Archive for March, 2007

Italian Encounters in L.A.

Posted in Missing Italy on March 2, 2007 by Robin Eller

I went back to my Italian conversation class last night and as usual Wednesday nights are the nights for any type of Special Event at the Italian Cultural Center. Lucky for the students because it means…Vino!! 🙂
I was on my way up to the class when I saw one of my fellow classmates with a glass of wine in his hand. He told me that our class was mingling at the Special Event. I noticed these books on the table and realized the event was for Isabella Rossellini. There SHE was promoting her book. I arrived close the the end but soon enough to hear her speak. Now if anyone would have told me I would be standing close to Isabella Rossellini, naturally my reply would be, “Not in a million years.” One never knows who one will bump into. I also bumped into another Italian friend of mine who is a journalist for Italian films and other Italian events going on in L.A. I haven’t seen her since the Italian film festival the year before last. My Italian friend was the one who told me to go up to Isabella and say something before she went off to interview someone. I decided to walk up to Isabella, say hello and tell her that my best friend worked on her project in Rome. It wasn’t too crowded and I had the chance if I could just get around the Japanese women with their digital cameras. Finally, I have the chance to say something to Isabella and I say THIS like an idiot, “My friend worked on your even last September or October in Rome. She works for Contrasto….” THAT’S IT!! Nothing else would come to my head or should I say out of my mouth. HA!!! Maybe I got out my friend’s name but I honestly don’t remember. I was talking to her in English but all my thoughts were in Italian. How strange is that??? I couldn’t speak my own language very well. I didn’t speak Italian because Her entire speech was just in English. So I thought to myself, “Better speak in English since Isabella is speaking English.” It was a mixed group of people mostly Italians, a few Americans and even some Japanese, so I guess that’s why Isabella spoke English. ANYWAY, she was very nice and said “OH REALLY….” As if maybe she might’ve said something more??? Sure if I may have made more sense of what I was trying to say. Luckily for me a group of women jumped in front of me to get a photo of her. I should’ve thanked them because they probably saved me from looking more like an IDIOT than what I was feeling. I was laughing inside with embarrassment.
I couldn’t believe that “I” the woman who can usually find ANYTHING to say around strangers was at a loss for words. Now that’s a phone call to Guiness’s World of Records…” La donna di Filicudi e` senza parole!! Mamma Mia!! Anyway, I immediately went to the bar and grabbed a nice glass of the Chianti they were serving at the bar. They were serving wine to everyone along with champagne and appetizers. I took my wine to class with me and I talked my head off in italian AFTER the wine. THE LESSON: I should’ve had the wine BEFORE I spoke to Isabella Rossellini. 🙂

It’s not as if she is the FIRST famous person I have met. I admit she is the 1st Italian actress I have met who is known worldwide. The other Italian actress I met in Filicudi seems to be only famous in Italy. Needless to say I am kicking myself for not showing off how I do speak Italian to Isabella but at the same time…things happen for a reason. The positive thought makes me feel better. It probabl wasn’t as bad as I thought. Saro` fantastica la prossima volta.
Another positive note: The universe heard how much I was missing Italy and two Italian friends called me as well as my encounter with un’attrice italiana famousa. Beata me!!