The original sin
Posted December 04th, 2016
I would have preferred in writing a thank you letter regarding the great opportunity of returning to RAI 1 as a way of saying goodbye to my fans.
But many a word was left strangling in my throat.
I decided not to utter a word, out of respect to everyone who displayed their affection, before, during and after the two Nemica Amatissima shows. Alas, it is especially for my limitless sense of responsibility that I have decided to write this article, for the Italian audiences.
I arrived in Italy full of enthusiasm and ideas. In June I was caught off guard and moved by words and promises that didn't see the light of day. I said: "I do not want to do a nostalgic show, but an event rich and bursting with ironic and quick-witted humour, looking towards an avant-garde show. I want to make room for young dancers and dance with them, not as a protagonist, but encouraging them to be up front. I want to have a laugh, teasing myself. I want sketches, international guests and a lot of music. I want to tell the story of 2 extremely different women. I want a show that is similar to "Saturday Night Live".
Once I arrived in Italy, it was a non-stop "no", to every idea I suggested, at each and every artistic consideration I attempted to mention.
I have a sacred respect and a sincere admiration to each and every incredible guest who came to Nemica Amatissima, but someone has to starting explaining to me why, by a strange coincidence, my "beloved enemy's" demands were granted, and mine were not.
I asked the writers to invent a story where it would describe the two protagonists, by way of singing duets like James Corden, sketches like Maya Rudolph, but this was not to be. The response was always the same, as in a broken record: "We have been doing television for 20 years and we know how it works".
During the 2 shows, I approached the stage, awaiting for something, (anything!) to happen and, only a few rare times, did "my beloved enemy" and I bump into each other.
Slowly, but surely, my enthusiasm grew weak and dimmed, even though my total dedication and maximum commitment did not abandon me. But these two, as you can imagine, aren't enough to create a television show.
Many people misinterpreted my sufferance and certain facial expressions, thinking I have no respect for my work. Well, it is exactly the opposite. I am an impeccable professional and despise anyone's work, abnegation and respect for the public, being thrashed upon, in the name of pure convenience towards the "firm" (agency). Because this is the bottom line. And, this was the original sin.
During the two shows I witnessed the distortion of my opening number, against everything our choreographer, Veronica Peparini wanted, entire dialogues butchered between my "beloved enemy" and I, and, I saw the only interview I was granted, amputated.
My opening number "Stop the Fight/Disco Bambina" was cut 30 seconds (an eternity if you think it is a 3 minute song) with a horrid editing, offending who wrote the song and who was interpreting it. And there, I truly danced!
My "Heather like a Feather" sketch, in which I explain the difficulty for Italians to write my name correctly, vanished.
Lillo and I read a precious page by Gianni Rodari entitled, "The escaping H" and Silvio Testi wrote an adorable and amusing jingle, about my name. Both vanished, as well.
No time, they will say. But I insist that someone, one more time, explain to me, by an off-base coincidence, cuts were done on anything regarding my numbers and never one for my "beloved enemy".
My "Wrinkles" speech, which I wrote myself and defended with my claws against anyone trying to change my wording, was interrupted by a thunderous applause that I was emotionally touched by: VANISHED.
During our two shows, I did not see or say hello to Greggio, Beatice Vio, Vecchioni, Nek and all of the Grease protagonists. Casuality? Maybe because the only "Lady of the House" was my "beloved enemy"?
My frustration was such that at a certain point during the first show I said to Lillo: "Why are you looking for an international guest (Estiqaatsi)? I am the international guest".
In the end, this is how I felt, a guest on the show of my "beloved enemy". Obviously, this part of the dialogue vanished as well.
The people who take full responsibility, wrote to me that the related choices of editing was a decision made by the writers and the producers. Nobody is questioning a writer or producer's right to broadcast whatever they feel is more suitable towards their own ideas.
Nevertheless, as an artist, I have a right to defend my work and my dignity.
I live outside the system and I am not frightened at all of the inevitable payback of my behaviour.
I don't feel like saying that "Nemica Amatissima" is an upright and virtuous show or not, I will let the audiences decide; for sure it was a completely different show from what I was expecting or envisioned and what I accepted enthusiastically to do; a show that voided me of any possibility to express myself, as I had asked from the very beginning.