Frank J Avella's Theater Column
Frank J. Avella Talk to
Photo Credits: Azzura Primavera
Continuing a series of interviews with working theatre actors, in NYC, meet Lorenzo Possanza, a native Roman who moved to Manhattan to follow his dream.
Frank J. Avella: What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a working actor in New York City?
Lorenzo Possanza: Surviving as an actor. This to me is the biggest challenge, especially in New York City. I love this city but it is a very expensive place to live.
Frank J. Avella: What made you passionate about acting? And tell us about the journey.
Lorenzo Possanza: I started acting when I was 12 because after reading/acting in a classic piece from the “The Iliad” in front of the class, my Italian teacher was happily surprised by my “performance” and suggested I join a laboratory theater. I found a small acting lab, Teatro le Maschere, in “Trastevere” (a region in Rome) and I’ve been acting ever since. I studied there for 5 years. It was in the last two years there that what I considered a hobby became my profession and I started looking into national and International schools of acting. My cousin, who is an actor as well, suggested The Stella Adler School of Acting in New York, a very famous acting school. I auditioned and I got accepted.
What really made passionate about acting was the enormous fun I had playing different characters and the audience loving them.
Frank J. Avella: What was the Stella Adler experience like?
Lorenzo Possanza: The two years I spent at Stella Adler were the most important years for my training; I grew not only as an actor but as a human being as well. Although I didn’t lack emotions or feelings before coming to Stella, I needed to learn technique (Stanislavski) to channel those emotions and feelings. Building a credible and solid character was another big problem I had before my training at Stella, but after dedicated study and long hours of practice, I can now create a believable character. I can sincerely say that The Stella Adler School of Acting opened my mind and my heart.
Frank J. Avella: Are you interested in all three mediums (four if we count web) and which are you most drawn to?
Lorenzo Possanza: Right now I am mostly interested in theater. I feel there is so much more to explore there and New York has so much to offer. I am really curious about movies and TV as well. My experience is in the theater, since I have been acting for ten years now. I don’t know anything about camera and that “world” really interests me.
Frank J. Avella: You are currently involved with Young KIT (Kairos Italy Theater under that artistic direction of Laura Caparrotti). Can you tell us about the group and what the process has been like?
Lorenzo Possanza: I auditioned for KIT in October and so far it has been fantastic, I have done a lecture and a show that have been incredible experiences. The show is called “Characters In Search of a Country” (based on Luigi Pirandello’s classic “Six Characters in Search of an Author”) and was presented for the first time at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’. Working with an Italian director (Caparrotti) and with Italian actors has been an interesting process and has made me realize how much I have grown as an actor since I left Italy.
Frank J. Avella: You have been consistently working on the NYC stage, what are some of your favorite experiences?
Lorenzo Possanza: “Characters In Search of an Country” is one on my favorite experiences, for sure. I liked the fact that the topic was about immigrants because it is such a current issue and audiences need to be aware of how these people feel and how they are treated. “Andromache” was another great experience because it was my first time playing a role (Orestes) in a Greek Tragedy that was not the Italian language.
Frank J. Avella: What are your favorite places/things to do in NYC?
Lorenzo Possanza: I like going to the movies during the week. My favorite move theater is Loews Theatres on the Upper West Side. And on the weekend I like going to see plays. New York has so many good ones! I try to go to museums a couple of times a month as well.
Frank J. Avella: Who are your heroes? And what actor and/or creative artist would you most want to work with, given the opportunity?
Lorenzo Possanza: I don’t want to sound cliché’, but Marlon Brando is one of my top actors. I simply admire his acting. I love professional, dedicated actors. I’d also choose Kevin Spacey. Working with him would be fun and fulfilling.
Frank J. Avella: If you could select any role to perform, what role would it be and why?
Lorenzo Possanza: I would choose a role that is far from my own personality, a role that is uncomfortable for me because I believe those are the roles that really put you under pressure and make you grow as an actor.