, you don’t have to give it away. You can lead by example.
- №4 If don’t value yourself, no one else will. Please know that you are a gift to this world, the landscape wouldn’t be the same without you. I think if I would have believed that a bit more about myself, I wouldn’t have fallen for the story mentioned in the beginning of this section.
- №5 Visualise the person you’re auditioning for clapping for you before you go into the room. This works, because uncertainty takes you out of character. I remember doing this in an acting class, and after finishing my monologue one of the fellow students asked me if that was my life story that I just recited. It wasn’t of course, and I was elated that he was convinced that it was.
- As a part B to №5, Continuing acting classes is great, and if they are too pricey, then grab a friend and go over scenes to stay sharp and continually growing in your craft.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Life is what happens while you were making other plans.” I didn’t think I would ever direct. I almost wouldn’t have even had acted if it weren’t for my father. He had gotten ill and needed a lot of care, so I had to leave my nine to five at a magazine. On my dad’s better days, where he didn’t need as much attention, I would take classes and get background work. During that time, I started writing screenplays. I think the best way to make the most of a bad or sad situation is to see the good in it. My dad passed from Alzheimer’s disease, and I dedicate everything I will ever do to him.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mom, for sure. She has been there with nothing, but support for me. Mind you, I got a BA in psychology and am not using it. I feel I am here to make, write and act in films.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Kathryn Bigelow. The reason is obvious. She is a genius!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!
Originally published at medium.com