To know us better: Feña Ortalli

Mount Olymprov is approaching, and we are super excited about it! We want to learn everything! And there is so much to learn! The festival and its participants are things that make us wonder.
We have taken our pens out, writing stuff down, making cheat sheets…..No no no, just kidding, there is going to be no exams for anyone coming.

But we do have many questions waiting to be answered. So we’ve started asking them to our instructors! 

The first one (a.k.a. The “victim”) is Feña Ortalli. Enjoy!

Fena Ortalli


1) Have you ever been to Greece before? What’s your expectations of being here for mt. Olymprov?
I haven’t been to Greece before! I’m very excited to have the chance to know Athens and the islands. It’s one of those places you’ve always heard about, so much history!
I love travelling and I love improv, so everytime there’s a chance of attending to a festival to see new places and meet new people, I take it! I’ve heard also wonderful things about Mt. Olymprov and the instructors that are attending are very interesting people. My expectations are simply to teach some great classes, to be inspired by students, players and instructors, to share some beers and long-lasting talks with anyone and to meet some old firends and make some new ones.

2) What’s improv for your life? Can you recognize signs of it in your life outside the scene?
The romantic answer is that improv is everything in my life. My everyday life is improv-related: in the mornings I write, edit or do some research for my improv magazine, in the afternoons and nights I teach and do shows. Starting improv (back in 2000), changed the way I saw the world. Especially in my early improv stage, the “yes” philosophy took me places I wouldn’t even imagine. A moved to Madrid (from Buenos Aires) recently and I know it would have been difficult without that improv philosophy.

3) Is improv in South America different than improv in Spain? (and generally Europe)?
Improv in South America (with their own individualities since Latinn America is huge) is very similar to improv in Spain, Portugal and Italy. We like stories, we love theatre, we create our own formats and shows and we have almost zero influence from the North American school (Chicago style). Sometimes we move too fast and most of us started doing Match de Improvisación (the French-Canadian sports format). The rest of Europe is pretty different, basically because it’s more related to the US style: lots of talking, longer scenes…
4) Do you have any quests you’d like to achieve in your shows/workshops?
My quests change along the journey. Right now I want more awereness of our importance as artists on stage. Yes, we know how to tell stories, we know how to create characters, we know HOW to do this. But I’m interested in the WHY. Why do we do it? Why do we want from it? Why am I talking about this? If you can tell anything, what would you tell? What would you talk about. I want to se more commitement with social, political, moral issues. That’s why I do theatre.

5) One of the workshops you are teaching at this moment is based on a book. Do you like reading? Have you ever thought of writing a book yourself?
The tiny glass person is based on a chapter of the book Grammatica della Fantasia by Gianni Rodari. I like reading, to be honest I’d like to read more. I’ve left almost all of my books in Buenos Aires (they’re pretty heavy to move) but I really enjoy reading and feel the images coming to my mind. I think it’s magical what a certain combination of words can achieve.
Well, I write a lot in Status, I’ve been doing it for almost seven years, so I could make a compilation of those texts! But actually, I’ve just finished my first book- It’s about improv and football (soccer) and how I think they are related in spirit, structure, technique… It will be ready in March, but only in Spanish!

6) Which is your most strange festival experience?
Ohhhh, I have several. From staying in a very cheap motel (with porn on the TV and people having loud sex in the whole building), to performing in a Medieval church. From being in an Improv World Cup DURING a Football World Cup to playing a football match with other improvisers in a small park behind a museum. From arriving at midnight to a place where the sun was still there to actually going to a city where western civilization was born. Weird.

7) Which are your plans regarding “Status”?
Basically, to continue spreding the word. There’s a lot of people out there that still don’t know that there’s a monthly improv magazine that features very interesting interviews, chronicles and articles and that is an independent project ran by an improviser. We’ve been publishing it also in English since August, 2017 so we expect our audience to keep growing this year. Eventually I would love to print some special editions or to edit some books.

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