I am a Swiss born actor, stage director, art director and writer. Raised in Switzerland, but well traveled throughout Europe and the United States, I can say that I am more a world citizen, rather than just your typical and boring Swiss old chap.
Although in my family we fluently spoke Italian, French and German, due to our multiple origins, and the winds of history, my adopted and cherished mother tongue has become the English idiom.
Don’t ask me why. I simply had it in my blood, all the time, and I just felt attracted to this fascinating, rich and “living” language, so much in fact, that my dearest wish had always been to one day go and study the language, the literature and the history of the English speaking people, both in England, as well as in the United States, where I finally managed to settle in.
Alas, if it hadn’t been for a strike of fate, hitting me hard at a time when I was about to make a true successful career for myself there, and concerning my poor mother, I would never have returned to my native Country.
Unfortunately, in late 1998, I was informed that my mother had to undergo an open heart surgery due to a benign tumor (called “Mixoma” – which appeared to be an unborn sibling to my mother which had abnormally grown there), which had to be urgently removed.
My first thought was to jump on a plane and be near her, but due to various factors, but mostly due to the fact that it was Christmastime, all Hotels were occupied and I was comforted by my mom’s sister, my aunt, that she would have been near her and would keep me informed about her status.
You can well imagine how anxious and how worried I was.
Now I also have to specify that I was her only child and since I grew up without a father, who actually abandoned me even before I was born, never to reappear in my life or in my mother’s, and my grandma, who was a surrogate mother to me, while my mother functioned as our provider, had died years earlier, I simply could not allow something like this to hinder me from taking care of her.
Unfortunately, I also had some rather serious duties and commitments I had to look into, since I was directing a new play, and I could not simply abandon my players and all the rest of the staff either.
So I was hanging there, with my stomach churning and my heart beat racing like crazy.
Moreover, I was also about to become naturalized as an American citizen…
Call it back timing.
Well, in the end I just took a brief vacation to see with my own eyes in what conditions my mother was faring.
She was convalescing in a local Clinic in Lugano and I visited her there, and to my dismay, I saw how aged and how frail she suddenly looked.
She told me that I didn’t need to worry and that everything had gone well, but that in time, she would need me to stand her by, since her full recovery would be a lengthy one.
Without any discussion I told her that I would return to the States to settle my matters, and then return as soon as possible to assist her.
So we agreed that I would return to Switzerland in early 2000.
When I returned I tried immediately to find a job suitable to my competences and experience, and being also a web designer, I imagined that at least in that sector I would find a niche in which to settle in and appropriately earn my living.
No such luck.
First of all, no one in Lugano, or for this matter, anywhere around here, knew exactly what a web designer was, and always confused it with an interior designer (go figure).
And they always asked me if I was a programmer, to which I always had to explain that yes, in a way, a professional web designer can also do some programming, but just connected with the styling of the front end of a website.
They simply did not understand the differences in specialization, also due to the fact that I soon realized that at this latitude there was a latent disdain, suspicion and rejection of everything technologically advanced.
So, very soon I found myself having to be bound to an employment office, which in actuality did not help much to find me an appropriate re-insertion in a professional setting.
Even when I heard that the City of Lugano wanted to build a brand new Theatre and I asked to be received by the person in charge of this new, to me highly interesting project, I found out that they just snobbed me.
Then, and only after vehemently insisting, was I granted an audience, but not with that person, rather by a mere young and inexperienced assistant.
When I “dared” submit piles of letters of recommendation (including one prominent one, by a very famous stage and movie actor), affidavits and various articles concerning my professional past as an entertainment business professional, all she could do was glancing at them, spread out on her desk, but not even removing one from its sleeve just to read it.
Then, the assistant stared at me and told me this: “But they are all in English, we don’t perform in English here…”.
At which point I understood immediately what she meant.
They were not ready, nor willing to give someone a chance, especially not someone who had worked for so long (almost twenty years) and so hard to build a successful resume both in England and in the United States, and would have rather hired someone of their “own” proteges.
Well, that was my situation and it still is to this day.
In the meanwhile, due to the fact that Ticino, the region I am living in right now, has not as yet decided itself whether or not to fully adapt to modern life, I slowly slipped into welfare, but not due to my fault, since I have many times attempted to adapt and get me a decent job, but every time there was that stupid excuse that they could not hire someone with such a vast experience and professional competence.
Others just invented the fact that they could not pay me the same amounts I was granted in the States. The most stupid excuse I have ever heard, since I was always willing to negotiate, but no, no one ever invited me to an appropriate interview in that sense.
So, here I am.
My mother died last October (2017), after three days of agony, due to a completely erroneous diagnosis and I could not even denounce anyone, since we are not in the United States, where you can do this.
Here, medics, politicians and justice are all one happy family and they cannot be touched.
In other words, they stole my mother from me (probably in hope that I would finally bend to them, a hope they can forget, since I am more than ever, willing to fight these mobsters for the rest of my life and I will haunt them to the end of theirs).
In the meanwhile, I am back at work, obviously without a salary or a retribution, at least not as yet.
I had started two very ambitious screenplays some years ago, but due to the various ailments befalling my mother, and alas, as of late, me as well (I had various accidents when serving in the Swiss Army concerning my back), I always had to delay or abandon my writings.
Now, getting slowly better, but unfortunately without my dear mom by my side anymore, I am willing to complete my work of a lifetime.
Both screenplays deal with World War II and the Battle of the Bulge.
One will be a movie, and the other, a Mini-Series in 16 episodes concerning the origins and fatal mistakes both parties made during barely a month of that conflict.
When they are done and I may manage to sell at least one of them, then I will also be ready to resettle back to the United States or Canada, where my true professional career started.
Wish me luck.


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