I assume that the recent pandemic had been a life-changing experience for many people. I'm sure that many had to go through really difficult times and losses. I consider myself lucky that this unexpected event did not have tragic implications in the lives of my loved ones.
However, it definitely changed my trajectory and put me in a delicate position. I found myself completely on my own, living in a new area on the outskirts of London, with no friends around.
After five years of trying to reinvent myself and find ways to survive in the most expansive city in Europe (I came here before Brexit 🙄), I've seen all my efforts quickly crumble along with the dream of making a living in the entertainment industry.
I dedicated more than twenty years of my life to learning theatre crafts, doing my best to become a good actor, and later, a creative stage director. When I came here, I had my chance and the luck to collaborate with wonderful people and put on stage four successful plays, thanks to the help of Theatro Technis team directed by George Eugeniou. I have been blessed, but this dramatic global event put me on a standby, and I had to deal with the tough decision to stop right away and abandon one of my dreams, or I would have to go down with my own ship. Since there were no passengers with me, I decided that the reasonable thing to do was to swim back to the shore. It has been like watching half of my life being swallowed by the sea in a few minutes. Did I find peace after that? For a while, but underneath my skin, I'm still recovering.
Alongside with my theatrical adventure the main source of income came from concerts and music tuition, as teaching Italian Literature was not an effective option.
Getting into teaching constituted a challenging process in the UK since my Italian qualifications were not always recognised. Therefore, I decided to 're-certify' myself and earn a Classical Guitar Diploma to access better opportunities. Easy to say, but not to achieve, especially at 45 year old.
I went through all the 8 grade exams while working full time. When the pandemic started, I said to myself, 'Well, since I'm stuck here, let's focus on the final step and put together the repertoire for the final exam.' I started writing songs every morning and studying classical pieces all afternoon. The result? After a couple of months, my left hand developed a bad tendinitis. I could barely close my hand to hold my toothbrush.
That was it, another dream to sink? Possibly. From March 2020 to July, I could not find a cure. Doctors, physiotherapists, viral gurus...my hand was not improving. So what to do? I could not even cycle around the block as holding the handlebars was too painful, but I could still drive. Thank God I had a car with an automatic gearbox. So, I took the risk and drove towards the countryside as many times as I could to walk on the South Downs ridge and think. I needed an idea, and I have to protect myself from loneliness and isolation. The universe sent me an angel, and she helped me through this tough time, supporting me and helping to define a new horizon. I was getting ready for a new exciting adventure...