Meet Daniela Cervetti. She is the model and muse behind the fictional character, Pillar Devereaux, the assassin/oral hygienist in Allen Crowley’s new science fiction novel , Mars is for Misfits.
No one knows how to hang out quite like Daniela Cervetti. She is one of the many interesting people that author Allen Crowley and artist and Lux Blox inventor, Mike Acerra, have asked to serve as models and inspirational “muses” in the creation of Mars is for Misfits, a science fiction novel set on Mars in 2045.
|“Mars is for Misfits was initially conceived as an illustrated novel, so early on we started looking for interesting people either to be the face of or actually inspire the creation of various characters in the story. When I started reading some of Daniela’s writings for Nerve.com, and then seeing her various posts on social media, I realized I had our assassin. She just has that glint in her eye and mischievous smile I thought was a perfect fusion of devilishness and danger. Devereaux.”|
Artist and Collaborator
Mars is for Misfits
Daniela Cervetti is a Playwright, Actor, Licensed Massage Therapist and self-proclaimed “city rat” born in Chicago, Illinois and raised a few miles outside of NYC in Cliffside Park, NJ. She comes from a family of cooks, professors, healthcare professionals, and interdisciplinary artists & performers (including a mother who sang Jazz for 25 years and a father who starred in the original stage production of “Grease”).
Daniela with her mom and dad, who both had show business experience.
She dabbled in acting as a kid, a world which she reentered three years ago at age 37, having since appeared in a handful of Indie & Student films and “A Sketch of New York”, which (pre-pandemic) was performed regularly in Midtown Manhattan’s iconic Producer’s Club. Last year, she wrote and produced her first full length stage play, “Betty & Bogie”, which premiered in NY Winterfest 2019, an annual theatre festival taking place in Chelsea, Manhattan’s Hudson Guild Theatre. She also wrote, cast, directed, sound & set designed, and played the co-lead in this production.
She is currently enrolled in her local college’s Technical Theatre Production program, and she is also working on the “Betty & Bogie” sequel. We caught up with her last Monday as she was leaving for work.
Daniela, what do you think about being the model and the muse for a character in a novel based on a toy? Isn’t it weird?
First of all, nothing’s weird to me! To answer your question, it was unexpected and I love it! I find the idea that my face and personality can influence the development of a character and storyline to be pretty exhilarating. (And should you ever add audio somewhere in the evolution of Mars is For Misfits, I’ll be here to give Pillar a voice!)
How did you come to know Mike Acerra and get involved with this project?
Mike and I haven’t met in person, yet, but we’ve been connected on Facebook for the past few years. As it turns out, he’s an old college classmate of my cousin Kymberly Harris (the muse for Daria Kazemi, the captain of the spaceship Proteus).
You put together your play Betty and Bogie, an entire theatre production that you wrote, cast, directed, sound & set designed, and played the co-lead in a very short period of time. How did you do that? Did you go to school for the skills needed to do that?
I developed these skills on the fly (a mix of intensive research, brainstorming, and intuition). I pulled the entire production together in a period of 6 months. I'm currently working on a sequel, which I hope to eventually produce and show, back to back, with the original.
Mike Acerra, one of the co-creators of the Mars is for Misfits world, says that it was your creativity and awesome attitude that inspired him to help create your character, Pillar Devereuax, the assassin. What advice do you have for kids in general, particularly those want to pursue their creativity?
My advice has more to do with mindset and attitude than anything else, and it probably applies just as well to adults as it does to children.
- Accept that your art won’t be understood and appreciated by everyone! This is true for artists and creators of all kinds. You’ll build a following of devoted fans, devoted critics, and somewhere in the middle, those who won’t so much as bat an eyelash. Don’t let the naysayers kill your buzz. Art is subjective. If you believe in your work, it will catch on in the right circles.
- If you’re feeling impatient or undisciplined, start small by setting aside as little as 5-15 minutes of creative time per day. By transferring an idea from your head onto paper (or your medium of choice), you’re making your idea a *real* thing which must be tended to. In effect, you’re coaxing it out of the shadows. By making it real, you’re much more likely to return to, and expand on it later. Trust me when I say that discipline becomes addictive. The exhilaration and relief that comes from setting & completing these goals is something you’ll refuse to live without.
“Don’t let the naysayers kill your buzz. Art is subjective. If you believe in your work, it will catch on in the right circles.”
- Believe me when I tell you that everything is worth writing down, because you never know what you might use later. Some time around 2016 (before I even knew I’d be writing a play)I got back into the habit of daily journaling- documenting every stray thought, phrase, and observation that entered my mind. “There’s some great stuff here, but what if it never finds a home?”, I’d ask myself. Two years later, as I started developing the script to “Betty & Bogie”, it all started to make sense. “Here’s the perfect spot to plug in that random line of poetry!...And here’s the perfect spot for that crazy dream sequence!”, etc etc. Had it not been for the two previous years of consistent and often obsessive journaling, about half of my script wouldn’t even exist. That’s why I don’t let any ideas slip through my fingers. This degree of diligence is exhausting, but so worth it in the end.
“...everything is worth writing down, because you never know what you might use later.”
- Be open to as many projects as you can, because some might prompt a surge of ambition that you could never have predicted! During the second rehearsal for “A Sketch of New York”, our director (Joe DiNozzi) asked if anyone in our cast had ever written a comedy sketch, suggesting that we submit material to be considered for future shows. I started brainstorming in my notebook and cranked out a five page sketch, but that sketch developed a mind of its own, and a couple months later, I had a 60 page play script. If I hadn’t applied to “A Sketch of New York”, who knows when I would’ve written my first play. It blows my mind every time I think about it.
- Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb with your creativity. Be as wild and outrageous as you want to be. Trust your instincts!
- Don’t let anyone pressure you into sharing or discussing your work before you are ready. It is your work, not theirs.
When not working, Daniela can be found running, taking long aimless drives, fawning over animals, and obsessing over Pan Asian food. And when there is not a pandemic- her absolute favorite thing is roaming New York City.
Daniela’s character in Mars is for Misfits, Pillar Devereaux, will be making her debut this Saturday, August 29, at www.luxblox.com.
Here is a sneak preview from Chapter 5: Chuck H and Mr. Toots.
From Chapter Five of Mars is for Misfits
Written by Staff