Spend Valentine's week with comedian Amadeo Fusca in Mars/Venus
Tue. February 14, 2023 by Matt Inawat
I just kind of want to make them laugh with whatever goofy stuff I have going on.
The hit show Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus returns to Chicago
More than a million people have seen MEN ARE FROM MARS - WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS Live! since it debuted in Paris in 2007. It made its American debut in Raleigh, North Carolina, in February 2013, and will continue to perform for audiences all around the United States and Canada this year.
The adventures are utterly hilarious when Mars and Venus collide. This formula for a fun night out includes some narrative, some comedy, and a sprinkle of insightful book advice. A deliciously entertaining evening!
John Gray's "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" first came out in 1992 and has since explored the differences between the sexes. It has sold more than 50 million copies, been translated into 40 different languages, and is one of the most well-known works in the entire globe. With 17 books under his belt, Gray has established himself as one of today's most dependable relationship authors, giving speeches across the country and making appearances on shows like "Good Morning America," "Oprah," and "Larry King Live."
Emery Entertainment, a St. Louis-based producer, has organized or marketed thousands of concerts all over the world, including headliners Blue Man Group, David Copperfield, and James Taylor.
We talked to the show's lead Amadeo Fusca who hails from Pittsburgh, PA and has already performed "Women are from Venus, and Men are from Mars" live in front of 70,000 people and counting in more than 60 cities across more than 30 states.
MI: (Matt Inawat) Congratulations on the show and the tour again. I know we talked not so long ago in 2020 about your show so it's exciting to get the chance to chat again! How have you been able to stay creative and motivated over the last couple of years during the COVID-19 challenge?
AF: (Amadeo Fusca) It was definitely a challenge. When we did the show in 2020, I remember watching the pandemic in my hotel room and it was still just in China so I was there [in Chicago] literally like a month before everything shut down so it was tricky.
A lot of people started creating their own videos. I made a video, in particular, that I was really proud of, that later in the pandemic that has kind of been sort of like a comedic reel for me. But it was challenging because auditions went on hiatus for months and months and everything was still in self-tape.
But I was able to um once everything got back started again. When I was in New York, I hit the stages with characters I was writing. I was taking some online writing character classes. I'm kind of like in that world where I put together these character sets and you get better at it. It's in your blood so you just figure a way to stay at it and in capacity; and now that we're a little bit over the hump, auditions are all mostly still self-tapes which is good and bad.
It's good now because you can audition for anything and everything all at once and uh but it's bad because you want to go in the room. You don't want to have to be your own lighting editor, you want to go in the room. I want to meet somebody and feel it. I want them to give direction if they see something in me. I don't want to have to always do it from my bedroom, even though sometimes it is sort of convenient.
I think that my proudest moment was I made this one minute actor reel for myself. It was like a promotional video. I've had a bunch of co-starring roles in TV shows; some of them are one to five lines, right? So when I was re-editing my reel and I was looking at my materials to freshen them up, and I'm looking at my stuff and I've done some short films and some film projects that were like cool, but my TV show stuff that were a little bit more noticeable were all just small role stuff so it was just almost funny that this stuff is in my reel. I thought it would be funny, what if I made a reel where I was trying to sell myself, but then I keep speaking to these quick clips and you come back to me. So there's this one minute reel where I'm pretty proud of it.
Everyone who has hired me has always said it's a pretty unique concept; it's like a promotional ad for me using my reel and then throughout the ad I'm walking through space and it has its own joke too and it starts like “I'm an actor/comedian. Does your TV show have one line that needs to be delivered?" and you cut to one of my one lines. It's a good concept and I get a lot of praise from people from the industry.
MI: That's pretty awesome.
AF: Yeah, so that's how I stayed. That's how I kept the blood really flowing. I had that idea. I executed it and edited it well and put it out there. I got a lot of praise. I used it for my comedic reel moving forward. I created something that I'm proud of and everybody can see my sort of sense of humor.
MI: So talk a little bit about Mars/Venus. Has the show been updated to reflect events stemming from the last couple of years?
Amadeo Fusca; credit: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
AF: In the show we kind of just focus and hone in the kind of relationships and the Martian and minutiae tendencies in relationships and just try to like make fun of that and sort of be silly about that. It's just to create a nice fun night for the people who are out on a date and just kind of leave it there.
I never really went right or left with the show. I never really brought in any really dark current events to make fun of. It's not like when I'm doing shows in New York you wanna push limits and maybe create characters. I would do current event stuff like I would do a character like a bouncer at a bar for the unvaccinated, you know what I mean? Or I would do a cop, a registered ex-cop who moves into a neighborhood. He has to go door-to-door to register ex-cops. So that would be more like current events pushing the envelope, but with Mars/Venus I don't try to take a risk with stirring up the crowd.
If anything, it's about just to get extra laughs I will maybe...I'll talk about something that's current that might be a buzzword to make them laugh at the story but for the most part I try to update it with just talking more about what martian does in a relationship versus venutian. I'm trying to label it male/female all of the time. You know that's tricky because the book in the advertisement in the show lends itself to that so much. It's tricky, it just falls out of my mouth when I'm onstage in a certain way.
So yeah, that's the part of the show where I would like to update more, where we should touch upon like every type of relationship, not just like a male-female relationship and here and there it is just like I just try to say like the martian/venutian but it does still kind of like adhere itself to be like ok well this is like a male and this is a female, but what happens with male/male or female/female relationships and I don't speak to that enough and that's where I we obviously could do a way better job, but as far as like current events, I don't try to make any pandemic or COVID jokes because I don't wanna put people in that place. I just kind of want to make them laugh with whatever goofy stuff I have going on.
I change moments and tighten up moments and figure out different ways to deliver stories through physical gestures or whatever that I do, but for the most part I never try to be too smart. If that makes sense!
MI: Definitely! The show starts up on Valentine's Day, can you give us your number one dating tip?
AF: Number one dating tip? Oh man, you know, it is just listen and be kind, you know?
Just talk and listen and then the more you can just show up and take care of stuff. Just talk and listen; go see a good show; have a good time. You don't have to worry about getting a kiss or whatever. Be present, hang out and that kiss is gonna come ten-fold later.
If you really like the person. Just show up, be present.
MI: That's some great advice. So you've toured over 50 amazing cities? Where have been some of the most interesting places you have visited while on tour?
AF: I mean Chicago is like a dream cause it's like a New York. It's a theater town. You've got Steppenwolf, you've got Second City, you've got all kinds of great things so it's a magical, there's magic in the air in Chicago that I feel because you know that's my background.
But I will say I've been to some beautiful sleeper cities – I mean the cool thing is you learn that like all of these towns, even smaller towns, have beautiful entertainment venues, theatrical venues, and it is so great for their economy to bring everybody to that area and downtown and a lot of the businesses will do deals with the theaters to just help boost the economy.
It's a fun show, but it doesn't get the accolades of like, you know I'll see like Jerry Seinfeld is playing in this venue like next month. Wow that's crazy. So I've played a lot of great stages in a lot of great cities, but I'll say San Antonio was one of my favorite sleeper cities that I love and I met a lot of cool people down there. Tampa Bay was really cool. Great venue at the Straz Center. We are going back there for a third time. Nashville was cool. That was a huge venue. Sometimes the venue can be too big. Orlando has an amazing complex. I actually love that city too.
MI: Where did you play in Orlando?
AF: The Dr. Phillips Center. Which is beautiful. And I've played, they have like a couple of rooms there. I didn't play like the big 2000 seater, but I played the 300-400 seater which is perfect for this show.
May 19, we go for 4 days. We were there in November 2019 and I will say the coolest thing about Orlando when I did the show was that this show it comes off from the book, so you get a lot of fans of the book. The boomer generation, but I do get people in their 30's and their 40's. In Orlando especially I noticed there was a lot of younger people and they were really laughing and that was cool.
MI: So what has been the most personally rewarding thing or part about touring for you?
Amadeo Fusca; credit: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
AF: You know, it is a challenge every night and I really work my ass off to get every audience on my side. It's not the hardest thing ever, but it does take a lot of energy and I do a lot of jokes. In my show there are probably five moments where it is like "insert local flavor here." Insert local sports team, insert local food they're known for, insert local landmark, insert local motto and that's just such a great way to get an audience, especially at the beginning of a show, wrapped up and you can ride that wave of energy.
So personally rewarding is me unlocking the scientific code of getting audiences on my side without doing that much. Just being personable, likable but also getting to know their city a little bit and getting to know what they for through there. It's fun for me. Those are the things that change every night in the show and I was telling someone else in an interview, every city that I go to I find a moment to freshen up, tighten, or find a new way to garner reaction out of the audience.
The joke is not always on the page. Sometimes the joke is in your body language, in your movement, in your eyes. It doesn't have to be the words, they can be secondary. Sometimes it is just about how you are reacting. It's about watching you and so I pride myself on the fact that people are spending money, taking the time to come out. I really want them to have fun with me. I really just want people to have fun and then ride that energy, ride that wave of laughing together and really having a great night together and just ride that wave forward. I'm not trying to change anyone's opinions on anything. They are going to learn some things about relationships and they will be more like reminders. It's not rocket science in the show, but I do want them to just laugh and go home and be like “hey that guy was crazy."
MI: How are you planning to spend your downtime while you are out here in Chicago?
AF: They have been running this show for a minute man. Every actor they bring in they keep changing certain things; they let us change the show around. It kind of has this canvas of like ok we wanna talk about this, this and this point, however you get there is fine, you can create your own script within it.
In my downtime, I am shooting a movie called “Wiseguy". I'm in the movie “Wiseguys", it's a DeNiro movie coming up. So I'm coming right off of that shoot to Chicago, so my schedule is a little bit tighter than I would have liked. I love Chicago and have family there. I have some more friends there now just from doing the shows, but I always try and go to Second City and I always try and catch a show at Steppenwolf. So that's the two things that are on the list.
Food/bar wise stuff I just kind of find that on the go, but I love Second City and Steppenwolf, they are special places.