We had the good fortune of connecting with Ilaria Malvezzi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ilaria, why did you pursue a creative career?
It’s a very interesting question. I didn’t really have a choice. I think no one can “chose” an artistic career. We are born artists and we fulfill ourselves by making art and satisfying our creative impulses. It’a force that can’t be contained. My first acting teacher Thomas Wait used to say that creativity and talent are like the roots of a tree: they break any asphalt. Art is not like any other industries or businesses. It doesn’t follow a linear curve, and it shouldn’t be motivated by money or fame. Art is a vocation. We have responsibilities towards our creativity. I could quit any other day jobs, but I could never quit my art, because it would mean to give up on myself. Art and the artist are one entity.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an actress and filmmaker. After a prior artistic career as a contemporary dancer in Italy, I moved to New York, and graduated from William Esper Studio under the mentorship of Suzanne Esper. Right after school, it certainly wasn’t easy to enter the industry and find my own identity in it. I followed all the advice that is given to every starting-actors: I had my head-shots done, I auditioned for many students’ films, I attended casting directors workshops, I created my website and social media accounts, and I found a manager. I felt like I was on the right path; However, it wasn’t working. I wasn’t in my twenties anymore, I had an accent (I still do), and I was a woman (I still am). I wasn’t quite “marketable” (I am still not). I was hoping for the right role and opportunity but they never came.
However, I’ve always known the characters I wanted to play and the stories I wanted to tell, so I wrote one scene, and asked my writer friends to write other scenes for me, and we filmed them together. I loved the whole experience, and it inspired me to write more and create my own material.
I wrote and produced three short films, which have been quite successful at film festivals and allowed me to meet other and more experienced filmmakers, writers, directors, producers and like-minded people. I started to feel like I finally belonged and found my place. I am still auditioning for other projects, but I truly and surprisingly enjoy writing and seeing my own vision taking shape and coming to life. It sets me on fire.
I have two feature film scripts and a TV pilot in the making now, which are all incredibly ambitious and challenging. But we don’t do it because it’s easy, we do it for the love of it. And it’s an absurd, crazy, sheer kind of love.
The project I am more proud of is “Sins”, a thriller short film set in 1960, Directed by Jeremiah Kipp. We are turning it into a feature film with producer Marc Henry Johnson (Writer/Creator TV Show “The Deuce”). The short was made with our “heart, blood and bones” Jeremiah said. We are excited to team up together again for its feature version.
I don’t know where this path will take me yet, and I don’t want to know. Every project will direct me wherever it wants to. I still have a lot of learning, experimenting and failing to do. It’s the beauty of what we do: we’ll never “arrive”. It’s the process that counts. It’s the experience and the people we share it with that makes it all worthwhile.
I’ve learned that there isn’t one way to get where we want. It’s exciting to explore different roads, test alternative routes, and listen and observe the ones that have already been successful. I’ve learned it’s not a sprint but a marathon. And I’ve learned that life itself is the greatest source of inspiration and ideas.
I’d like the world to know that I am a passionate and dedicated artist, and I simply aspire to do honest and authentic work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in New York City, which is such a fun place! Assuming we have unlimited finances, the City could spoil you rotten. For sure I would take her to the West Side Highline, and have a drink somewhere in Meat Packing district. On a different day, I would take her to the Hudson River Park by bicycle and have a nice dinner down in Battery City or Tribeca. I also love taking the New York City ferry to go to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and have a beer and pizza, while enjoying the stunning view of Manhattan. A pick-nick in Central Park is a must! I’d love for her to experience a Broadway Show, or a night at Lincoln Center, whether it’s Ballet, Opera or the Philharmonic Orchestra. For sure I’d plan a Sushi dinner, and then maybe hanging out in one of the many hidden speak-easies; my favorite is l’ Esquina in Downtown. I’d check the expositions at MoMa, which is my favorite Museum in New York.
A place I recently discovered is City island, and I would take her out sailing!
Another treat that the City offers is life-music. There are many Jazz-Clubs, and I couldn’t have her miss a night of Jazz. The most interesting people are everywhere in New York City, both underground and in the streets; they come from all over the world, and carry with them such unique stories. They are lively, edgy, eccentric, artistic, angry, loud, expressive, some are arrogant, successful and some are lost and lonely. It’s a place that triggers my curiosity and fascination every day. It’s always magical when I can show and share my city with someone I love.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes, there are many people who have offered me unconditional support and affection. In particular, I’d like to dedicate this shout-out to Writer/Director Jeremiah Kipp.
I met him 10 years ago. He came over to my apartment to scout a location for a short film in the city. I offered him an espresso, and we planted the seed of a long lasting friendship and artistic collaboration. Jeremiah is a pure artist: he is entirely committed to his work and craft.
His mind is like an unsolvable labyrinth, and his imagination the only place where children, monsters, serial killers and lovers can play together. I have always been fascinated by his work and his persona. He is fearless, daring, bold, audacious, ironic, curious and unique. He pushes boundaries and jumps into the unknown with ease and erotism. I am utterly inspired by him and his accomplishments.
We have shared several projects and built a bond of reciprocal trust during the years. He has shaped the artist I am today in many ways. He certainly deserves credits in my story.
Other: Vimeo : https://vimeo.com/ilariamalvezzi IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5889828/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
Official Photographer: Francesco Rossi