Bounjour! Hello! Sali or Gruess Dich!...
...would be the languages I grew up with, and yes, I am fluent in.
On September 27th, 1969 I was born in Zurich, Switzerland.
I made sure to keep things spicy and firey by being born into a Greek and Italian family that was trying their best to adapt to the Swiss ways of Life.
So before moving to Rome in later years,
Switzerland is where I spent the first part of my Life. I grew up with a French Nanny, my Greek mom, and Italian dad, all while learning everything about William Tell, Strudel, Sauerkraut and Ripple, which later developed into a taste for fine watches and good chocolate.
My major? Business and Economics.
Before enjoying the benefits of being on the International hit TV - show CSI: Miami for 3 full seasons and recurring in season 5 and 6 as Colombian detective YELINA SALAS,
and starring in my favorite film PASSIONADA with Jason Isaacs, as CELIA AMONTE a Portuguese Fado singer,
as well as enjoying a recurring role as Mafia boss ANNALISA ZUCCA in THE SOPRANOS, I actually did my home work for years, before and while studying diligently at the Beverly Hills Play house under Milton Katselas, traveling the world for work and pleasure and learning from Life and my spiritual studies for the past intense 13 years of my Life.
Always with the persistence and tenacity of a WARRIOR that I am,
with the sensitivity to all Beauty that I have,
and the sensibility of a child that I will always be.
An Artist at heart, I respect and enjoy all creation; all that beautifies our world and our hearts. All that communicates; all that encourages change for the better; all that makes us feel alive and dream just a little longer until we break out into a smile. Passion is my surname.
One of the things I still enjoy -- besides bringing a Film or TV Character to Life that can move you -- Is to cook and to paint. Mostly I paint women and faces. I also used to freelance in Fashion design for women's clothing, which I started in my late teens while modeling for 10 years across the world for every top magazine you can name and designer you can think of.
Hence my flair for clothes, though I would live in my birthdaysuit all day long if I could.
I love representing and painting Women, because Women are smart and beautiful.
Like a fascinating, resilient, never dying flower.
Women never cease to amaze me as we have endless amounts of courage and potential, intelligence and strength not only for ourselves but also for all the men around us who seek our unpretentious strength through them. Women are men's greatest validation.
I admire my mother, my grandmother and my beautiful girlfriends because of it.
And so every time I represent a woman in a film or role, I get to explore and communicate her world, culture and heart through my passion, my eyes, and I hope my breath between the words spoken.
Like a painting or music that doesn't require translation.
Though I speak 6 languages and some, I learned that communication lies not within words, but intention and purpose.
I feel blessed to do what I love to do and admire all artists for having the courage to do what they do. You change the world!
Some future day I will love to direct as well, to bring an imagination to Life and see a miracle of an artist blossom in front of me for the mere reason of having asked the right question and offered good guidance. That will be fun and very satisfying.
On my Journey to now I have had the pleasure to work with wonderful people, some amazingly generous, some amazingly difficult and I learned from all.
I learned from the big screen divas like Anna Magnani, Katherine Hepburn, Sofia Loren and or from small screen diva Lucy Riccardo, whose show I never missed for a great laugh.
I learned from my very first acting role in 1992 in the new WKRP IN CINCINNATI, as a novice nun, and my first film role as a Kristin, a literature student in a film called INSIDE OUT to my first prime time TV break on NBC in '93 - '94, where I was cast as fiery supermodel FABIANA BORELLI in the sitcom CAFE AMERICAN, costarring Valerie Bertinelli and Maurice Godin. Then came FRIENDS, MAD ABOUT YOU, and over a season, as a regular on NBC's sitcom CAROLINE IN THE CITY as JULIA KARINZKY, from working opposite Tim Meadows in LADIES MAN, or working under the direction of Jim Abraham's in JANE AUSTIN'S MAFIA!, or more recently in the recurring role of Richard Lewis' girlfriend in Larry David's CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM ...
Understanding and learn to express my self through the American sense of humor,
having people find my accent "charming,"
appreciating a rootbeer float and marshmallows on yams for Thanksgiving or over hot chocolate, or watching the precision work that goes into putting it onto a stick and holding it over an open fire, and the wonders and variations of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, curly fries and drive through banking was my ticket to loving this country and all its freedoms.
Though I will remain faithful to our Italian cuisine, Mozzarella di Bufala, Lasagna and Rome's cobblestone streets.
I still love to study because,
Knowledge is power. Of course you must understand first what it is you want to know.
As Self determination combined with applicable study results in usable talent!
Of course there are always obstacles and the devils who want to stop us from succeeding,
But Obstacles can also stimulate us to do better.
Never pray for it to be easier; pray to be stronger! make your self stronger, study,
work hard and succeed!
You have to search and discover what you want and love to do and then simply do it. Persevere. Don't give up. And always do more than what you thought is the best you could do. Live in the future with which you create your present. Create and exchange, flourish and prosper! These are the things I learned, use everyday and want to share with you.