The apple never falls far from the tree
Interview with Cecilia Moisio. Topic: „The apple never falls far from the tree“. Cecilia is a Finnish theater maker living in Amsterdam. She is currently touring the Netherlands with her latest piece “I can see myself through your eyes“. For this interview, she invited us to her house and gave us an insight on how her roots affect her work, her life choices and her daily behaviors. A talk about emancipation, acceptance, and daring to look at the darker side of things. Enjoy the read.
Where do you differ most from your parents?
Of course, I want to think that I’m really different from them but I realize every day that I’m really like them. Both of them, which is pretty painful to see (all of us are laughing with full understanding at this point). And also people around me remind me of that often. How am I different? My parents are from a generation where people were not very self-analytical. They were not busy finding out who they really are. They were busy with their career, their family, and the outside image more. That’s the biggest difference. I’m very self-critical and self-analytical. Looking at things in a different way. I think I’m more open than them. Of course, I traveled, I moved to another country, I meet a lot of different people.
Is that something that happened or is this evolution away from your roots something you decided for?
Well, I already felt this difference when I was still living there. I moved away from Finland when I was 19 and I moved to Amsterdam alone. I really wanted to get out of Finland and later I noticed that it was also a little bit to get away from my family. And already as a teenager, I realized that I was different from how my parents are. I felt that I didn’t fit in in Finland, I felt that I didn’t fit in with my family. So I wanted to break free from that. […] I still think that it was a good choice for me.
You said before that it is also painful to realize the similarities. Why?
Like I said. I am very analytical and I’ve always analyzed my family, their childhood, how they were brought up and why they had the problems that they had. But then I started to notice that I am treating people the same way my mother is treating them, I’m the same impatient, same pushing, same character somehow. From my father’s side, I realized some sort of quietness and not being able to talk about my emotions. Of course, I also notice all the good things I have from them – I love my family, no matter what. But it becomes painful when you realize that you also have the bad characteristics of your parents.
How do you deal with this?
I do try to change it. It’s not always fast because it’s very deeply rooted of course. But I do try to work on them. I do try to work on myself. They are there for a reason. For me to notice that these are characteristics that I don’t want to have in myself. If I notice them, I try to do something about it. It doesn’t mean that I always succeed.
Why not skip heavy self-reflection if you could just have an easy life?
Easy life doesn’t interest me. I don’t know. That bores me. I also often think that I could be much happier and lighter if I didn’t think about this stuff all the time. But for me, this is also how my brain works. I’m all the time busy finding new things and new information. How people walk in the street, how they eat. I’m gathering information all the time, which I later then use for my work. If it’s too simple and too easy, then it gets too boring and I shrivel away, I’m not inspired and I get unhappy also.
Do you think that this kind of self-analysis is important?
[…] Self-analysis is important so you can take responsibility for your own part of whatever problem you have. I can’t always blame my parents for all my problems. I have to look at myself because I’m also bringing my own part to the table and I’m responsible for that.
Does your work also help you in this process of self-reflection that we talked about?
Yes. I also make my work to understand myself better. It’s not only for that. It’s not only about my own therapy let’s say. But it’s a part of it for me. I’m pretty honest about that. As I’m struggling with some things, I assume that a lot of other people also have the same, because we’re all human.
Is that the reason why you expose it on such a large scale?
Yeah, I think that’s why you should make art. Because you dare to talk about things that other people maybe don’t dare to talk about even though they have them. We know that everybody has similar problems, similar heartbreaks and similar things in their lives. So I’m always hoping to find people that understand what I’m talking about and then maybe start to think about it differently. Like: ‚Hey, I can see this in a different way‘. I want to give them a little bit of remedy somehow.
This might be cliché but Scandinavian literature and art are known to be busy with a lot of self-reflection and deep psychological questioning, dramas, etc.. You are from Finland. How do you explain that?
I think that it’s a tradition, to begin with. Finnish people have this deep melancholy and a kind of darker side. All the songs in Finland are about sad and bad stuff. So we’re already touching the darker side of life let’s say. And I think that’s really a part of why I want to do it and how I do it. […] There’s always a lot of black humor in my work. That’s very Finnish as well. We talk about topics but then make it a little sarcastic.
If you would personalize the dark side in you, or give it a shape, what would it look like?
For me it’s some kind of alter ego that can pop up, I think. It’s important to know your darker side so it doesn’t surprise you.
Place of Birth: Jyväskylä (FI)
Parents: Ann Charlotte (was a physiotherapist for patients with rheumatism, now retired), Joko (was an engineer in paper machinery, now retired)
Siblings: Malin (architect), Mia (lawyer). Both older, so Cecilia is the “baby girl” as she says.
Study/Profession: Theater maker and performer (background in dance)
Relationship status: In a relationship. Involved with a very handsome man.
Romantic or realistic? Both. Very realistic and analytical, but romantic on a personal note as she believes in love, the beauty of life and magic of things.
How many Facebook friends do you have? 1500
Adventure or Stability? Both. People with office jobs might think her life is wild and constantly changing. But on the inside, she’s very organized and needs stability and a home, for instance.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
My favorite spot in Amsterdam: Looier Antiques Market
If I were a bitterbal, I’d be filled with… something seafood. Shrimps.
Sitting on a mangotree feels like… a summer day when you’re a young girl and everything smells sweet.