Behind the scenes of A Story about Love, the adventure created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of my Company, Elisa Mocci Events, but above all an opportunity, courageously desired, to tell my own story.
My journey into the world of Wedding and Events was born leaving the Theater 10 years ago, and now I wanted to come back, to pay homage and say thank you. In the only way I know: through words, colors, music, flowers, through what was my world, before arriving here, being a Wedding Planner & Designer: the Theater and its magic.
If me and my team (which I will never thank enough) can do this, it is because of the loneliness I felt in the past, which I decided one day to turn into beauty.
“A Story about Love”, which has just ended in Nov. 2018, was an International Masterclass in Event & Theater Production with 42 wonderful students, 4 distinguished international teachers and a theatrical production in which I gave every part of me, realizing a dream. Telling a story, personal but can be connected to all of BEAUTY, FREEDOM, TRUTH AND LOVE.
From today, and thanks to the proceeds of the tickets sold for the Gala, it is a Charity Project that will bring this Script in high schools, to raise awareness of the issue of bullying and to give theatrical scholarships to the most deserving people.
Have a wonderful journey!
At the feet of the famous Teatro San Carlo, we welcome all the participants with a warm and informal welcome party to A Story about Love in Scaturchio Opera Cafè, an iconic venue in the center of Naples.
A beautiful floral arrangement, created by Espedito Rusciano, works as the background of the photographs of the guests, who are starting to get to know each other. Raffaele Maiello and Gisena Morra, our local planners, introduces us and welcomes us to Naples, where we will spend the next four, extraordinarily intense, days.
Ph. Welcome Dinner – Gianni di Natale
A Story about Love began, revealing the wonders that it will contains during the first day of International Masterclass.
Together with me, divideing this prestigious task in front of 42 students and colleagues, David Beahm, Philippa Craddock and Marie De Vera (The Style Co) inspired and shared their experiences and emotions.
The greatest thrill was being able to count on the support of these three extraordinary, as well as professionals, people. When I decided to go down this path – which I knew would be a huge challenge – I wanted to have people who had the same approach to this work and life by my side: the desire to share, the humility of knowing how to listen, the undisputed professionalism and the courage of being able to talk about oneself without filters.
I wanted to give my students the same sensations that I had felt myself letting myself be guided and inspired by them during some key moments of my career. Each of them, David, Philippa, Marie, were fundamental. And there was no greater satisfaction than seeing the same spark grow in the astonished eyes of those in front of me.
Do what makes you feel alive. Happy. Proud. And do it in an unique way: YOUR way! The Team is the Key for extraordinaire events. – Elisa Mocci
Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it is about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place. And Breathe. – David Beahm
Be KIND, be grateful. And say no (when it’s time to say no) – Philippa Craddock
Show people endless possibilities. Think differently, and challenge the norm. – Marie de Vera
A journey in the themes of BEAUTY – FREEDOM – TRUTH – LOVE is what I asked my international guests, who were able to gather exceptional ideas from these universal themes, bringing them back to the experience of every creative entrepreneur: Wedding Planners, Designers, Florists or Artists, we all live in the balance between light and shadow, between the pure to say no to a customer and the difficulty in balancing our lives and the pursuit of our personal, happiness. I got excited when I saw my Team crying embraced while watching the video of one of our wedding in an archaeological site, remember that – beyond the effort – the indelible memories remain.
Another wonderful moment for me was when – going out for lunch – we stopped at the Piazza del Plebiscito for a group photo, and I saw how many people we were (70, including my staff and partners) I realizeing how extraordinary it the event and message we were building together was.
Ph. Day 1 – Gianni di Natale
The thrill of entering the theater and discovering the place that will be in for the next 2 days. The students are finding themselves unexpectedly on stage, and the emotions is great. We await Philippa Craddock, the most acclaimed flower designer in the UK (after the Royal Wedding of Meghan & Harry, a true star), which introduces the floral part that we will create together with her team and the precious support of Espedito Rusciano Flowers.
I asked Philippa and her team to help me create a dream world of flowers, a world in which the characters of my Script – the show I wrote for the dinner show the next day – could live, dream and interact : a bohemian Mill as Home, a canopy representing “Million Dreams”, flowers and colors growing from the floor… a Piano, in the middle of the room, and at the centre of a life. Loved and hated, like the musician who plays it, like the music, at some point in my life.
Busy and dreamy, we stop to taste an extraordinary coffee at the mocha Bar of Hmc Coffee, to then resume the work.
Together with Raffaele and Gisena, the Elisa Mocci Events team continues the preparations for the Design set: the Rose and Blunotte (light & sound) starts to set up the stage, the Foyer and the corners of the Australian designer Marie de Vera .
It will be a long, long day, waiting for the arrival of Élan Artists who, surprisingly, will introduce the participants to the Masterclass at the choreography of the Show final. An explosion of fun, insecurities and final enthusiasm. “THIS IS ME” – from The Greatest Showman, is the song I chose to close the Show, the only detail known by the students. An ode to diversity, inclusion, not being afraid of proving that we are what we are.
Are you ready to get on stage? We are!
Ph. Day 2 – Gianni di Natale | Luigi Orrù
What few people know, are the BEHIND THE SCENES of this second day. That the night before (and, worse, the one before that would have marked me forever) we had not slept. Silvia had been in the room no more than two hours. The setting up of the Theater from 6 am, the prayers to be able to enter even an hour before – from the fear of not making it.
The heart in my throat as we looked into each other’s eyes and we understood, with my team and with the Local Planners, that this yes, that was a big story. The thought – constant – of having to give the maximum for my students, while I alone had the knowledge of the whole “bandwagon” that that event was brought back, and that from that moment would pass another 18 hours (and 50 artists in arrival) and that I had to hold on.
And then the arrival of Philippa Craddock and her wonderful Team. The amazement of the students. Flowers, colors, laughter with Silvia Mocci and Marie Cruz-de Vera with cardboard horses, the doubts of Elisa Congiu and the certainties of Chiara Maestri that despite fever did not give up, the humanity of David Beahm who embraced me and reminds me to breathe (“be proud”) and the fatigue of the partners who ran against the clock. A video with Alberto D’Aria and a coffee, to hold on and continue together to create BEAUTY.
The walls with velvet (that HAD to be velvet at all costs), the Antonio’s enthused by Marie who would have moved to Australia TOMORROW, the cutters and scissors that were going fast. People, unknown until yesterday, embracing and crying and creating wonderful little worlds. This all thanks to me. Then I took Elisabetta Delogu’s clothes that I had hidden behind the scenes, and I knew that no, I could not hide anything from those people who were there for me, and also for themselves. I had to tell every single choice, every embroidery in this story, every emotion that had brought me there. And they would understand.
This is A Story about Love.
The longest night of all time, the one before the show. The night where all the knots needs to be combed out, where hopes are mixed with fatigue, where 10 months spent writing a show finally become real, where every technical question must be resolved or overcome: the terrible Tech Night!
One night I did not look forward to, and that I feared more than any other. Would the swing hold up? Would the engine work? Would the orchestra have arranged the songs as I imagined? Will the piano, in the center of the room, have been a good idea? I knew that mixing event production with a real theatrical production was a risky choice, marvelous and crazy and I did not imagine how much, until that evening.
And despite the tiredness, the fear, the nervousness and the fatigue, it was one of the most beautiful nights of my life.
Ph. Tech night – Luigi Orrù
Let’s go through the images of Gianni Di Natale on the third and final day of Masterclass in event design and theater production “A Story about Love”. The most demanding and hardest one. We are almost there!
In under 10 hours, every detail must be in place and ready when the doors of the theater opens and accommodate the 250 guests who will be present at the Charity Dinner Show.
The pressure starts to reveal it self, and for this reason I decided to surprise my students with opening the day with a half hour of meditation, on the stage, led by the Maestro Flower and Event Designer David Beahm.
Through wise words and valuable advice, we breathed together and catalyzed the energy to the right direction. On the stage, the students found a gift signed by Marcello Pane Gioelli and conceived together with Raffaele Maiello, our precious Local Planner.
The “crooked nail”, a lucky symbol for the actors (it is said that, for the artists, finding it on stage is synonymous with great success of the Show!), blends with the Neapolitan scacciaguai cornetto. We are getting closer to the show … and a bit of luck does not hurt!
In a surreal, almost mystical atmosphere, sweet music accompanies David’s deep and inspiring words.
Among the final touches to the flowers, final races to finish the preparations of BEAUTY – FREEDOM – TRUTH – LOVE by The Style Co. & Silvia Mocci in the hall and in the foyer (a wonderful setting, curated by NOU Design Studio to retrace the graphic identity created by them and the whole concept behind the event, through images, graphics, drawings and illustrations that have covered all the entrance of the Teatro Sannazaro), we finally arrive to the end of this day.
And as if by magic, the #Diormakeup station (with the famous make up artist Carmine Russo) appears to give a “touch of magic” to the team. But … can you believe? Dior thought to pay homage to all the guests of the Gala Dinner Show with surprise gift bags!
The students ran to the Hotel to put on the Gala dress, while in the theater we stay with the artists for the last rehearsals. Meanwhile, Zuzu Birkhof set up galactic equipment for the Group Picture (see it here!) While I was wondering “will we ever do it in time?” and hundreds of guests already began to huddle outside the theater. At that moment I remember the heartbeat like never before.
Only then did I realize how much organizing events for other people is easier than making something for themselves. For the first time, I could not be in control at that moment. I was not physically at the door, but in a dressing room. Only the staff of the event, my Team and Valentina Piccabianchi in the direction of the Catering could have the pulse of the situation. And I will never thank Valentina enough (and Dario) because – in that moment of madness – she looked at me in the eyes saying “it’s all right, from this moment, I’ll take care of it … You GO!” And show your message to the world!”.
A “shit! Shit! Shit!” (Merda! Merda! Merda! an Italian wish obligatory with all the artists) then the doors open and … the BIG SHOW of A Story about LOVE starts now…