Date of Birth: 6th May, 1978
Star Sign: Taurus
Media-related occupation: Actor
Lawrence Buontempo has a vast experience in entertaining both local and foreign audiences. Also experienced as a scriptwriter, producer and performer within an animation team, he had achieved a Distinction in the four-year course in T.V. Drama under the supervision of Mark Doneo.
Can you recall the first time you performed in front of a camera or an audience?
That’s quite an adventure down memory lane. When I was in my teens back in the early 90s, I used to be part of the first B’Kara Scout Group, and we’d organise several camps during the summer months. During these, we’d come up with various performance sketches to entertain our guests, parents and leaders alike. These sketches were mostly enacted jokes, the sort you’d see on Italian TV. It was then, after experiencing our audience’s hysterical reaction, that I got the performance bug. It gave me confidence in my hidden ability to make fun of any situation, but mostly to make fun of myself.
Is there any particular production you’re aiming to collaborate with?
I’m always open to collaboration, always open to try new things. Many fellow actors, producers and even newcomers come up with these really interesting projects for me to collaborate in. But what I’m really aiming for is to be given an opportunity to work on a major foreign production. It would mean the world to me, and I’d most certainly give it my best shot. The current project I’m working on, helmed by Mark Doneo and Keith Albert Tedesco, is surely the next best thing to what I’m after. Exciting times ahead for sure!
If any of my readers were interested in getting into acting, what would you recommend they’d start with?
I’d tell them to just go for it. It can help form oneself into a better person. It’ll test them in their collaborative abilities. It’ll challenge them to become and experience so many different personalities that will enrich their character. It’ll help them venture beyond their comfort zone and discover many facts of life. I’d tell them to believe in their capabilities and seek the best workshops around. Enrolling in one of the many acting schools would certainly help. But mostly, I’d tell them to start observing everything around them.
Any behind-the-scenes anecdotes you could share with us?
There was that one time when I was performing Reġa’ Sebaħ at L-Istitut Kattoliku back in 1999 with Teatru Rjal. It was quite a thrilling experience when you take into account that I was still a newcomer, and I could get away with mingling with the audience whilst performing the role of the Narrator… or so my director had me think! Brian Muscat was directing the musical produced by Pawlu Testa, and they had this brilliant idea to have me play the Narrator and throw me into the lion’s den portraying a Bible-toting fanatic, charging at our audience, making fun of them and pitying their hypocritical behaviour, quoting directly from the Book of Life. If they had spears, knives, batons and stones they would’ve charged at me like there’s no tomorrow… but then I went on stage and starting singing the opening song. We had gotten an epic reaction.
Do you feel you have enough space and opportunities to spread your artistic wings in Malta?
With the right connections and right mindset, I’d dare say that Malta has got it all. I wouldn’t necessarily venture into the otherworldly performances of the new-age style of drama, but if you put your mind into it, there’s enough space and opportunities come by aplenty. Malta’s so rich and diverse when it comes to its artistic sector that more often than not, we come across foreign talents scouting and producing their projects right here on our soil. You just need to be present and aware that it’s happening and seek to be part of it.