My name is Giuseppe Russo, I’m sailing the Mediterranean Sea with my wife Enisha on a wonderful 24 meter boat named ARCADIA, it’s our honeymoon and in less than two weeks we’ll fly to Finland because I’m shooting a movie there…how is this even possible? If I look back on my life, a few years ago this was just a dream and now it’s an exciting reality. But as they say, dreams can become reality if you really fight for them, and I would like to share with you this incredible journey that brought me here writing to you despite seasickness.
Talking about dreams, I remember the first time I came to Los Angeles to attend an international acting Masterclass, I was actually living my dream, or at least a preview of it: move to Hollywood to turn my Italian acting career into my personal American Dream. Everything seemed so cool that as soon as I came back to Rome, I applied to receive a US working visa. In my mind the dream was already a plan! I will move there, I will work hard to collect as many credits as possible, I will apply for a Green Card and in a few years I will find myself receiving that golden statue that all actors look for.
The plan was clear, how to realize it, definitely not…
One year later, as I landed the reality I had to face was shocking: it was revealed that my knowledge of English was not as strong as I thought (80% of the time I couldn’t understand a word), my bank account quickly drained out, the side job I found in the little Italian restaurant didn’t pay so well and the only auditions I was called in were for student projects! But I was in Hollywood!!! My Buddhist practice helped me to stay positive and focused and I’m pretty sure that it also attracted a lot of good fortune and protection. Soon I found a new day job with better pay and a commercial agency, that started pitching me for much more interesting projects that eventually resulted in several local and national commercials.
On a personal level, Hollywood also gifted me with a wonderful encounter: Enisha Brewster, AKA the love of my life, AKA my wife!
Unfortunately a dream can also turn into a nightmare! My worst fear was that something bad could happen to my parents while I was far away: on March 2016 I lost my Mom. I knew she wanted me to keep fighting to realize my dream. Despite this incredible loss and with her memory in my heart I came back to LA (which now I felt was my home) and worked even harder to accomplish my goal: the Green Card! It was hard: the U.S. government wants a lot of evidence that you are a working actor to grant you the GC. One of these pieces of evidence came along when I booked a part in the Francis Ford Coppola short movie Distant Vision, I really felt that this was my Mom’s gift. But despite the incredible credit added to my resume, the immigration was not satisfied yet; I needed something more. After a few months (my visa was going to expire very soon), Ryan Murphy cast me to play a scene with Alfred Molina in the pilot episode of FEUD for FX: it was the icing on my Green Card cake!
The following Christmas Eve I received one of the best email that I could ever receive from an attorney, it said something like this: YOUR GREEN CARD HAS BEEN APPROVED.
The dream was finally reality, I was ready to start a new chapter of my life!
A few months later I was called in for an audition for an indie project entitled INSITE, the role I was reading for was an American criminal named Clyde, but my Italian accent inspired the Director Jere Koistinen to create a new character. Antonio was born! I’m already a fan of this funny Italian criminal and the more I work on the character the more I enjoy playing this role. It took more than two years for filming to begin. In the meantime I proposed to my girlfriend Enisha who became first my fiance’, and on June 23rd ( Jere’s birthday…what a coincidence!) we finally became Bride and Groom!
Now, fighting against seasickness because I’m writing on my laptop on a boat during my honeymoon, a few days away from landing in Finland, I really feel that dreams can become reality if you fight hard enough for them, and sometimes the reality itself is even better than what you dreamed.