Exclusive interview with Arianna Wellmoney -Actress
Arianna Wellmoney is an Italian actress currently living and working in New York City. In April 2016, she graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where she was directed by Lisa Milinazzo in Ellen McLaughlin’s Tongue Of a Bird, playing the role of Charlotte. In September 2019, Arianna reprised the role of Tam in “The Pot”, this time performing it at the Schimmel Center. The event was supported by the United Nations, World Health Organisation and Pace University.
Arianna will appear in “La Santera”, a new TV pilot filmed in The Bronx, NY.
Her story as a queer New Yorker was featured in the new Tinder series, #SwipeLife. Throughout 2018, she was featured in the webseries “Immigrants Eat it”. She also recently appeared in the new Snapchat’s webseries “3018”.
Arianna’s Off Broadway credits include: Lord Byron’s “Marino Faliero”, Sophocles’ “Antigone” and Michael Seebold’s “Enoptromancy”, which had its world premiere in April 2018.
In 2017, Arianna was part of the movie
“Dissonance”, which was part of the Short Film Corner at the 2018
Cannes Film Festival.
In the summer of 2017, she was part of the alumni production of “American Waltz” a musical at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
She made her New York debut starring as Lori in the Alpha NYC’s production of Romantic Fools by Rich Orloff. In October and November 2016 she starred as the lead role in Women of the Wild West and A Sketch Of New York.
Prior to her studies at AADA, Arianna trained at Campo Teatrale Acting School in Milan, Italy; where she studied Acting On Camera and played the role of Rachel in the original production of Quel Giorno all’Improvviso.
During her high school experience, Arianna made several short films, including Diritto al Lavoro: TG Pacle, which was premiered at Bicocca University in 2013.
NY Glam: Tell us a little about yourself, growing up and your passions.
I grew up in Casoretto, a small neighborhood in Milan, Italy. I did not necessarily knew right away that I wanted to become an actor for a living, but entertaining people was always where I found the most fun. I am an only child and was the youngest person in my family until the age of 10, when my cousin Joele was born. So, for a whole decade, I was surrounded by only adults at family gatherings. They played games with me but I always had to be loud to make my “kid” voice be heard. I loved to entertain them and make them laugh, even when I could not understand their “grown ups” conversations I always made sure I made them laugh.
High School was when I decided I wanted to pursue acting professionally – I took an acting on Camera class at Campo Teatrale, one of the most important Acting schools in Milan. We staged an original play and were directed by our teacher, Michele Ciardulli. I also took dance classes and produced a webseries, “Pacle” with my classmates and friends. During my senior year, I auditioned for the American Academy
Of Dramatic Arts, located in Manhattan.
NY Glam: What are you currently working on?
I am currently rehearsing for “‘20” – it was presented at Peridance Capezio Center in February and March 2020. We are planning to perform it again later this year, with some twitches and developments. I am also working on other projects that are still in their early stages, but that I am excited to take on!
NY Glam: What made you take this role?
First, I consider the director, Luca Villa, a dear friend of mine, so when he asked me to be a part of his project, I instantly said yes because I love working with friends! Second, we went to high school together in Italy and through the years I have been lucky to see his career flourish.
He has an impressive background and resume despite his very young age. So I knew I was in good hands!
And lastly, I really liked the concept of the show! It’s really refreshing to hear something new is being produced.
NY Glam: What journey does your character go on in the course of the play?
My character, Rezia, was traumatized by the death of her husband. She still feels that a part of him is within her and is not accepting the fact that he is gone. I do not wanna give too much away, but I have really grown as an actress when rehearsing for this role. I am very used to comedy, making every line a joke for my funny characters – so taking on a character like Rezia was such a change. But I have been really enjoying it.
NY Glam: Tell us a little bit more about this production, what is it about, who else are you working with, and who is the director?
“‘20” is a show that parallels the similarities and differences between the Roaring 20s and the new decade that we just entered. I am also working with Sara Grassi, a dear friend of mine, who is a super talented dancer from Genoa, Italy. I also had the chance to perform with my friend Aurora Berni, who participated in the show in March. We have a talented cast of dancers, singers and actors!
As I said before, Luca Villa is the director of the show – he has wonderful ideas and I am honored to be part of it. Since we went to high school together it’s honestly a dream come true to be putting up art with him in the Big Apple!
NY Glam: What is the most challenging role you have played and why?
Playing “Tam” in “The Pot” (performed in 2017 as part of “American Waltz” and in 2019 art of “People who care”) was sort of challenging sometimes – my character died of a horrible death after catching a bad disease. It was a very physical role in the sense that I had to embody the pain and the symptoms of the virus, going through the mental state of someone dying everytime we performed – so it was kinda hard sometimes to keep that going! But I really grew as an actress with that role and I liked the challenge.
NY Glam: And the most fun one?
I think the most fun role I have ever had was Jane Begonne in Michael Seebold’s “Enoptromancy”, an Off Broadway play that debuted in April 2018. It was an honor to be part of it, since it was an original piece that had never been staged before. The whole show was one long consecutive scene that took place at a dinner after a funeral service. I was the comedic relief and I enjoyed myself rehearsing with the jokes and with the rest of my cast.
NY Glam: Describe your biggest accomplishment to date?
I have a lot of projects I am so grateful for! One that comes to mind right now is definitely performing “The Pot” at the Schimmel Center – a 655-seat theater, where they film “Inside the Actors Studio”. The show was sponsored by the World Health Organization and members of the United Nations came to see us! I was really proud to be part of something so special, especially since it centered around themes like universal healthcare and being part of a community.
NY Glam: What other hobbies do you have? Have you ever considered branching out into directing or screenwriting?
I love writing! I have always been fascinated by words and how they can tell a story. My parents are both writers- my mom got her books published, has a blog and often writes short stories for children. My dad loves to write short, funny stories too and is often requested by magazines to submit his articles. They inspire me a lot!
I try to keep a diary, a place where I can express my thoughts and ideas in order to have a more of a clear mind. I am always better at writing my feelings down then saying them out loud. I co-wrote a play last year – I never tried my hand at a screenplay though! When I was in high school I directed and starred in a Webseries, “PACLE” but since it was mostly improv-based, I would not consider myself a screenplay writer.
Another thing I like doing is bowling with my friends or karaoke! I had never tried either before I came to America and now they are two of my favorite things ever to do.
NY Glam: Where have you played a lead role? What was the character about?
I co-wrote a play last year called “Extraordinary Aliens” – it was inspired by a true story about immigration. I played a “Visa helper” that helped the protagonist through the immigration process – but I also played two lawyers who were written based on real attorneys I dealt with. I also played the secretary in a legal office – they were a lot of roles condensed in one show so it was probably one of my first time playing a lead role where I was on stage all the time!!
I had costume, make up and character changes that had to be really quick between scenes so it was definitely something new for me! Having to switch between characters so quickly was a big responsibility but tons of fun.
NY Glam: If you weren’t acting what would you be doing?
I think I would definitely do something that has to do with the arts. As I said before, I love writing. On the other hand, I also like computers and the internet – I build websites and blogs in my free time. So maybe something like that too. Another thing I am passionate about is psychology – studying the mind, understanding the mental process of us humans. Of course I do it on an amateur level, but it fascinates me. That is why I like being an actor, because you get to ask yourself “why am I, as my character, behaving this way? What brought me to this situation? How do I deal with it?”. I do not think I could be a therapist, though, because I would feel a lot of responsibility and pressure!
NY Glam: What’s your goal for this year?
This year I want to have more fun with my projects! I feel like in the past years I was always worried about not doing enough work for my career, which brought me to putting a lot of pressure on myself and maybe not enjng the process as much as I could have. This year I want to take on projects that I am passionate about, or that can seem fun or can help me grow. I am already feeling very satisfied with working on “‘20” so I wanna keep going in that direction.
NY Glam: What is your advice for aspiring actors?
Is “stay true to you” too cheesy? I do have to agree with that expression, though. I feel like a lot of people in the industry will tell you to say “Yes” to every project or character – which, don’t get me wrong, it’s a great mindset to have. Openness and patience are what you need to have in the first couple of years of your career, when you are getting your foot in the door and building your resume. But I feel that, at least on my end, saying “Yes” to everything (even when I wanted to say “No”) got me in situations that frustrated me. It is okay to say “no” to a project when you are overworked, or when you think your talent will be unappreciated. It’s nice to be always busy as an actor, but it’s more fun when you can actually sit back and enjoy what you are working on! So, yes, “Stay true to yourself” to what you believe in, to your values, to your time, to your career and what you want it to be.