I was born in beautiful Rome, some time between 1979 and 2017. Bit vague, I know.
As a kid I developed my interest in the Arts and in creativity. I spent my childhood basically
avoiding any kind of sports and physical activities (that’s probably why I have no calves at all
and my lower back starts hurting after twenty crunches); on the other hand, I used to draw and paint for hours, listen to any vynil record I could find in my house (literally music from all eras), invent and create stories and objects that would have revolutioned history if only I had the money to mass produce them, perform during family parties in front of my grandfather’s Hitachi VHS camera (you kids from the 2000s will never understand…) and be some kind of little genius at school (without really studying, to be very honest).
Extrovert kid, introvert adolescent (thanks to some bullying I went through, growing up),
I chose a secondary school where maths, electronic and computer knowledge were key: totally the worst choice for me. My brain just can’t process numbers.
Anyway, The Cranberries, Alanis, the Gallagher brothers and some other friends helped me flowing smoothly through all five years, and finish with a very good mark. But then it was the time for me to move to something closer to my personality and my real interests.
During all these years and for some years more, I was often in my room writing songs and dreaming of becoming a singer.
But I needed more self confidence and some good opportunities. And we still didn’t have Youtube back then.
The UNI and Academy years
I started my four year course at DAMS (Art, Music and Show Disciplines) at Roma Tre University, where I could finally focus on literature, humanistic disciplines and studies of theatre and cinema. I was having much fun studying something I actually enjoyed and living the life of a Uni student (which is a sort of limbo between adolescence and adulthood, where responsibilities are still quite limited. And you go pubbing and clubbing a lot.), but I felt like all this theory that I was studying wanted to be counterbalanced with practice. And for practice I mean performing. Letting it out.
But did I have enough confidence, and enough talent? I was determined to find out. I just needed a starting point.
I auditioned at Academy for Actors and Performers “Tuttinscena” (later on named “Corrado Pani”) and yay! I got in!
So, along with University, I started my training as actor, working in a bookshop on weekends and meeting beautiful and very talented people and colleagues, some of which are my best friends now.
In 2005 I complete my training at “Corrado Pani”, and the year after I graduate in DAMS with a thesis about the musical cinema of Vincente Minnelli (a work I’m really really proud of!).
Performing in Italy
My professional career in theatre starts officially in 2005, in the ensemble of actors of the show “Buonasera Buonasera!”, starring the showman Pino Insegno, and some months later playing the role of Simeon in the winter tour of the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, directed by Claudio Insegno.
A year later, with a group of friends and colleagues from my Academy years, we founded the company “Attori Animati”: a collective of actors, singers, dancers, writers and directors, with the intent of creating theatrical (fringe, musicals, cabaret) projects from scratch, without relying on big producers.
As a group, we were coming from a few years of practice on the stage of cabarets like the “AlMastroianni” in Rome, and other venues on the Italian territory, so there was a kind of chemistry and recognizable “touch” that you could see in all our projects.
We started touring for a couple of years with the musical “Cannibal!” by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (project born from the collaboration with RockOpera), along with our musical/cabaret
In 2006, Attori Animati begin a regular partnership (that will go on for two years) with Teatro Duse in Rome, a venue that seems perfect to try new fringe projects to launch later on on bigger stages.
2006, I play the role of Dolan in “Line”, by Israel Horowitz. Great text, great direction by Claudio Insegno, great fun! Oh I wish we could do it again…
More lovely roles I played during the years at Duse include Millet in “La Signorina Papillon” by S. Benni, Oscar in “Cactus Flower” by A. Burrows and Leon Tolchinsky in “Fools” by N. Simon.
In 2009 I play the dream role of Mark Cohen in Jonathan Larson’s “Rent”, directed by Serena Ottardo, and I have literally the time of my life.
In the same year, Attori Animati start the ambitious project of a stage version of the popular sitcom “Will & Grace”: after two short runs at Teatro Duse, the show has a special night at Teatro Vittoria, and the year after it’s on stage at Teatro Salone Margherita in Rome. I played the role of Joe, and I could barely contain the laughter on stage, thanks to the special and hilarious people involved in the project.
In 2012, Manfredi Gelmetti and Francesco Arienzo chose me for the beautiful drama “Orchids in the Moonlight”, one of the best texts I had the chance to work on so far.
Along with my theatrical activity I did some television and voice over works (good times, although I never really pursued that direction, I always preferred stage and concert works. And once I was told by an agent that I was not handsome enough or ugly enough to be in cinema or tv. Yep, it happened.), and I was the singer of a pop/funk band called Caesar Funky Salad for some years (great fun, and our bossanova version of Maroon 5’s “This Love” was to die for).
Beyond the sea
In search of new professional and personal challenges, in 2011 I started a contract as Production Singer on board the ship Costa Fortuna, cruising the Mediterranean Sea. The experience was so good that the following year I embarked on another one, Costa Victoria, heading this time towards far Asia. During the wonderful crossing from Italy to Shanghai, and the months spent performing on board and cruising China, Japan and South Korea, I discovered the beauty of travelling and the importance of getting in contact with different cultures from all over the world.
Since September, I’ve been performing on the Silversea ship SilverCloud, in four different production shows along with my joint cabaret with Scottish performer Rhona Hay: we touched 24 different countries in the world in just four months, quite an impressive and unforgettable journey!
Coming back from my contract on Costa Victoria I felt like it was the right moment to take out from the drawer one of my long time dreams and make it become reality: I moved to London, with a suitcase full of hopes and wishes, terrified but energised. I wanted to experience life outside the comfort zone of my country, I wanted to breathe the vibrant theatrical and cultural life of London, and take all that could enrich me personally and professionally. It meant starting literally from zero. But I always liked new beginnings.
Not easy at first, having to balance working to pay rent and bills with training and pursuing my performing career: the first year was intense, but surely paved the way to the beautiful things that happened later on. Sometimes you need to have patience and keep proactive. In 2014 I have my debut in a UK production, playing the role of Anton in the drama “Histra – Stories from the Eastern Block”, directed by Marco Turcich. In the same year I start working as actor at the Royal Opera House, in Mozart’s “Idomeneo”, and the year after in Rossini’s “Il Turco in Italia”.
At the same time I start my collaboration with the vocal trio Nero Martini, performing in various venues in London and UK.
In 2015-16 I have the honour of being chosen for the lovely new musical “CLD – The Real Lewis Carroll”, written by Jane Bramwell and Michael Brand and directed by David Kettle, debuting at Petworth Fringe Festival and continuing with a summer run in Oxford.
The first London years gave me the spark to ignite another of my old artistic passions: I started painting again, and the result was two series of acrylics on canvas inspired by water surfaces and aerial seascapes, “The Aqua Series” and “ISLA” (available on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/artbycarlopavan ).
And.. well, more things are due to come, so keep following me on this space for the latest news 🙂