What is the best thing that I love about my work? It makes me feel free. My first sculpture professor was a precocious young man who told me “You can do anything you want.” I knew one day I would understand what he meant. When I told my husband that I had figured out how to make my characters float in outer space in our livingroom, I finally understood what my teacher was talking about.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? I have had a mental illness since I was child that frequently interferes with my emotional and intellectual processes. Beginning when I was 19, it was a nearly always an obstacle to my creativity. I made it my number one goal to achieve a state of mind in which I could be creative whenever I wanted to be. That is perfect happiness.
What is my greatest fear? My greatest fear is running out of creativity. I know that sounds ridiculous. But I have had that fear ever since I knew I was an artist in childhood.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I make work out of everything, even relaxing.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? Performers, filmmakers and or transmedia artists: Mohammed Abd Alwasi; BK; Isabel Chiara; Camille Escudero; Clara Feder; Francesca Fini; Nicola Fornoni; Danny Germansen; Rahman Hak Hagir; Francesca Lolli; Marcantonio Lunardi; Bill Millett; Roland Quelven. There are more.
What is my greatest extravagance? The time I spend just thinking stuff up.
On what occasion would I lie? Sometimes as grownups we have to let another person think s/he’s smarter than we are in order to keep the peace.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Cleaning up afterwards.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? My project, The Spinster (2013), is about a secretary who is obsessed with Pontormo and drawing in the Classical style. Rehearsing involved practicing drawing on camera. Drawing gave me inner peace and I miss doing it every day.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I wish I could learn to relax.
What is my greatest achievement in work? I have become a halfway decent actor.
Where would I most like to live? Las Vegas, Nevada. I love the desert – I’m sure I was a cactus in another life.
What is my most treasured possession? A Travis Somerville painting that I bought at a fundraiser.
What is my most marked characteristic? I am a character actor.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Sue Bierman Park, also known as Ferry Park.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Il Borgo in Hayes Valley.
What books influenced my life and how? The art books in the public libraries of towns where I’ve lived were my real education.
Who are my favorite writers? Samuel Beckett.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Every recording ever made of the mad scene in Lucia di Lammermoor.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Leopold Bloom in Ulysses. What a brave soul to show up for his unappreciated life every day.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? The women (grandmothers, aunts, moms, sisters, cousins, nieces) in my extended family. They are all extraordinary.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? A Separation
What role plays art in my life and work? My life has been structured around being able to make art my entire adult life. I have a greenscreen studio in my kitchen and there are permanent fixtures for hanging backdrops in the livingroom. The rest of the living space is dominated by video equipment, props, set pieces for works in process, light stands, art supplies, a costume shop, wigs, makeup, rolls and rolls of fabric and paper – it’s a really great playhouse but not much of an apartment.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017? My husband and I have been planning a science fiction movie for several years.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017? Monira Al Qadiri
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD SAY THAT TO ME, a multimedia performance that I’m developing for streaming live.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017? Next up for me is online at: The Democracy Scrabble Project; The Unstitute.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion never retires because it is self-pollinating and perennial.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Isabel Chiara; Gwendolyn Audrey Foster (look for her on Vimeo); Maria Korporal; Svonica/Sonia Laura; Francesca Lolli; Rika Ohara; RedBind (Barbara Friedman and Gilivanka Kedzior); Eija Temiseva. There are more!
How can you contact me?
My favorite artist playground is Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/sylviatoyindustries/
My current major project in progress, CREATION: https://youtu.be/64sZ46bK0sw
My author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/St.-Louis-Nena-Sylvia-Toy/e/B06XZ84MV4/