Sunday, October 29, 2006

Two For the Price of One - Caliendo and Barcellona

Ciao a tutti,

This was a fun week with Italian music concerts as bookends and an unexpected and very welcomed surprise on getting to see an author and international speaker, fellow Italian- American, getting some long anticipated and very much deserved National television recognition.

This week started with a concert by an artist I had never heard of before I was invited to see his show, but I hope to be hearing more of him. He put on quite a show. A musical as a matter of fact, complete with costumes, sets, dancers, actors.

Hey, I have done that from scratch myself, and it is no easy task. Kudos for him for having taken it this far, and for that matter, touring with it. Now that is something I haven't done yet, with my own musical, so my hats' off to him.

The singer's name is Pasquale Esposito and the show is called Naples...That's Amore. It features dancers, actors, as you can see from these three pictures, and of course Pasquale singing every song in English, Italian and Neapolitan.

Pasquale takes the audience on a journey from America back to his home town in Naples and back to America again. There are funny moments and touching moments as well as some of the best loved Italian and Neapolitan songs and some I hadn't heard before.

I got to meet Pasquale, oh and by the way, I heard every single person in the audience pronounce his last name incorrectly. I know we have a tendency to want to put the accent on the "i" of Esposito, but the accent in Italian, belongs on the "o," right Pasquale? We got to take this picture together for the Blog, and that was it.

Between his schedule and mine we couldn't hook up for an interview or "a caffe." So we made plans to do it later in the week when he was going to be back in town. In fact his manager invited me back for the show later in the week, but alas, I was going to another show, as you will see if you read on.

I know our paths will meet again. In the meantime, I wish him all the best, or rather, "in bocca al lupo." This is the Italian version of "break-a-leg." Literally translated it means "In the mouth of the wolf." And whenever anyone says that to you, your response is supposed to me "Crepi il Lupo," which means, "May the wolf die." Don't ask me, I don't know why. Maybe one or you readers out there can give us an explanation. But then again, is there an explanation for "Break-a-leg?"


I have to say, I am pretty lucky to have a large loving and supportive network of friends that I cherish. I should say a few different networks. There are the friends who are Italian, the friends who are Italian-American, (there is a difference you know), the friends in the music business, and I could go on in on with everything that I am involved in.

Well, in this case, it was a couple different groups of friends contacted me during this week to let me know that Dr. John Demartini was going to be on TV. Okay, if you don't know who I am talking about, click on his name and get acquainted. He is one Italian-American to be really proud of. I came to know of him one day while was sitting at a friends house watching a movie she had been eager to show me. The movie was The Secret. I was taken by the movie and by all the speakers and by its message. More on that later, I am sure.

At one point in the movie, I was so moved by a particular speaker and excited to recognize his last name as Italian-American that I turn to my friend and said to her, "you see that guy, I am going to interview him on my radio show." She responded, "of course you are."

This man travels around the world working with major corporations, and world governments etc., and is rarely in Los Angeles. But it was uncanny how this happened. I located and contacted his office, and it was uncanny how this happened, but just like the movie The Secret professes, he was due to be in Los Angeles within a couple weeks.

A couple weeks later I was not only interviewing him but connected with him as if I had known him for my whole life. That day I bought several of his books, the next day after the interview I went to one of his seminars, and then again the day after that, and then found a way to clear my schedule for the whole weekend to take his "Break Through" Course all weekend. WOW!

Oh, and by the way, the lady at his office that books his appointments and keeps his schedule etc., she's Italian, too, Linda Tonino! Love her!

He was so gracious during the interview, he gave us freely so much of his time and was so taken to know that I had a fan base of Italian-Americans who probably hadn't heard his message that he spoke to all of us of his heritage from the heart. So much so that he got teary eyed, and then I did too, and then we all did. I was with my Italian-American posse, he, he.

We have not aired his interview yet, and are scheduled to do that within a few weeks. But what an interview, and what a man. As a matter of fact, since our time on radio is short and he has so much more that he wanted to share, we did something we hadn't ever done before. I just turned on the recorder and let him speak from his heart and soul and mind after the interview. I promised I would post his message somewhere for everyone to hear it in it's entirety and will find the right place to do that.

In the meantime, back to my "network." I had scheduled a recording of our show "Filippo and the Chef," for Thursday evening of this week. Then I find out through several E-mails from different people that Dr. Demartini was going to be on Larry King Live on CNN that night. Well, at that point I felt I couldn't cancel the taping, so I had a few friends that were going to TiVo it for me. But right while Chef Richard and I were in the middle of taping our show, I got several phone calls, (I had forgotten to shut off my phone), telling me I had to watch Dr. D on TV tonight. So, we did. We stopped everything, and Chef Richard and I sat down and watched Larry King.

I am so glad we did. By the way, the Larry King show featured other panelists from the movie too, that I admire and who are worth learning about and from. I am trying to keep the Blog Italian-American oriented however, and that is why I was focusing on Dr. Demartini. Besides the fact that I have meet him and connected with him. See one of the Larry King Clips below that features Dr. D towards the end.

At any rate, during the interview Dr. D mentioned his new lady friend, Starr, and they panned the camera to show her pretty face. And let me tell you, she is even more beautiful in person, inside and out. And not just a pretty face, but a business woman and motivational speaker in her own right. She is a former Gold Medal Olympian on the US Team and, I recently found out, a fellow Italian-American. Here she is with John allowing themselves to be photographed after our interview. Click on her name above and read up on her and her company, you will be "Starr" struck.

I think you owe it to yourself to learn more about what this man has to say. I will be going to another of his seminars next week, and I am so looking forward to it. Much more on him to come.


Finally, the reason I called this Post "Two For the Price of One," is because of this final concert of the week that I attended. When I heard from Christopher Caliendo that there was going to be a performance of one of his new works and it was going to be on a night that I happened to be free to go, I ran to the performance, all the way to Long Beach, CA.

You see, Christopher Caliendo is one of the greatest and most important composers of our time. And I am not the only one that says that, I am in good company in that feeling. In fact, Henry Mancini, another fellow Italian-American of note, said about him "I see him developing into a most important composer."

Well, Signor Mancini would be every happy I am sure to see that he was right, because Christopher has become that and more. He is not only a great composer for film and television and of classical and world music but a performance artist on piano and guitar as well as recording artist on both instruments, and among many other things, an amazing cook! Yes, true to his Italian heritage.

I met Christopher a few years ago when he honored me by asking me to sing a world premier of one of his pieces for voice and guitar, "La Esgrimadora," with words by Marie Cain. It was a wonderful experience working with him, rehearsing, and watching him tick. What a musician he is. Above is a copy of the poster for that event.

Our schedules make it so that we don't see each other very much, so that is why when I heard about his performance, I could wait to go. Though I got to see him and his lady friend Louise after the performance, we didn't get to spend very much time together. Besides him needing to give attention to his fans, he was not feeling well, and it showed in his face.

But being the quintessential musician, it did not show in his performance. He only played three songs but they were a standing ovation quality, each and everyone of them. It was fun to hear the audience around me talk about him and how amazing he was etc., and he was, as was the music, and his co-performer, hence the punch line.

Little did I know that I was going to get "Two for the price of One." Here comes the punch line. Of course everyone that Christopher chooses to work with has got to be brilliant. So, the person that Christopher was working with in this case was not only brilliant, but also ITALIAN-AMERICAN.

I did not know this musician, but I quickly came to know him through his performance. He is John Barcellona, an internationally acclaimed and recorded flutist. It is funny how both Christopher's last name, Caliendo, and John's last name, Barcellona, sound Spanish. And during the performance I was watching and listening to John play. Between his flair, style and charisma, I thought to myself, he can't be Spanish. Not that the Spanish don't have all those qualities, but there was something that said, Italian.

Sure enough, I come to find out he was very Italian-American. I even asked his mother after the performance. What a great way to end the week. Grazie Christopher for the gift of your beautiful music.

A la salute,


P.S. Here is a YouTube video of CNN's Larry King Broadcast of "Beyond the Power of Positive Thinking - How to Change Your Life." (In English)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ten Tenors - And Not One of Them Italian

Ciao a tutti,

This week I was back to going out again, this time every single night. It's work I tell you. Now I understand when some of my "high profile" friends would be invited to like the party of the Century that I would have so much wanted to go to and they wouldn't go claiming, "I have been out every night this week, I just want to stay home." Stay home? Didn't they know who was going to be there, the opportunities they would miss...? Now I understand, but at this point of the game, I am going to go, tired or not, he, he, but I won't write about them all here, that would make me too tired, he, he.

I had to laugh. I was invited to the red carpeted, star studded debut of the Ten Tenors in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. I was so looking forward to this because I had never heard of the Ten Tenors until I got the invitation and I do enjoy opera very much. I also was excited about the fact that I could interview for my Blog and my Filippo and the Chef Radio Show all the Italian tenors of the group.

Boy, was the joke on me. I figured, opera, tenors, Italian, right? So, I figured what are the odds that there are Italians in the bunch, pretty high, right? I was actually thinking I would be overwhelmed by trying to get all those interviews in on one night and one radio show. Well, as the Bee Gees song lyrics go, by the way are they Italian, he, he. As I was saying, the song goes, "but I didn't see that the joke was on me, oh no." Yes, why you ask? Well, not one, I say, not one of the tenors was Italian or of Italian decent.

How can that happen? How can that be? Well, this is the story, they are all from Australia! Yeah, who knew? So then I wondered, why was I invited? Don't the press people that invited me know that "Filippo and the Chef," is about all things Italian and Italian-American? So, then I thought, well, they invited me because it is opera and they will be singing Italian songs, right?

Well, I waited for the punch line all night. They didn't sing in Italian and they didn't sing opera, except for one aria, or maybe two. So, I guess I just went with the wrong expectations. When I look at it, my friend Barbara and I got to walk the red carpet, in orchestra seats, three rows back center, right behind Los Angeles Chief of police William Bratton and his wife, and we got to enjoy a nice show, and we got invited and enjoyed the gala party at Basque and got to meet the Tenors afterwards. What could be so bad?

By the way, I had meet Chief Bratton and his wife about a year ago at an Italian Lawyers Meeting and when I went to introduce myself to them during intermission his wife said she remembered me. I thought she was just being polite but she said that she remembered I was a singer and that she remembered me because of my hair. So, to all those who want me to cut it, what do you think of them apples? He, he. Little was I to know that I would see them two days later at the Police Academy, read on.

Despite the jokes I am making about the evening Barbara and I had a great time actually. And I will say that after I had found out that there were no Italian-Americans in the group, I was excited about the possibility of interviewing my first Italian-Australian. But that didn't happen because there were none of those either. The closest I got was one of the Tenors whose family was from Malta. That is really close, but no cigar.

Thanks anyway, he, he. Scattered around this Blog are pictures of me and a handful of the Tenors as I got to talk to them and get to know them at the party afterwards, all really nice guys. Barbara ended up taking all the pictures with her camera and is not seen in any of them, but here is the next best thing, the first picture at the top of this post are four of the Tenors, Brenda Dickson, and me!

Well, the next night I got my fill of so many things Italian. I was invited by the Italian Consul General's office, Diego Brasiolo, to an event at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles. It was one of these Italian cultural events that only a few people go to and is presented very academically, from the olive oil tasting to the wine tasting later in the evening, to the presentation of the meal, to the lecture series, etc.

But it is unfortunate that so few people take advantage of these programs because this was so interesting and so informative that I wish people would just come out for these things and give them a try. You would be surprised how much fun you would have and how much you would learn about your culture and heritage. I am sure I will be writing a lot more about these events because, unfortunately, I too don't take enough time to go to these kinds of things except when I get a special invitation or something, like this one.

By the way, that is Consul General Brasiolo and Pompilio Fabrizi, Director of ENIT, Italian Government Tourist Board. Incidentally, it looks like we are standing in front of a wall but it is actually an art piece, a large sculpture, very interesting.

And speaking of artists, the Institute was exhibiting the work of noted photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher, specifically her collection entitled "Olive Grove," an exhibit of images taken in 2005 of the most evocative groves in Abruzzo and Tuscany, Italy. To the right is a picture of Rose-Lynn and I standing in front of one of her photographs. And below is one of her photographs. I found it funny to be taking a picture of a picture.

Oh, and getting back to the presentation, the lecture was on Cristoforo di Messibugo and Protestant Banquets. Luigi Ballerini, noted translator, poet and food historian, and Diane Ghirardo, distinguished architecture historian, spoke on the book Banquets, Recipes, and General Utensils for the Kitchen and the Table, by Cristoforo di Messisbugo (late 1400s - 1548), published posthumously in Ferrara in 1549.

Not only did I enjoy the program but I got to enjoy a reading by Sandro Carotti, a Florentine actor who studied at Vittorio Gassman's Bottega Teatrale and worked with the directors Giorgio Albertazzi, Gabriele Lavia, and Massimo Ranieri. He read from the book in Italian.

You might think, "read?" But, let me tell you, the energy, enthusiasm, antics, vocal expressions, hand gestures, etc., like only an Italian can do was so entertaining, I wish I could see that again. He could read an Italian phone book and make it interesting. Grazie Sandro for showing us some great live Italian acting here in the States. This is me and Sandro after the performance.

Well, the last Italian-American thing I want to tell you about this week is that I went to see my two friends, comedian Mike Marino and Actor/Singer Joey Gian, be honored by the Los Angeles Police Academy for their years of entertainment to the force. Mike as a comedian, and Joey as a singer have donated a lot of their time keeping the force happy and entertained and it was great to be there to see two of my Paisans, (Paisani in proper Italian), be recognized.

Here are some pictures of the event with them holding their trophies, with retired policeman, fellow Italian-American Art Grenci etc.

That's all folks!


P.S. Here is a YouTube video clip of a photo montage of Sophia Loren pictures. (No Dialog, Music Only)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Finding My Italian Connection - Mona Lisa

Ciao a tutti,

I know it seems like I have a lot of fun, and I do. I enjoy everything I do and everyone I do it with. Most of them are Italians or Italian-Americans, what's not to enjoy. I actually enjoy people from all walks of life, but it just seems that I spend more time with people of Italian decent. We just find each other, I wonder why? He, he.

And I wonder, should I write about the people that I meet and the things that I do that are not Italian related in anyway? In a way this Blog is about me but I really want it to be about as many things Italian that it can be. So, I am working on developing the Blog and still working on the concept and how it will serve you and me and all involved.

Like this week for example. First of all, I do get around, and I do have fun, and sometimes it seems like I am out every night painting the town, and sometimes indeed I am. But after a while it catches up and I have to take some time to myself and to my catch up work.

And like I didn't already have enough to do, I started this Blog, he, he. So, this week I lay low and stayed at home working from my computer and doing all the stuff that you don't care to read about, I am sure. So I won't write about it. Write about it or not, it is stuff that needs to get done and right now, I am the one to do most of it.

But I did take time to go to one party thrown by Barbara Dickson, owner of Bedfellows Furniture, at her beautiful home in Studio in honor of a friend of mine's, 50th, 40th, or was it 30th Birthday, he, he? He is Raspin Stuwart and that is him and I pictured above.

Though the name does not reflect it, Raspin is a fellow Italian-American, a fellow singer, songwriter, musician, and owner and editor of a few popular Magazines here in Los Angeles, including Boulevard. You can check out his CD at Raspin Stuwart on One of his songs is going to be in a new big budget movie coming out soon. I have been sworn to secrecy about the song and the movie until it is "a wrap," "in the can," "signed, sealed, delivered," but as soon as I can share it I will.

So I started to say before, "Like this week for example," what do I write about, and is it appropriate for this "Italian-American Experience" Blog? Because, for example, here I was at this party and I got to meet Carushka, the celebrated designer of the world's sexiest sports bras, dance wear, yoga clothing and fitness apparel.

Her and I instantly hit it off. She was there with one of her new designers and co-partner, Shawn, in a new line of couture clothing, Etu Couture. That is Carushka and I pictured below to the right and Carushka, Shawn and I pictured below.

We started talking about the line and of a possible "Filippo" design, and that got my attention. We then raided the back of her car and I got to wear some of these one of a kind originals during the party. Ironically, I had gone to the party in Hugo Boss, but somehow Carushka seemed much more fitting, he, he, pun intended, because everything I wore was body hugging and very comfortable.

So, I ask myself, okay, so I was at a party for an Italian-American, and I got to enjoy the company of a famous designer. But she is not in anyway Italian. So, do I not write about it? I don't know, I'll figure it out as this Blog unfolds, stay tuned.

By the way, here is a picture of the back of me on the right showing off the detail on the back of the Etu Couture jacket that I wore over the Etu Couture shirt. Click on the picture above and look at the detail work on Carushka's jacket, that she was wearing backwards for effect, incidentally.

That is a Swarovski crystal mosaic recreating the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci all placed by hand, now that is a work of art. Wait a minute, that's it, Leonardo Da Vinci and the Mona Lisa, I found my Italian connection!

It's back to work I go!


P.S. Here is a YouTube video clip of the trailer to the 1970 film "Boccaccio '70" (English Voice over)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

From the Beauty of Rome to the Beauty of an Italian Woman

Ciao a tutti,

Well, I just got back from Rome. Incidentally, my trip was too short. I didn't evenN get to leave the city. I had planned a trip to Milan where I was to interview an amazing author there and do all kinds of other things, but the time just got away from me. Besides, there is a whole different pace there. I don't really drink coffee, at least not as a rule. But "When In Rome," so I would get up, have my espresso, la di da, di, da, and before you knew it, it was time for lunch. A little wine with lunch and before you knew it..., no, I did work, really.

So, I got back, and to tell you the truth, if it wasn't for this beautiful young lady, I might have changed my ticket and stayed. But I have been trying to get an interview with this beauty for a long time, three months to be exact. Between her travel schedule and mine it just wasn't happening. So, when I had her finally scheduled, I wasn't going to miss my chance.

For those of you who don't know her, she is Tanya Memme, TV Host, TV Personality, Model, Actress, Model, Author, Inspirational Speaker, and the list goes on. Plus, I could add a few personal notes as well after having met her. For starters she is really funny, as you can tell from the picture of her here with Chef Richard. He hates that I posted this by the way, but I am sure he will find a way to get me back.

The interview was only supposed to last a half hour, but somehow it just kept going longer and longer. Poor thing, I heard her on the phone canceling appointments telling people that she was tied up in an interview. I felt guilty, sort of, but I just couldn't tear myself away. After all, I had flown all the way from Rome to be with her, he, he.

Two hours later we finally had the interview. Now, I don't know what you all are thinking, I was with Richard and we were all business. But can I help it if my business is fun? Anyway, you all know her from A&E's "Sell This House," and "Move This House," and Canada's Entertainment Tonight, and many things actually. But you will get to know here in a really wonderful personal way when you hear this great interview that she did for us.

I figure, I better put this picture in just to keep peace on the set between Chef Richard and I.
The backdrop by the way is Tanya's beautiful home. Figures, when you know learn about her family background, after hearing the interview, and when you know what she does on her shows, of course her home would be spectacular. As a matter of fact, this is Tanya's kitchen with beautiful spanish tiling and hand painted ceiling, etc. You will see the kitchen again because when we tape for our TV Show, she already invited us back to cook with her in her kitchen. Incidentally, up until now, all of our guests have been either Italian or Italian-American. Tanya will be our first Italian-Canadian guest. Aye?

Tanya is a class act and a genuine person and it was a privilege to have done this interview with her. I hope you all enjoy hearing it, when we air it in a month or so, as much as we enjoyed recording it. Learn more about her by visiting our website, once we get it up there, at and of course her's at

Grazie Tanya!

Con Affetto,


P.S. Here is a Youtube video clip of a homage to the Italian film maker Federico Fellini. It is a retrospective of his life, his movies, his leading ladies and leading men, in photo montage. (No Dialog, Only Music)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Roma, Roma, Roma, - The Eternal City

Ciao a tutti,

What can I say about the eternal city? And it's in Italy to boot, pun intended! Since I was there for work and for pleasure and for only a short time, I crammed a lot into my days and yet, it was perfect.

To start off, I have to say that I was invited to stay at a Bed and Breakfast run by my friend Anna Rossi who graciously opens her home to friends and guests for a modest price and lots of Italian care and hospitality. This is a picture of her home, and my room is the one on the top right. I say "is" and not "was" because I intend to go back again and again. Grazie Anna for helping make my stay memorable.

I was there to give get some Italian interviews for our show "Filippo and the Chef;" to develop some Italian relationships that I have with Italian counterparts in the entertainment field, and of course to see family, "famiglia," and friends, "amici." It was great, the Italians really take to Italian-Americans that are into their heritage. The feelings were mutual. They treated me wonderfully and I was happy to be in their company, living amongst them, learning more about my heritage and about some of the most beautiful ways of living.

I got to interview some people in politics which was new for our show, but as you all know, politics is big in Italy. I stayed bipartisan, or should I say tri-partisan, or multi partisan, because there are many political parties in Italy. I don't want to give the guests away because I want to keep them secret until we get to actually put the interviews on radio, but some of the pictures might give them away.

The gentleman I am pictured with here for instance is Walter Veltroni, the mayor of Rome. Among other things, as you will hear on the show, hint, hint, I asked him if he had a message for the Italian-Americans of the States and he said, (paraphrasing), "You are part of our family, we love you, come visit us." That was the last thing I expected a government official and a political figure to say. But hey, this is Italy and the people are loving, and even the mayor of one of the biggest and greatest cities of the world can extend love to people thousands of miles away, in physical distance, but obviously emotinally close enough to his heart for him to have said that. See what I mean about a wonderful Italian way of being?

I won't comment too much on all the pictures because I do want to save some of the stories for the radio show. I do want to post the pictures here however because it's fun and I thought you all would enjoy them. This gentleman who doesn't need an introduction to any Italian and maybe some Italian-Americans who watch Italian TV and Films, is the great Italian actor Gianni Rivera.

I wanted to interview this next gentleman in particular for reasons that become clear when you hear the interview on the show. He is Mirko Coratti and his Position is that of Presidente Del Consiglio Del Comune Di Roma. By the way, we took a more formal picture at his desk with all the official flags behind us and everything, but then I noticed that just outside his window are the ruins of the ancient Roman city. I had to have another picture in front of that window. Such world history literally outside his window!

I have to tell on myself for this next picture. We actually took two of them. For those of you who don't know him, he is Tonolli and he is the Captain of Virtus, Rome's Basketball Team and one of the leading, and according to some, the leading basketball team in Italy.

But the story is that we took the picture and then looked at it on the digital camera and guess what, Tonoli was towering above me! So we took the picture again, and this one is it. He was smiling in the first picture and I wasn't. It seems from his expression that he didn't think it was as funny as I did. No, he was a good sport, pun intended.

And speaking of teams and players, one of the thrills of the trip was to get to go to Rome's Olympic Stadium and watch the Rome vs. Empoli game from the press box, thanks to I was interviewed on Italian radio about not only my impressions of the game but the atmosphere of the stadium. Yes, the atmosphere of the stadium, it was like no other game that I had ever attended. There was too much going on to describe here but I hope to have an opportunity to talk about it when we air a few clips live from the stadium on our show one of these days.

The interview was conducted by my cousin Pietro who was reporting live from the stadium onto Italian radio and who incidentally owns one of the top soccer websites for Italians soccer fans all over the world,, as well as two popular magazines and e-zines and Above is my cousin Pietro and I hanging out after the game finishing our work and waiting for the press conference to start. Don't ask me about the face I was making, I don't know. Here is a better picture of us taken before.

It was great to see so many of the greats play that we got to enjoy during the world cup like Totti and Perotta. I got to go to the Press Conference after the game and was hoping to get to meet them. I didn't get to meet them.

I also wanted to meet the Roma Team Coach, Spalletti but he left the press conference so fast with six men, it was almost impossible to get to him. But my cousin and I were on his trail. I felt like a real reporter hot on a story. Was e finally got through the men and got to speak with him and have this picture taken, again with the face.

And just when I thought I had had my adventure for the day, that night I got together with some friends and we painted the town. And as beautiful and exciting as I expected Rome to be by night, and it was, nothing prepared me for what I was about to experience.

Gentlemen, you have not lived until you ride on the back of a mottorino through the city of Rome in the middle of the night while it is being driven by a real Italian girl! That is all I will say, and grazie Lucia for the experiences of a life time. Or should I say, thank you for sparing my life as you wove in and out of traffic in the dark through the narrow streets. I wish I had a video of this.'An

That next night I got to spend time with the beautiful Laura D'Angelo, TV, Film and Broadway type theater actress in Italy. I will share more about her when we air the interview Chef Richard and I did with her when she was here in the States. As a matter of fact, this is her and I at an outdoor San Gennaro Italian Movie Night event in Hollywood in August.

Laura and I were invited to speak at the event. It was the night they showed "Il Postino," and Laura spoke about her relationship with the leading man, Massimo Troisi before he passed away. Laura spoke in Italian and I translated into English.

At one point because she speaks English, but is a little shy about speaking it, she felt comfortable enough to start speaking English. Without skipping a beat I started translating her English into Italian for the English speaking crowd. The crowd went nuts. Laura got to see how fun loving out Italian-American community was and really got comfortable and to know what happened from there, you just have to ask someone that was there, he, he.

Speaking of wonderful nights, the first night I was in Italy, I was invited to a Fashion Show by some young, hip new designers on the Roman Fashion Scene. Actually, their fashions are coming to the US this year. They were high end lady's fashions and the two young lady designers were really dynamic. Here is a picture of me with them. I look forward to seeing them in Los Angeles later this year when they come out for trunk shows, and possibly interviewing them to see how the line is doing since the launch.

And speaking of the launch, it was held at the top of the Spanish Steps, can you imagine? There were times that I just stood up there looking out over them and pinching myself saying I am not only here but I am at this private event in Rome surrounded by all these beautiful models and architecture and history and thousands of tourists below sitting and drinking and singing on the Spanish Steps.

In this trip I had planned to visit Rome and Milan for many reasons, work, family, friends and because I enjoy the city. But alas, Rome kept me very pleasantly occupied and I never made it out there. Consequently, I did have a couple friends come from Milan to spend some time with me in Rome. One of them, Ornella, brought me an incredible letter from an author I was planning to interview in Milan, Anna Pedrotti, but obviously I didn't get to. The letter was channeled to her from my "Guardian Angel." It was very touching to say the least. I will share more about that later and hopefully get to interview Anna in person on my next trip to Italy.

In the meantime above is Ornella who hand carried that special letter to me from Milan. I am not sure what we are doing in the picture, wait, oh yes, EATING, of course. And speaking of friends, here is a picture of my friend Alberto, Marco and I, hanging out in Rome somewhere. You will be hearing about all these people I am sure as my Blog progresses, especially Marco Missinato because among other things, he is an up and coming composer, songwriter and singer.

Arrivederci Roma,

A presto,


P.S. Following is a video clip from YouTube that pays homage to the Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni with clips from many of his films and now famous roles. (No Dialogue, Only Music)