June 21, 2013
Former Mori no Ike staff member Alexis Savino agreed to a brief video interview for this month’s Global e-Linked Newsletter. Savino edited the footage of the interview to reflect his own thoughtful and playful artistic impulses. Alexis Savino was born in Irasburg, Vermont on May 11th, 1981. He studied at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School through NYU (Tisch) which teaches David Mamet and W. H. Macy’s “Practical Aesthetics” script-analysis technique of acting. After earning his BFA in Drama, he joined The Blue Man Group in their Off-Broadway show “Tubes” in New York City. He left Blue Man Group to pursue acting and writing for film and television. Savino has acted in many productions including “Camino Real” by Tennessee Williams and “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare and more recently two films Far Rockaway and Genau.
CLV: Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us today. Here’s some questions; Tell us about one of your more vivid memories of being a staff member at Mori no Ike, the Japanese Language Village.
AS: I guess one of my more vivid memories would have been teaching Japanese film making, narrative techniques to a group of sixteen to eighteen year-old kids, when I was only eighteen. Mori no Ike was amazing and electric. I’ll never forget teaching a class on a…Kurosawa film.
CLV: What skills did you develop as a staff member at Mori no Ike that have helped you in your professional career as an actor, producer, writer, and artist?
AS: To work without any kind of a hierarchy yet still within the teams of all ages and all kinds of expertise. In Japanese and some in English but mostly Japanese while I was a teacher/counselor at the Language Villages, at Mori no Ike.Shigeru, Tom Stevens, who ran Mori no Ike that was a fantastic boss. Totally understood the culture and the ironies between our two cultures and they had a lot of fun with it. A willingness to have a sense of humor. That’s definitely helped me. Those skills have helped me. Having a sense of humor and having fun.
CLV: At the Village we of course have a second identity; your Village name was Takuya, what’s the difference between Alex Savino and Takuya, your Village name? Are they the same person? Does Takuya walk around New York City sometimes?
AS: I have a camera recording me now live there and there. So whenever a camper would ask how old I was I would say 25 because everyone was instructed to say they were 25 no matter what their age so it was obvious that none of us were necessarily 25. So just like this mask and this camera, there is a lot more to Takuya than a name and an identity…a strategy… you’ve got to understand that Takuya is a mask and never changes, whereas Alexis is, you know, my name as a living human being, I change and I grow, I go through time, but Takuya is stuck in time, Takuyais 25. That really just comes to mind right now. You know, he’s a part of me all the time, Takuya. As a mask, as an aspect of myself that I can only experience in Japanese really and among people who are speaking Japanese. So if I’m among Japanese speaking folks there’s probably… Takuya is there listening. You know.
CLV: What global project has been the most rewarding for you in the past 14 years?
AS: Amiable and peaceful and loving conversation, even on a business level between the cultures and on a values base level, regarding our food chain, art, dance, design, architecture, culture on all levels, education. That’s been the most rewarding, definitely, there have been many.
CLV: What international project do you most want to work on next?
AS: My aspiration, it’s always been my aspiration to work as an actor, globally. So building that bridge, every day.
CLV: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us today.
AS: Gosh. That’s a tough question. I feel like I am just a global project that I am constantly working on.