#BEZZJONI: Michael Sciortino
Photo: Elisa von Brockdorff
When we drove up to Mqabba to visit actor Michael Sciortino we naturally ended up finding every house number but his, we began to wonder whether the heat had gotten the best of us. That was until a phone call with him, patiently directing us past the paint shop and into the correct street cleared up everything. Before you knew it (10 minutes later) we found ourselves in front of his door. In a spot of shade on a very sunny day, we stood and chatted with Michael for the longest time about everything from past productions to the business today and the balancing act that is juggling work, home, rehearsals and performing all at once. It’s no easy task and it’s safe to say that Michael’s eased into the idea of slowing down, even before Covid-19 made us all do it! Here are his thoughts about life during isolation, as part of Teatru Malta’s series #BEZZJONI, a series of door to door encounters with Maltese theatre icons
MICHAEL SCIORTINO was born on 26th November 1949. He went up on stage for the first time when he was 15 at the Seminary school. From then he’s attended various drama courses with foreign and Maltese directors and graduated from MTADA in 1979. He’s worked with the best Maltese directors and foreign ones besides. Today he’s a veteran actor of the Maltese stage, radio and television. He has had important roles in a number of foreign films. He is best known for the characteristic roles that he interprets.
Because of the pandemic, I locked myself in at home according to the instructions and appeal to everyone to do the same! I spend a lot of time in the garden that currently requires a lot of work: pruning, spraying, watering and fruit picking. I often go for a walk with my wife Marjanna and sometimes help her with the housework. Because of this epidemic I am finding time to go around the house to fix some things that were long overdue. Almost every day I communicate with family members using IT. My pleasure is giving some lessons to my grandchildren, Ben and Ethan, in Ireland because after all I was a teacher and this is a call I still feel. Perhaps this is a positive point that has emerged from the current situation. Before they would just say “Hello Grandpa, bye, bye”, today they spend a long time talking to me.
This pandemic also brought some frustration, because I had booked to attend, with Marjanna, an André Rieu concert in Maastricht on the 2nd of July, which was cancelled. It’s an old dream which may still come true one day! I’m also frustrated that I can’t hug my children and wife like before. There is a certain fear, especially for my age. But I believe this thing shall pass, it won’t be long now. My advice is “Do not take risks, obey instructions, take care of yourselves and those around you, it will pass.”
Although I am retired today I still give my share when the occasion arises.