On the Couch with Christopher Scalzo

Christopher Scalzo AAR OTCWho is Christopher Scalzo?
Hopefully he is a reliable, trustworthy, kind and loyal man to anyone he meets! In terms of the practicalities – he’s a food lover, an animal lover, a devoted son, grandson, uncle, brother and partner, a hard worker, a delighted observer of life… and both an actor and businessman thankful for any opportunities that come his way. He has one strong coffee a day, needs greens with every meal and is always cold at night time.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
That’s tricky to answer because then I wouldn’t be acutely me – the version of which I feel like I’ve worked hard to become. Maybe I’d take more risks? Nah. I don’t think I could… Or could I? Hamlet.

Who inspires you and why?
My parents and grandmother; migrants who left all they knew behind to come to this extraordinary country with nothing but hope and an insatiable work ethic. But also, anyone really who has multiple and varied life aspirations and manages career ambitions with hopes, dreams, families, partners, friends, kids, pets… you name it! It’s not about a big life or a small life, or even a profound legacy… for me it’s inspiring to look to anyone at all who is lucky enough to feel genuinely fulfilled, satiated, capable, useful, necessary and THEMSELF. Anyone who can roll with life’s persistent changes; the ups and downs and manage to stay true and proud of who they are today, as well as finding time for their evolution and growth.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
This is a big one. I often feel like I’m not doing enough. In an existential sense, I think I’d wish I was able to personify a gentle reminder that every human being is uniquely different – with our own vulnerabilities and strengths, and that a caring and considerate outlook is the touchstone for self-contentment. In a practical sense – I’d happily lobby till my dying day for equal opportunity in life, no matter where you’ve come from; if you’re ready, willing and able, I wish I was in some position of power to facilitate people’s dreams coming to fruition! In an immediate, small scale, start in your own home type of way, I’d like to be the kind of uncle that is accepting and fun for each of my (nine!) nieces and nephews.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Anywhere I haven’t been yet! But also, frustratingly enough – everywhere I have been lucky enough to see already..! I’m mad for a return visit anywhere if the freedom permits. If I had to choose one, it would have to be Southern Italy. The Amalfi Coast, Capri, Sicily, Puglia… my family’s origins are from Calabria so perhaps I also feel a little at home on holiday in those areas? The sun, the water, the food, the history, the culture…

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Hmm. Perhaps City Wine Shop for a meal, or Pellegrini’s or The European and then to see whatever show might be in town. A fresh morning at South Melbourne Market for coffee and croissants amongst the action and then a walk along the Yarra, through the Botanical Gardens across to the NGV for some inspiration and reflection.

What are you currently reading?
I am always reading Christopher Hitchens, with a bookmark in one or another of his pieces at any time; but right now now it is Letters to A Young Contrarian. I’d read by Alain de Botton’s shopping list if he published it. I am also obsessed with cook books and read ingredient lists and methods like they’re deep fiction – my partner recently gifted me Old World Italian by Mimi Thorisson, which I am devouring while dreaming madly of Italy. Perhaps controversially, I also think Twitter, at its best, is witty and clever beyond measure.

What are you currently listening to?
Presently, I am listening endlessly to dropbox recordings of Stephen Grey’s stunningly intricate, complex and truly beautiful new arrangements of Andrew Lloyd Webber material for The Music of The Night concert I am part of this month. But also (don’t tell Stephen…), it has to be the Fangirls album! I saw it last week and am completely obsessed.

Happiness is?
If my loved ones are happy, I am happy. It’s as simple as that. It could be anywhere, at anytime.  Other than that – happiness for me is in the sun. If I can sit still and quiet in the sunshine for five minutes, I can guarantee you – I am happy.

What does the future hold for you?
Well – hopefully a great deal of personal and professional positivity and excitement! Beyond The Music of The Night, I am very thankful to be able to say, I’ll be joining the Original Australian Company of Moulin Rouge – The Musical playing the role of BabyDoll, which I hope will be an incredibly entertaining, moving and fun night out for anyone who comes along!

Christopher joins a stellar cast, including special guest Debra Byrne, in The Music of the Night – The Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber at Chapel Off Chapel for a limited season from 12 May 2021. For more information, visit: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au or www.spearsentertainment.com.au for details.

Image: Christopher Scalzo (supplied)