Q&A with Pedro Simoni Talavera

9 September 2014 | Journal


Originally from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, Pedro is a trained concert violinist who has been playing the strings for 17 years. He was a member of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia, and the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Latin American Development Bank (CAF). As a classical musician, Pedro has performed in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru. In 2005, he moved to France in a turn from music to literature, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in French Literature, at Paris-3 Sorbonne Nouvelle University. After his studies, Pedro took on yet another art form – theatre – by joining La Boutonnière Theatre’s laboratory, helmed by Habib Naghmouchin. Prior to embarking on his training at ITI, he joined The Body’s Journey, a project of training, research and devising directed by ITI faculty member, Leela Alaniz, in Paris.


Q: Tell us about your journey from music to theatre.

I’ve played the violin since I was a child. I think the main reason why I started acting was because I missed being on stage; I missed being creative and being able to share something with people, with the audience.

I studied literature when I was in Paris, but I got tired of all the theories and the analytical work. So I decided to give myself a chance to create again, that’s how I came to start acting four years ago.

Q: And your physical journey: how did you come to travel the miles from Bolivia, to France, to Singapore?

I was studying literature in Paris when I decided to stop and start acting. At the beginning I didn’t know anything about what theatre could be, or at least, I had only a very vague idea. During the first months I realised that being on stage just psychologically engaged didn’t work for me. So I looked for different approaches. The work at La Boutonniere involved anthropological work, physical work and that opened my eyes on the possibilities of theatre. Then, when I heard about the school through an email from Leela Alaniz’s company, Pas de Dieux, I was hooked by the programme. I told myself: this is what I want to do.

Q: How has ITI shaped your identity as an actor?

ITI gave me basic but critical things – the time and space to train every day from morning to night, a space that is open without boundaries. This is the biggest and simplest gift I can take from ITI. It allows me to develop not only as a student, but as an actor and a human being.

Q: What has been most rewarding that you will take away from your training here?

The sense of freedom, engagement, yet having fun. And the sense of respect and openness to the people you are working with. Yes, the love for what I do and why I do it.

Q: What has been most exciting in this – your graduation year?

That we are going to perform three plays! I have performed as a violinist, but never as an actor who has acted in a full-length play. It means a lot to me.

Q: Any words for those out there who you think should come to ITI?

There are many ways to become a good actor. ITI is one of those ways – and if you do come, be open, trust and enjoy!