I know Ennio since many years before I opened Boudoir, my optical shop in Venice.
Ennio is that kind of person that makes you immediately feel comfortable, that’s why it’s so easy to love him. We became friends pretty fast, also because we share a passion which is gardening. In fact he takes care of my small garden in the mainland, especially when it’s season for cutting the roses: he does not allow me to ruin them myself.
Ennio Marchetto, as well as Grace Jones, Elton John, Jodie Foster, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many many others, has been testimonial in two different campaigns for L.A. Eyeworks by photographer Greg Gorman (Note, his are the only two pictures in color, out of about 160 developed in black and white ).
Ennio is friend of Gai Gherardi and Barbara Mc Reinholds. So when I visited the Silmo for the first time as business owner, I went to their booth saying that I am a friend of Ennio.
Gai’s response was ” Ennio’s friends are our friends!” I felt almost like beeing in south Italy , where locals really know how to welcome friends.
Ennio uses glasses only for reading and to make his cardboard costumes. He wears the model Rebar by L.A. Eyeworks. I’ve asked Margo Willits ( L.A. Eyeworks manager in Europe) about the meaning of “Rebar”, she told me Rebar is literally a reinforcing steel bar used to strengthen concrete -and the name has nothing to do really with the frame. So lets say it is for people with a strong image. Makes sense with Ennio!
For those who eventually didn’t make yet the connection between his name with what he makes on stage, he’s the quickchange artist who changes about a hundred of costumes in a one hour show, just by folding, unfolding and adding different pieces of coloured paper. He develops the costumes since over twenty years with Sosthen Hennecam, another mutual friend I share with Gai Gherardi .
I’ll try to get you in his fantastic world with a few questions.
- You are always on tour, how do you combine the strong binding you have to your city and the need to travel for work? What do you miss the most when you’re not in Venice ?
It took me some time to get used to it, but I’m also lucky because I love travelling and to perform in front of so many different audienceses is really exciting, it pays so much back ! Venice is always there, waiting for me and I took already some revenges : I was on the stages of the teatro La fenice and teatro Goldoni and it was a bigger feeling than personal pride. What I miss ? I would say I miss the roses of my garden and my own bed.
- You have the privilege to be part of the L.A. Eyeworks extended family. Creativity is a skill you certainly have in common with the “Eyewear making girls” in Los Angeles. Is it because of this special gift that the outcome of the campaign was extremely good ?
Having done the campaign for L.A.EYEWORKS was a very funny experience and very easy at the same time ; the owner Gai Gherardi saw me once in London and she fell in love with my show. From that moment on, it was an easy step. Short after, I had to fly to the States to perform in Los Angeles, so she asked me to become part of the big family of actors, singers and famous people who posed for them. Meeting the great Greg Gorman, a very kind and sympathic person, turned out to be a professional experience I’ll never forget. Everything went flawless, I could have never guessed we would have worked wich such a great complicity, especially if I think about Greg Gorman’s international fame. In fact he is the photographer of the biggest stars in Hollywood, he’s the author of record covers for Elton John, Tina Turner and many more…
- What do you like the most of the frames by L.A. Eyeworks? …. and what do you like about L.A. the city ?
L.A. Eyeworks glasses were innovative and they still are. I’ve always loved what is original and the taste that pretends to be appreciated not only by the masses. A little bit like my show is !!! Los Angeles is a huge city, I can’t say it’s easy to live there, especially for those , like me, with no drivers license. Without a car you are kind of cut out. Likewise I can’t deny, the city offers everything and even more.
- Some of your characters are wearing glaases. Cardboard glasses you draw and cut in your studio in Venice. If you had to design REAL glasses, what would they look like ?
Honestly i’ve never thougt about that, but if I had to become an eyewear designer, they would be very close to the style of L.A. Eyeworks.
- Is there a character that inspired you and that you admire, who you haven’t played yet in your show ?
There are many characters I love and so does and Sosthen, co-designer of the costumes and co-author of the show. The most important thing is not the imitation, trying to look as much as possible similar to the original, but finding a strong gag thatis easily understood by the audience, is funny and make them laugh.It’s not an east task and it takes months to finish such work.
- Like me you are a fan of thai kitchen. Do you prefer to cook for your friends or you let professional cooks do the work at the restaurant ?
I’ve always loved asian kitchen, but I never tried to cook it myself, I wouldn’t be able… but you are, Alessandro. So keep in mind, I’m always ready for an invitation to have a Thai dinner at your place !!!
Ennio thank you for your time, see you soon