Sophia E. DiGonis (AKA ‘The Gypsy Poet’) is truly a multi-talented woman. She’s a piano teacher, composer, poet, radio personality, model and both an interviewer and reviewer for Punk Globe Magazine.
GL: Great to have you here, Sophia! Let’s start off with you telling readers about your show and your goal of taking it to Broadway.
TGP: Okay! Let’s talk–A friend of mine named Jeff Sibley is working on a show on Broadway and his manager had asked him to invite friends from across the country to join him in reading for a crowd and with that, I let him know that I am working on a script called ” Poetry from Lady Angela’s Place” which is a one-woman show about taking problems and turning them into poetry. Each poem is a character and each character gets a moment to speak their part. I have been working for years on this concept, and it’s finally coming to fruition! It’s called “Poems From Lady Angela’s Place” What it is, is each poem represents a character from this fictional bar I created based on a short story collection and it’s about a number of characters that turn their problems into poetry. Each character represents some aspect of my life that I have dealt with.
“Lady Angela’s Place” may be a fictional bar, but it’s a place of salvation and sanctuary where people can escape for a bit and turn their lives around. This one-woman show is based off of the poetry of the two books I wrote and published—plus, in other journals and online material where my work can be found.
GL: Please tell readers about your books: “Mysterium” and “A Voice Over Time.”
TGP: A Voice Over Time was first started as a project that was suggested by a friend of mine on MySpace. She caught my work on a page and she asked me, “Why aren’t you published?” And I said, “I don’t have the means to do it!” And she got info from her brother-in-law who I totally give thanks to, as he suggested Lulu.com. This was in 2007. I really enjoyed putting this book together because it made me see how much I wrote and my evolution as a person and a poet. There are pieces I dedicated to lost family members and it was a catharsis to put those works in there as a way to remember and at the same time, let go. That’s why it’s called by that title. Our thoughts and memories are an open door for those that have passed on, and those thoughts are a way, if anything, for them to look in and know they are honored. It’s about life, memories, and a sense of understanding even where I am now and where I am going. The title is also about how we can reach beyond our physical limits if we take the time to understand that, too.
Mysterium is more about tapping into the dark, and tapping into the inside. This one is about understanding the need for discomfort and stepping out of that comfort zone to find out who one really is– this includes me, too. I don’t like to be ‘boxed’ in, or pigeon-holed, (Good God, I CAN’T STAND THAT!) The point of this book is to celebrate diversity, what makes us what and who we are, some of us legends, some of us just people. Though, part of it is a continuation of A Voice Over Time, here, I explore even a little bit more of the dark side of the moon as well as finding out what keeps a star shining, literal and metaphorical. The cover design is thanks to Donny Morrow, he knew what I was looking for. Both books are in major retailers online.
GL: You’re a poet, interview host (for Punk Globe Magazine), a model, a student, a teacher and a good friend. How do you find the time to do all the things mentioned? Please elaborate and feel free to add whatever I missed as well. LOL
TGP: First of all, it’s because I am all of that at once. What it boils down to is I am me when I get up in the morning and everything I do is a PASSION. Punk Globe for me, is a huge passion because I can let loose!!!! Oh, MY GOD I love writing for Punk Globe because it is a different genre and atmosphere! It’s ruthless, bright and rebellious! It’s my dynamite and Ginger Coyote is the source of the fire! She seriously awakened my love for it and there is an energy about the magazine that I just love and with that, has awakened in other aspects of my life, too. My teaching style has changed because of it and in other aspects. I feel like a butterfly emerging from her cocoon!
As for teaching, I teach music, piano to kids and they love it. It’s a gift for life, literally. Even if they don’t end up playing the instrument, they leave with a sense of attention to details and patience. That’s always an awesome thing!
Being a student, I currently attend Texas A&M San Antonio, which is an amazing place to be. I’m discovering more of the researcher I am as well as the poetry and I am learning to incorporate them really well.
The modeling is something I do for my friends who are photographers. Three of the most amazing photographers are Gonzalo Pozo, Marisa Hernandez and Dominic Macias. They have absolutely amazing skills and I’m always happy to give them the best subject matter I can.
The Piano is an instrument that has dominated my life. I usually can’t go without practicing each day and it sets the mood for the rest of the day. Chopin is erotic and Beethoven is brilliantly moody.
On Sundays, I run my own radio show, called Gypsy Poet Radio, with my co-host Girl George, who is feisty, explosive and dynamic. Her trademark giggle just keeps the show going and she is quite entertaining, too, and the guests call in and tell amazing stories. They are what make the show happen!
This is also why I’m known as “The Gypsy Poet” because I do all of this and I am open to everything. All of this stems also from my heritage. I’m a first-gen Greek, I speak, read, write, breathe and eat Greek… (LOL!)… Because of my heritage, I taught myself to be open because I love, understand and embrace cultures of all kinds and even the Greek culture has undergone evolution for over thousands of years, going from the belief system of the Pantheon to being believers and defenders of Christ. I’m not afraid of change, because even my root culture undergoes that, too.
GL: Besides writing lyrics, you actually compose the melodies, too, correct?
TGP: YES! I can write and produce melodies very easily. In fact, my Bachelor’s degree is in musical composition which means I can write and arrange music for even a symphony orchestra if necessary.
GL: Have you composed film scores and/or soundtracks?
TGP: Yes, I have, actually! And last October, I did a film called “Manchester High: If These Lockers Could Talk” which is on IMDb. It’s a short film about high school situations and it was premiered and featured at Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas as well as the NAMI conference held in Austin, Texas. I loved the experience of film scoring and hope to do it again because that is what I wanted to do to begin with. All the other stuff just came along.
GL: What do you have on the horizon for the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014?
TGP: A LOT, actually, I think that the doors are opening for anything that can happen, first of all, this gig on Broadway is on its way to becoming something of an adventure for me and I anticipate the reaction. I think that I will keep writing and now music will be opening its doors as I am seeing that both music and poetry are getting some buzz on facebook, twitter and soundcloud and making sure that my voice gets heard and everything starts ROCKIN’! (My new favorite word!) 😉
GL: Where can readers go to connect with you and your wonderful work? ( social networking sites, etc.)
TGP: Here we go!