Exclusive interview with Lewis Busignani – Actor/voice-over/performer & singer/dancer
Lewis Busignani was born in Brooklyn, New York and has trained as a theatrical actor and a movie actor in US and, almost by the same time, in Northern Europe. He started thinking about himself as an actor and artist around his early teenage when trained as a performer, singer and dancer. He is still forging the craft considering the disciplines of dance and sing (and he is keeping on illustrating short tales). He’s been working with Masters John Strasberg and Susan Batson. He comes from a long staying by Esperimental Theater close to Maestro Elena Bucci and Marco Sgrosso, studying with actress Fioretta Mari, worked as an ‘animactor’ and teaching Drama for school projects in Italy. He has studied beside some Japanese Masters as well and, thanks to his deep love for traditional Arts in Japan, he was guested at the Bunraku Theater in Osaka for a docudrama on TV Tokyo in 2016. He still teaches Drama English as well and he is fond of foreign Languages, cats and animation.
NY Glam: Tell us a little about yourself, growing up and your passions.
I was named ‘Luigi’ in the honor of my late mother-side grandfather (the closest relative who first moved to Northern America from Europe), born in Brooklyn-NY from a Sanmarinese family of immigrants in America and half raised there. I got the chance to breathe a different sense of Art and lifestyles by travelling and experiencing a lot in Northern Europe, Italy especially, and Japan.
I am an actor, voice-over, performer and singer/dancer. I have worked for theatrical OFF seasons, experimental theater and indie movies. I love Classics and I produced adaptations from literature novels and taught Drama at school to kids and teens in Europe. I am absolutely fond of Japanese traditional culture and arts and my first flight to Japan was in my late teens after my High School Diploma. That one has been another life-changing experience in my own world, establishing a deep relation with a new simple, dense way to tell stories and the infinite potential within images.
I can speak Italian, French and a little Japanese as well. If I have to stop for a while and watch sports on television, I’d rather watch volley or swimming. I had practiced these two ones in my student years. And, definitely thanks to my Japanese background, I consider myself as a ‘tooncat’. I am in love with original manga from the late 60s and 70s and we all know now how much they have effected, as a popular culture wave, theatre and literature in the West. By the way, obvious! I’d spend my spare time at a neko-café (they are spreading all over now) or cuddling my own cat home.
NY Glam: What are you currently working on?
I have been studying hard to give life to a fresher interpretation of a Classic, which goes deeper into the good and bad beneath the same individual figure. Working as an actor, you should absolutely know all about yourself without hiding a single real fiber of you. When it’s possible you are nice, as it’s not denied your bad side. You can be everything and anyone. For sure, rules condition that much to teach you how to control the intensity of your reactions, whether family, school, workplace or love life we are talking about. As long as conventional concepts as beauty or ugliness. A character has never to be judged. She or he is that way.
NY Glam: What made you take this role?
Definitely, my love for Classical Theater and some intriguing professional meetings I had in the last couple of years. And a serious look at our current way of living-virtual or ideal. In such a compromising way for the future.
NY Glam: What journey does your character go on in the course of the monologues?
I would like my audience to find variety of suggestions out of that. Basically, from initial loneliness, alienation and self-pity the main character unexpectedly reaches new life possibilities: being materially closer to others, totally loving somebody, finding a guiding hope light for his future.
NY Glam: Tell us a little bit more about this film, what is it about, who else are you working with, and who is the director?
Some of the staff is composed by actors whom I worked together with in another outstanding project, a futurable era-movie, around two years ago and that time I met its talented director whom I made friends with. I honestly have lots of stories living in my head now, and I am giving my solid contribute to the movie lines and script.
NY Glam: What is the most challenging role you have played and why?
I should probably mention Thomas, the leading role in an international indie movie named ‘IN A LONELY PLACE'(which was actually awarded at different festivals), directed by an Italian young director, Davide Montecchi. My audition was for a psycho-path kind of a perfectionist, intellectual, isolated photographer who creates his own way to live as well, according to his own intimate, sacre beliefs.
Challenging through a huge variety of roles, like we should actually do in our real lives, is my aim. We are children at a very beginning, sons or daughters, fathers or mothers then, professionals, everything. In addition -that was not properly a role-I faced a really challenging experience when I was selected by Tokyo TV for a working-studying week at Bunraku Theater in Osaka (Japan). I was taped on TV but, above all, I had to express myself my art and feelings by handling a traditional wooden puppet (that is named a ‘ningyo’ in its Japanese noun)-what I was a big fan of, without knowing how to do that actually.
NY Glam: And the most fun one?
Funnily, my memories take me back to school plays or really amateur productions now! I can remember with lots of laughter an open-space play which I acted in as Tyron Power in his really young years while he was working with greatest Italians Anna Magnani and Vittorio de Sica. I worked on the clownish-naturally human side of a superstar who has to read a letter coming from a girl fan of his but it’s actually a letter saying her husband moved and was about to marry another girl in the place.
The tragically comedy was the abandoned girl could not read a letter at all, and generous Tyron created a comforting story to not tell her the truth. I can mention Edoardo, a young actor-to-be in a movie named FAMOUS IN SEVEN DAYS. This guy is so confident in himself and his talent and that sense of being such a deep actor takes him and his mates to a final tragedy. But, seriously, I got the chance to play an Italian-Russian weird man and anonymous spy in an indie OFF theatrical play named OFFLINE in Rome, Italy. The biggest fun was at reproducing his own bizarre accent and surreal attitude.
NY Glam: Where have you played a lead role? What was the character about?
The play took place in different beautiful theaters in Rome with a big company of funny actors and actresses. Kazimir, that is the name of the character, is hiding his mysterious identity and secrets about his family, acting separately from all the rest of the bunch. The script is from the original Italian movie named SCONNESSI (OFFLINE in English).
A bunch of people is celebrating a birthday in mountain hut, as a family and friends holiday. Suddenly, a snow blizzard makes all the internet out of availability. This point, all the people involved discovers to not know their family members at last, having hidden confrontation and sharing for such a really long time.
NY Glam: Describe your biggest accomplishment to date?
I really would like myself to explore the biggest variety of roles. I enjoy mixing different types of expression within the same work, giving all of them significance in the same project and that is what I keep on studying every day. Of course, awards are the daily dream and the most intriguing nourishment for our self-esteem. An Emmy Award? Yes, an Oscar Award. Timidly, working with idol Bob de Niro as well.
NY Glam: Have you ever considered branching out into screenwriting?
I am enjoying writing my own scripts whether for screen or theatrical stage, I would not leave my goal as an actor at all though.
NY Glam: Which film did you serve in the director’s role? What is the film about?
This is about something I mentioned above and concerning a huge Classic from the past, a movie we are still working on. I can announce it is something recalling Jean Cocteau’s art and poetry.
NY Glam: How did you go about casting for the film? Who are the stars?
I am still thinking on really good actors I worked with in a really recent past. These scene mates will work all around me and I am treating the atmosphere as it was an extended family of friends.
NY Glam: What have you seen lately that’s inspired you?
THE JOKER, acted by wonderful Joaquin Phoenix. I like working on ‘masks’, raising every conditioned feeling, gesture or prejudice and exploring the naivest and craziest angles of our inner complementary dimension.
NY Glam: What other projects have you directed?
I recently directed some theatrical adaptations from Maurice Maeterlinck’s plays and Macbeth, from the infinite resource coming from William Shakespeare.
NY Glam: What’s your goal for this year?
I am sincerely hoping a new season for our acting lives will be offered after the spread of the virus. I know theaters on Broadway are opening around mid-September. That would be a really good fresher chance for many of us. My plans for 2021 are managing to be successful with the movie project I talked to you about, as long as everything got slower because of the Corona virus. I will promote some self-produced illustrated novels of mine in a really close time too!
NY Glam: What is your advice for aspiring actor/director?
Every day is a new one for creating and studying more. Living is the greatest source to get deeper into ourselves and others. But you should seriously open your eyes and ears to find out what is really meant for this Art, because this Art is the voice of human needs.