Check out our interview with New York Film Academy Musical Theatre graduate and star of the Brazilian adaptation of Mamma Mia, Pati Amoroso, where she talks about her time at the New York Film Academy and hopes for the musical theatre scene in Sao Paolo.
Pati Amoroso: Hi! I’m Pati Amoroso from Sao Paolo, Brazil and I studied musical theatre at the New York Film Academy!
NYFA: What is your background?
PA: Well my background, I suppose, started when I was very little actually. I was 15 days old when I moved to LA and that already got me started in the American culture. Then we moved to New Jersey where we were like only forty, forty-five minutes from New York so every weekend my parents would take me and my brother to see Broadway shows and I just fell in love with everything. I was so little and just listening to the music and the energy just got me hooked.
What drew me to New York Film Academy was the amount of resources that you guys have here. Cameras, lights, and especially your teachers. We didn’t at that time, have that many resources in Brazil so I just knew that if I wanted to pursue this dream, I would have to come to New York Film Academy.
New York Film Academy helped me meet other people from other countries, which was amazing to know that there are so many interesting people that I never met before with different cultures and different ideas and that helped me get settled in this city.
NYFA: Is it common for Brazilians that are interested in storytelling to come to the states to study at places like the New York Film Academy?
PA: Yeah, Brazilians are very drawn to New York. Well, like everybody else in the whole wide world cuz it’s like if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere. So, I feel like since the start, every Brazilian wants to have the dream of studying here. So I feel pretty confident that many Brazilians want to come here.
NYFA: Has the arts and entertainment industry in Brazil changed since more people have come to the United States to study?
PA: Yeah, Brazil has changed a lot now. More or less eleven or twelve years ago the musical theatre industry began in Brazil and now it’ become something…I’d say it’s a mini Broadway in a way. Because now we have so much more musical theatre there, everything’s growing. I’d say soon enough that, well, Sao Paolo or Rio could turn into a New York City.
NYFA: What lessons did you learn at New York Film Academy that you still find yourself applying to your career and practice as an artist?
PA: The New York Film Academy has taught me so many things that I take on till day. I like condensing it to one thing is basically confidence, confidence in your craft. All the teachers made me feel confident about myself and they rooted me on to becoming what I am today and that’s what I try to keep on using for my career.
NYFA: Mamma Mia is one of the most influential musicals of the past fifteen yrs. Were you a fan before joining the cast? Has you seen the show before?
PA: It was a great honor to become a part of Mamma Mia. I was shocked actually. But I had never seen the actual show before. I did watch the movie with Meryl Streep and—she’s my idol—so when I got cast I held myself from going to the Broadway show because I wanted to make Sophie my own, but I did watch the show after we started. Like, we had a week break so I came to New York and I watched the show, but it was amazing.
NYFA: What was it like to join the touring cast?
PA: Being part of the company of Mamma Mia was amazing. The people, everybody involved in the project was so enthusiastic about it, and confident that it was going to turn into something great.
Well, I wanted to make Sophie a type of Brazilian Sophie in a way. You can tell that American acting is very different from Brazilian acting. You can compare soap operas with Law and Order or something. So I wanted to show that. I wanted to show that even though the script is British, you can make the characters different even though they have the same lines.
Now that I did Mamma Mia, people see me as a professional, whereas before they didn’t really know who I was.
NYFA: What’s been the most useful important tool you’ve encountered using and that you would suggest to people starting a career in musical theatre?
PA: I would tell everyone who wants to be in musical theatre to be really nice to people. Because you don’t know who is going to help you out in getting roles or auditions and it’s not worth being mean. So, confidence, like I said before, and focus on your studies and your own talent and don’t be mean. [laughs]
In the next ten years I hope to be working as an actress and respected for my craft and admired. [laughs]
NYFA: Do you have any other dreams? Anything else that you’d like to do?
PA: I would love to build a theatre in Sao Paolo. I want to feed the culture in Brazil. I want to be a part of this growing genre [laughs].
I advise every actor to study, to continue studying and work on your craft. No actor is completely ready. Everybody can learn a little bit more.
Please show Pati some social media love by following her on Youtube.