The Way I Am
The way I am is a one woman comedy inspired by Barbra Streisand starring Maritè Salatiello.
Determined to pursue her dreams Barbra leaves home at the tender age of 15 despite her mother’s threat that she’ll never make it. Barbra success follows fast in an industry that encourages her to get a nose job and questions her ability to be more than a singer. She follows her truth with resilience and love in spite of the odds, overcoming the obstacles that stand in her way.
That’s the way she is.
“What is exciting is not for one person to be stronger than the other… but for two people to have met their match and yet they are equally as stubborn, as obstinate, as passionate, as crazy as the other.”
— barbra streisand
WHY THE WAY I AM?
The way I am is a miracle.
I have yet no idea how I’ve been able to give birth to this show. But I did it thanks to the help of the people who have believed in this project.
I am gonna share with you how it was born and some piece of this journey.
The very first birth of The Way I Am was at the Susan Batson Studio on a Monday night of December 2018. Once I got off the stage from my very last exercise of the personal process of the Method Acting to get Susan feedback, she told me:
I saw Barbra Streisand.
All Susan’s students can’t wait to get to the end of the personal process of the “Develop Your Own Method” class aka DYOM to start working on a character.
It’s tradition for Susan to give you a character to work on based on what she sees or feels for you.
She saw Barbra in me and I can’t be more grateful thinking about it now.
Sincerely at the beginning I wasn’t even able to pronounce Barbra last name.
Barbra was a singer for me, I believe that at that time I haven’t watched not even one movie of hers, not knowing anything about her life.
But if Susan said so, had to be so.
I’ve been working on Barbra with Susan for more than one year attending the class for professionals called “Slices of Lives” where she supports actors to create a show or to work on specific projects.
Working from improvisation to writing a script.
The best part of creating my character life was the Research.
I’ve been spending the first two months after Barbra’s assignment just to read books and bio about her. Then I moved from watching movies and documentaries about her life to enter into her body through all the method exercises (from the character private moment to the dinner with her father) and I’ve had the fortune of attending her live concert in New York on August 4th 2019 in Madison Square Garden by myself.
It was incredibly emotional to have Barbra singing and talking about her life in front of me after all the work that I was doing on her at that time.
I felt her on my skin more than ever and I had the confirmation that all of what I was creating was right.
I wanted to be creative since the very first moment with Barbra.
She’s an unpredictable, funny, sexy, potent woman.
I couldn’t make her story banal.
So I’ve decided she would have enter the first scene on skates as she does in Funny Girl, speaking to her father at the window as she does in Yentl, to have her pregnant and seductive presence in the Interview for the releaseing of the Album “Color me Barbra” while defending with pride her nose.
Working on a character and creating a show is literally a journey.
Especially writing is a never ending exploration.
You start with an idea and that idea brings you everywhere, I’ve put all my passion for acting and all the work done at the studio in 2 years on Barbra’s journey.
It’s been like climbing the Everest.
When In October 2019 I’ve received the approval from the immigration office allowing me to stay longer in the Usa approving my visa for another year and having so the time to complete my project on Barbra I was ecstatic. So I Kept working on the story, writing, rehearsing, improvising…
Clearly I couldn’t imagine that COVID would have come.
I remember the last time I went on the 311 W48th theater stage before the lockdown. I did entered as a pregnant Barbra of 9th months old, her stylish dress speaking to her faithful agent Marty Erlichman.
It was funny and exciting as it usually was.
I’ve never been on that stage again.
Much less funny was all what happened with Covid.
New York has been the most hitten place by Covid from March 2020 in the world.
The studio closed, Broadway closed, everything closed.
I was scared, far away from my country, my family, really not realizing what was going on in the world as we all felt. But I had a dream. So I decided no matter circumstances to stay.
Something would have come.
I cared so much of the show also because it would have been so crucial to allow me get the working visa to keep stay in the States.
So I decided to stay. With Covid The Studio was very busy working on every day classes on line.
I had to put Barbra on the shelf for some time.
Then I started a collaboration with Lil Malinich and Audrey Davenport to finish the work and give life to the show.
We worked on-line, at the phone, and finally we started rehearsals on mid-July 2020 when Covid seemed to have slow down.
I was unaware that the real challenge had yet to come for me.
On June 2020 I’ve lost Fabio, the never ending love of my life, the most significant person of my existence, the one who was cheering up the most for me and for Barbra in any possible way, following this journey since the very beginning with ideas, suggestions, psychological and physical support.
It’s been the hardest time of my life.
I was close to give it all up but I heard a voice inside telling me:
“ You can’t give up, you can do it Maritè.”
“I’ve been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good”
— barbra streisand
After 2 months the show was ready.
It didn’t happened the way I have imagined it.
It hasn’t been at the Susan Batson Studio, there wasn’t a full audience, it hasn’t been a paid show, but it happened.
For two weeks on the rooftop of the Rich Bitch Clinic in the Upper East Side.
Lights, costumes, music, scenography everything was there.
Barbra was there.
Fabio was there.
Now I am a deep believer of the existence of some superior forces that guide us in life in the good and the bad times.
We do create our reality and The Way I Am is an example of how things can happen no matter what.
I am also a believer that circumstances, events, people change constantly as we cannot force things to happen when it’s not the time, when it’s not the case.
Probably because it’s time for other things to happen.
The flow of life brought me back to my roots.
THE WAY I AM taught me a lot more than i could imagine, about myself, my actress, my entrepreneur skills and the growing area to work on, taught me more of my truth, my relationships and more.
That’s the reason why The Way I AM is and it’s been just a beautiful closing experience of my journey as acting student in New York City.
And nothing else.
But Barbra, yes she’s still with me, and we are cooking something new, something magic, something truthful.
THE WAY I AM PRESS
DONATION CAMPAIGN FOR THE NEW SHOW
I am writing a new story and creating a new show with the intention to get back on stage with Barbra.
I need your help to make my dream come true in a moment where Art needs support more than ever.
Please contribute to raise money for the new production of the Show .
It is been such a wild, joyful, fun, painful ride and I want to keep it going.
I want to keep it going, now more than ever.
Every single donation Counts.
Thanks to every single YOU.
Click on the Picture to get the link.
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