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MaltaToday 30 October 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 30 OCTOBER 2022 2 THE Q&A PIA ZAMMIT BY LAURA CALLEJA suggestions by email Pia Zammit wears many hats, she is a corporate Communication Coach, she teaches Public Speaking & Debating to Sixth Formers and University students, she is a Civil Society Activist, and an actor. She has been acting since forever and has wanted to be an actor since the f irst time she attended a panto aged 3. Wanting to play the baddie in panto was her primary childhood ambition. And to be a space-rocket. Pia is currently in rehearsals for Spring Awakening, which will be performed at Spazju Kreattiv on 4-6 and 11-13 November. What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Push the dogs away from my face and have a bucketload of coffee. Then check the online papers to see what fresh hell the world has wrought. What is the best advice you've ever received? Leave the world a little better than you found it. What do you never leave the house without? My sense of humour and my phone. And I also never leave the house without going back at least three times to check I've locked the door/not left the oven on/counted the dogs and appointed one of them 'in charge of the house' while I'm gone. Pick three words that describe yourself. Stubborn, kind, and witty. (Are we allowed to say 'pretty, witty, titty'? hahaha) What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Civil society activism. What is your guiltiest pleasure? Murder podcasts BY THE DOZEN. I'm addicted to podcasts and will consume several – but will always listen to juicy murder theories to relax. And judging by the alarming burgeoning of murder podcasts – I'm not alone! What is the most important lesson life has taught you? Be kind. Everyone's going through something. Property and cars aside what's the most expensive thing you've ever bought? I don't own expensive stuff. I don't own a car – I refuse to be a part of the problem as much as I can help it. I DO co-own a house with Chris (with the bank jumping right in there like an over enthusiastic stalker of course). But other than that, I'd always rather buy pre-loved stuff. Except my laptop. My darling lightweight HP Spectre laptop. I love it more than a human should love an object. What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger? You are enough. Who's your inspiration? Many people actually. People inspire me daily. My mum who taught me to fight for what is right. My dad who taught me humour and kindness in hu- mour (always punch up, never punch down). My friends – individually – are all wonderful people who achieve great things and are kind and gener- ous. My fellow activists who teach me what strength and tenacity are. Daphne Caruana Galizia's family who break my heart daily with their resilience, selflessness, and perseverance. What has been your biggest chal- lenge? Work-life balance to be honest. My days are so unbelievably full of work (I run the English-Speaking Union in Malta, freelance as a corporate trainer, do voice-overs, activism, and theatre) that I'm always chasing some deadline or other and never have time to take a weekend off and relax for example. If you weren't any of the things you do, what would you be doing? Medical studies FASCINATE ME. I can read medical journals as a fun thing to do, for example. A book about MRIs has me drooling. So maybe medicine. Do you believe in God? I believe in the Universe. I believe we are all connected to each other, and we are connected to the earth and the skies, and that anything we do that is harmful, harms everyone and harms the earth. My religion only has one rule: Just Be Kind. If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be? Without hesitation, my dad. Parkin- son's is a cruel cruel thing, and it robs you of a person many, many years before the earth takes them back. And so, one catch-up dinner would be amazing. I wouldn't tell him about what they've done to Marsalforn though … What's your worst habit? Deadline keeping – it's almost like a sport. How close can I actually get to the deadline before I actually do the work… Being the world's worst house-keeper. Hogging the spotlight! OFF stage of course, I'd never pull focus onstage! Impatience with people who just won't listen. Getting lost in a bathroom… What are you like when you're drunk? Braver, and very, very, very willing to sing at everyone. Who would you have play you in a film? Meryl Streep or Judy Dench of course! No wait, too old – so, Natalie Portman! Right. Reality… Mayim Bialik – she could 'do' me very well. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Greed. What music would you have played at your funeral? What a weird question! Hmm The Beatles' 'I'll Be back'! Ha-ha! What is your most treasured materi- al possession? A few pieces of jewellery given to me by people I love because they all mean something. A locket from Jo Caruana – the 'mela' to my 'uwejja'; earrings from my friends and fellow activists – stuff like that. What is your earliest memory? Being around 10 months old and viewing a rental apartment with my mum; my first and second birthday parties; my first day at kindergarten and meeting Nykkie Portelli (we're friends to this day); the play yard and learning new words, 'big school' at age five… I've realised that many of my early memories centre around learning things. I remember where I was when I first learnt about apostrophes, and division, and how to spell Wednesday. When did you last cry, and why? At Carole Cadwalladr's talk at the VCT on the 14 October – her story of resilience, perseverance, courage, and the message that 'if something is wrong, then it's wrong, you don't let it go' – moved me to tears. I was then again moved to tears on the 16 October at 3pm in Bidnija. Who would you most like to meet? A billionaire who will sponsor me for no reason other than 'I'm awesome'. What's your favourite food? Eggs. From privately-owned pet chick- ens. Otherwise, spinach, raspberries, broccoli. And nuts. Oh, and kale. I lurve kale. Who's your favourite person on social media right now? On Twitter – cousin Mike Zammit Maempel – his wit is brilliant. And Innocent Juices – their running commentary of the Great British Bake Off makes the world a better place. On TikTok – anyone with goofy dogs. And Emanuel Todd Lopez, the Emu On Facebook – I tend to follow our Repub- blika and #occupyjustice accounts. Our content creators are relentless and so good. On Insta – every vegetarian meal inspiration I can get my hands on. If you could travel in time, where would you go? The past has happened, you can't change the past sadly, we know those rules! So, I'd go to the future – have a peek at the end of the universe or a peek at the start of a new one. Actually, can I just have a Tardis please? What book are you reading right now? In the voice of June Whitfield in Ab Fab – "just the one, dear?" Unless I have a plethora of half-finished books lying all over the place, then sound the alarm, something is wrong.I'm going through Pierre Meilak's 'Having Said Good- night', 'The Psychopath Whisperer', The Sandman graphic novels, Nathalie Hayne's 'A Thousand Ships', and just finished the wonderful 'Lessons in Chemistry'. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? The ability to heal people and fly. I'd love to fly. I can't take public transport anymore. What's one thing you want to do before you die? Leave the world a little bit better than I found it. And smash the Patriarchy. And master the harmonica. And write a book. Produce a documentary. Play Rose in Sondheim's Gypsy. Smash all borders and make the world one village. Live on a commune. Can I have more time please? What music are you listening to at the moment? Right now, I'm listening to birds sing- ing. I can't type and listen to music! Multi-tasking is a myth designed to force women to do several jobs at once. Generally servile jobs. In the shower or when you're work- ing out, what do you sing/listen to? Podcasts and lines from whatever play I'm rehearsing at the time – I record my lines and listen to them over and over again. However, I realise that you want me to talk about actual music here. My listening tastes vary depending on mood, sometimes it's a Classic FM sorta day, some days it's a Simon & Garfunkul kinda wistful day, some days it's an angry and furious rap day, and some days it's a classic rock day. Or Abba if I have to sweep a floor. I can't sweep a floor unless someone is singing Fernando.

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