I've been a public radio host, late night correspondent on Comedy Central Italy, voice actor in the Italian dub of Japanese anime, digital art director for a newspaper, improv and writing teacher. I founded 4 companies, gathered a few million views with satire videos, and studied Industrial Design before actually pursuing a degree in Comedy Studies. I produce most of my work—even when commissioned by broadcast networks. I have a hard time when people ask me who or what I am, so I use Aleksandar Hemon's answer: "I'm complicated".
"When asked 'What are you?' I am often tempted to answer proudly: I'm a writer. Yet I seldom do, because it is not only pretentiously silly but also inaccurate—I feel I am a writer only at the time of writing. So I say I am complicated."
- 1986: Born in Rome, Italy.
- 1997: First PC: Pentium MMX 266 MHz. Learning Visual Basic.
- 1998: Got online convincing my parents to buy a U.S. Robotics 56K V90 modem (they were not sure what it was for).
- 1999: Started learning HTML, CSS. And English (not enough resources in Italian).
- 2001: Started learning Macromedia Fireworks & Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, Discreet 3dsmax.
- 2002: First coming out.
- 2004: First Mac. Founded print and web design company 'Ensemble'.
- 2005: Started college, Industrial Design and Architecture.
- 2007: Veered towards humanities. Transfer to Contemporary Literature.
- 2008: Voice actor for Japanese anime in Italian (i.e. Neon Genesis, Code Geass, Gundam).
- 2009: First 1M+ views for independent satire video. Dropped out of college, hired full time as videographer by national newspaper.
- 2010: Started working in public radio as show producer and content creator.
- 2011: Bombed on stage real bad. Decided to travel to the US alone and attend The Second City.
- 2012: Digital Art Director for newspaper "Pubblico". Prototyped UX and UI of iOS apps. Deployed unified style guidelines for print, web, and mobile.
- 2013: Late night senior correspondent on Comedy Central Italy. Founded 'Improv Italia'.
- 2015: Moved to Chicago. Back to college in the US.
- 2016: First solo hosting on public radio in Italy, from Chicago. Graduated iO Theater.
- 2017: Graduated college, BA in Comedy Studies at Columbia. Hosted first solo Italian TV show for Discovery Networks Int'l, from Chicago.
- 2018: Founded The Hoomanist and Hoomane, LLC.
A sketch-art portrait of me that a stranger made while I was relaxing near the lake. I turned it into scalable vector graphics.
I make websites, I write my own things, I record and shoot audio and video, I create motion graphics. I make what I need, I use what I make.
This website is based on a self-hosted instance of Ghost. Every article is written and formatted using Markdown, and it adheres to most of the principles of IndieWeb. Each page includes valid h-card and h-entry classes with microformats2.
Metaphorically speaking, a person's ideas must be the building he lives in - otherwise there is something terribly wrong. — Søren Kierkegaard
After a degree in Comedy Studies and years of teaching and learning improvisation from The Second City and the iO Theater, I realized that a simple principle, "Yes, And", can drastically improve my everyday life, because:
- My (our) brain is hard-wired to say "No" to new ideas by default. That's a defensive mechanism that leads to frustration.
- You can train your brain to say "Yes" by default. Mostly by learning to listen and embracing other people's ideas.
- You should actively follow "Yes" with "And": it's your own contribution to keep building on top of the original idea.
- You can't force people to do what you want.
- You can only help them to become what they need to become.
- Saying "Yes, But..." is just like saying "No" (the ego weaponizes any tricky semantics against your self).
- My limit to saying "Yes" is physical or psychological damage to me or other human beings.
- Whenever I say "No", I try to be kind, I try to have a good reason, and I try to immediately offer a constructive alternative.
- Sometimes "No" means "Yes". Sometimes it's even more complicated than that.
- And, in the end: "If you're not having fun, you are the asshole." —Susan Messing
Improv, like zazen, is not a goal but a process to learn how to respect more my guts and intuition. I am really bad at it, and that's exactly why I need constant practice. Over the abused word "mindfulness", I use "practice". We constantly improvise, and we constantly need to pay attention to what's happening. That never ends, and that's why I consider it a practice.
Part of my own practice is to share conversations through The Hoomanist: like the ones with The Second City legend David Pasquesi and SNL's Tim Kazurinsky—or the founder of the iO Theater, Charna Halpern. I also had a chat with Kelly Leonard and Anne Libera: both of them work with the University of Chicago to conduct behavioral science studies connected to improvisational techniques. Anne is also a founder of the first ever Comedy Studies higher education program in the US with Columbia College Chicago.
Simplicity Over Minimalism
I find the idea of simplicity more interesting than minimalism. That's because the representation of complex ideas can't always be minimalistic, while it needs to be simple.
I am convinced that, in representing comples ideas, simplicity deserves far more celebration than the search for minimalism for the sake of doing it. That's why this website is just white text and vectors on a black background, while still using custom fonts to achieve better readability. To "Less is more", I prefer this quote from Einstein:
"Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler."
If you feel that my work is valuable and useful, please support me by one of these channels. Part of my path is being an independent creator. Only with your help I can keep creating indefinitely.
You can become a supporting member of The Hoomanist for as little as $1/mo. Visit now https://hooman.ist/support.
Hemon, Aleksandar. The Book of my Lives. https://www.worldcat.org/title/book-of-my-lives/oclc/849248436. ↩︎