#17 Giuseppe Bausilio

Interview with Giuseppe Bausilio

Giuseppe Bausilio is famously known as a former Billy lead on the musical, Billy Elliot on Broadway. Currently he is learning Utai, a Noh chanting recitation, and Komai, a dancing part of Kyogen, under a Noh master, Kansuke. As a famous artist, as a teenager boy, what kind of person is he? We asked about his future, and up-coming concert on February 26th, as well as his special interest toward Japan.

– When did you start going in to your career as an artist?

Giuseppe:

My mother and father were both dancers and my brother is also. My whole family except for my sister was dancers, so it was natural for me to be a dancer as well. I took it seriously and started dancing when I was eight years old. When I was at the final of a ballet competition, Youth America Grandpre, in New York City, I had my first chance to play a role of Billy Elliot, which I acted for two years.

–Please let us know about a role of Billy Elliot and what you got from it.

Giuseppe:

For the very first time I acted as a Billy Elliot, I was broke down and crying in the dressing room because I was scared to go on a stage as Billy. But once I started acting on the stage that was really fun. I was a totally different creature when I acted as Billy. When I got nervous, I called my mother for the first two or three months, and she was a very great mother to cheer me up.

Every single show was so memorable and different from each other, so it is hard to pick the most memorable thing. But one thing I remember the most dramatically is that I loved flying since I was a little boy. Probably my favorite part of the show was the very first and the very end when I was coming out of the stage door and when bowed to the standing ovation. Those were the most amazing moments of the show. Directors and other stuff did amazing jobs on each stage, and without their great jobs, I was not able to act a role of Billy so naturally and make the audience feel as if they were a part of the stage, as if he/she were Billy. Even after “Billy Elliot” was over, that made not much difference for me. I kept myself busy with ballet and other acting or singing classes. Therefore I didn’t have much time to look back on, and I was ready to the next stages.

– How do you think about Japanese culture?

Giuseppe:

I first met Kansuke-san (a Noh and Kyogen master) at the presentation of the movie, “Finding Billy.” Right after he mentioned about Japanese culture, he caught my attention immediately, because I was interested in Japanese culture since I was little. Like other kids, I always wanted to be a Ninja or Samurai. I saw the movie, “The Last Samurai,” and it just blew my mind right away. I got interested in Kyogen, because of Kensuke-san, so I went to the lesson next day. I found it very interesting because it was so simple, clean, and delicate. And also wearing Kimono made me feel so powerful and strong, even though I don’t know why. It makes me feel my present: “I am here.” Just like other kinds of dance, it is also very important for Japanese traditional dance to stand up straight from the core. So I like the Hakama, because it has a little wooden piece on the back which presses and makes your back nice and straight. As I take each lesson, I felt more knowledgeable because I got more and more interested in Japane