We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Dellagiarino and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, what do you attribute your success to?
As strange as this sounds, the most important factor behind my “success” is failure. I started as an actor and thought that’s what I’d always do, but as time went on it seemed like acting was hell bent on pushing me out. I didn’t understand it, and I was MAD. Oh god was I SO MAD. I didn’t know what my purpose was, I felt like my whole identity was dissolving. It was during this frustration and depression that I started writing… and from there discovered a whole new identity. Writing gives me a freedom I never had as an actor, and now I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’m so happy now for all those doors slamming in my face so I could discover a whole new tool I didn’t even know I had. And oh, the failures of writing! Where to begin? I must have written countless drafts of my first play, I mean COUNTLESS. So many drafts. So much ended up on the cutting room floor. But through all of those attempts I slowly discovered my voice, and now I go into a piece knowing the skills I can bring to the table. And don’t forget the everyday failures of life in general! So many each day! But I bring each one into my scripts with me — it’s those very things that make no sense, that make me ask “why?” and “how?” and “but what if” that fuels the scripts I write and the characters I create. Who wants to read about characters who already have things figured out? It’s the failures that make us interesting, and it’s the failures that keep us growing. And as painful as they are, in a weird way, it’s the failures that may very well be our greatest gifts.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a writer who specializes in dark comedies. My favorite thing in the world is to explore human behavior with humor and poignancy in extreme situations. My latest play, “The Value of Moscow” was nominated for a 2019 Stage Raw Award for Best Playwriting and was recently published through Stage Rights. There was definitely no clear cut path for me. I got into playwriting mostly because I was an actor who couldn’t get work! There just didn’t seem to be many roles available for my age and type, and what little there was was very one dimensional: the innocent, the bad girl — just very cookie cutter type things. I started writing plays mostly because I wanted to write a play with roles that I was excited to play, and it just grew from there.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I would definitely have to take them to The Last Bookstore, it’s like a reader’s heaven! So many books! So many levels! I could wander there for hours!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d love to dedicate my Shoutout to Tuesdays@9, Los Angelos. Tuesdays@9 is a weekly cold reading series that really supported me when I was just a baby writer. The enthusiasm and encouragement I found there really helped give me the confidence to keep going and reach for bigger things. It’s such a beautiful community, I encourage actors and writers to check it out and get involved!