By André Lacerda / Contributor
My name is André, and I am a junior from graduating in May 2022 with a major in Communications and a double minor in Philosophy and Creative Design. I have recently started the 398 Internship Course of Spring 2021. I had been really looking forward to this internship because the film and media industry is what I am passionate about and want to work in. Thankfully, through JCU I was able to do my internship at OK Productions LLC with TV Ornella Fado and her food & culture TV show, Brindiamo! This program is based in NYC and it is aired on NYC-TV (Channel 25), Amazon Prime, and will soon be on TUBI TV. Ornella Fado recreates Italy in the United States by going to authentic restaurants and hosting events such as galas and parties, often featuring famous artists and chefs.
As a television hostess and known in the United States as the “Made in Italy” representative, Ornella is experienced and dedicated to her craft. She has been acting and dancing since she was 17. She has worked with and performed for many Italian shows and programs, like Fantastico 6 and Cinema Che Follia on RAI TV. Today, she is the founder of OK Productions LLC and the hostess and CEO of the program Brindiamo! The show mainly features food, chefs, and artists, but it is also a mix of fashion, culture, and stars altogether. Ornella has even been a guest speaker at Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the Mayor of the City of New York, as she was acquainted with former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg.
I am currently interning in Ornella’s company, and will continue until the end of the semester together with two other JCU students, Benedetta and Beatrice. In the short time of my internship so far, I have performed tasks such as interviewing, communicating with companies and agencies for a possible collaboration and working with Photoshop. I will soon start to produce and edit videos too. I am sure I may have not performed all the different tasks yet, but I am looking forward to what is to come and to my future challenges. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to get a step closer to my dreams.
A Chat with Ornella Fado
I first met Ornella during a Zoom call and we have been in contact since my first interview. She is more than a hostess, TV star and communicator, as she is also someone who is dedicated enough to make sacrifices in order to achieve her dreams. Ornella has inspired me in terms of doing things you would not necessarily want to in order reach a higher place, or in terms of dedicating both time and effort in order obtain the best possible results. Therefore, I enjoyed interviewing her.
When were you certain you wanted to be a TV hostess?
After an amazing experience in Italy on the GBR, the first private TV station for the Lazio region. I was invited to be a ballet dancer for the Rome Opera. After that, I won a scholarship for this dance school in Rome, and I also did an audition for Fantastico 6, the Saturday night dance show. We were doing everything, practically on TV 24 hours a day. That’s how I realized how much I liked being a TV host, I love it really. My passion is entertainment.
Your TV/media career started when you were 17…how has this made you who you are today?
I was even younger, I started dancing at a very early age. I think everybody should do show business. It shows discipline. I am a very focused person, I can work 24 hours a day, sleep and still think of everything I have to do. I’m really a 360-degree artist, I push myself to do the best I can. When I had the opportunity to audition for musicals, I said to myself that I could do it. I have seen it with my own eyes, people with talent but no discipline that don’t go anywhere, and it’s sad. You need to have that drive.
What was your favorite event at ‘Brindiamo!’, the show you host?
Until I created it, there were no Italian shows talking about Italian culture and tradition in the United States. I always wanted to mix my Italian culture with my life, so basically starting the show was my favorite part, and that was my passion. I loved creating events, giving back to the community, and so we created AMO Houston after the tragic hurricane in Texas. I love sharing and bringing people together, no matter their backgrounds. We have an accent; we are not American. You can only learn by doing, that’s my only philosophy. Do what you love.
What is your all-time favorite food?
Spaghetti alle Vongole! I can make it, the only problem is here in America they don’t have all the same ingredients, but in Italy it is the best. I love all seafood, shrimp, fish, it is all so good.
Would you say you are more influenced by American or Italian culture and traditions?
Personally, I am Italian at heart, but my show-business side is American, I feel like an American hostess. I enjoy doing me, being me, speaking with my accent… I wouldn’t be anyone else. In this way I feel like an American. Networking, connecting and helping each other is more than a skill. After arriving in New York, I met a musician through my husband who offered me a job on Broadway, it happened so fast! In Italy NOBODY was going to give you a job like this. I know what I want to do, if people want to watch me then they will watch me. Now with my new Samsung TV Plus collaboration, I am in contact with everyone. I promote you, you promote me. That’s how I think, that is my spirit.
To find out more about OK Productions LLC and Ornella Fado click below.
Watch Brindiamo! clips on YouTube