An off-screen call, by Marine Zana

I pull on the cord, on the telephone line, as if to hold back this conversation a little. We were on February 9, in the morning. I was about to discuss a potential collaboration, only this telephone interview will have finally been a trip.

In life, there are enchanted parentheses, surprises, astonishment, encounters that dazzle you; my meeting with Sylvaine Messica is one of them. And by hanging up the handset, I already long for a moment so warm that the sun is still shining on my skin. Sylvaine has everything great women, those we admire for their charisma, their confidence and their outspokenness. She has a soft voice and a light heart, even though she is filled with all her struggles, all her breathless stories that make her life a magical picture. Each anecdote is an excursion into a past that she always knows how to make radiant, since she only retains the positive. Chances offer morals. She has the gift of sharing her teachings with you; as with scholarly generosity.

She has the features of a professor who touches you, a professor of philosophy. We are talking about the origins, the relationship to his double identity of a Tunisian father and a French mother. She tells me about those family meals that you can't forget, the full tables, the opulence, the respect for the elders, the unusual demonstrations of love. She names me a symbolic character, her grandmother, Fortunate, authoritarian, generous and inspiring. She was an outstanding storyteller and actress, I understand that this love of the show is a heritage that inspires her on a daily basis today.

Her childhood memories are always lulled by music, she sings on stage, in front of the world, she feeds on stage fright to make it her primary source of motivation, she challenges herself, and rejoices in it. Sylvaine uses all of these assets in her role as a speaker.

I explain to him, in turn, that my Sephardic Jewish family from Tunisia is the source of my humor, my passions, my initiatives of all kinds. This disconcerting ease of playing self-mockery is my best heritage. I draw from it all the poetry of the Orient,
I borrow the courage of my roots to offer France, as a gift, the booty of my realities. We recognize each other. With Sylvaine, we share our questions, our merits, and we congratulate ourselves for having understood a lot of the meaning of life; sharing and transmission.

Sylvaine discusses with me her youth, theater and improvisation, meetings, she rubs shoulders with a lot of people, especially thanks to the association La Liora that she creates where she teaches theatrical improvisation. She plays with other comedians in love with the scene, they train together and dream of an afterlife or they simply decompress. It will become attached to certain pupils, revealing others. They all share a flame, a modest, special friendship, which gives Sylvaine even more kindness. The game is in her, she magnifies her spontaneity, her elocution, her confidence and the will to assert herself as a woman who has a voice.

She is feminist and committed, she produces her songs, some of which support all female emancipation like " The daughters of Simone Veil ”. She addresses so many fundamental subjects and frees the floor by denouncing sexual violence and harassment. And Sylvaine talks about her book: The power of spontaneity, she explains to me that this is not a personal development book like the others. I am ordering it now. She now works for her own company which offers training and seminars for companies wishing to improve their team in speaking, sales and management. She teaches in an innovative and educational way about sustainable communication in society. Her kindness is reflected in her work, and I hear her smile very loudly when she talks about this success.

I look forward to following and applying his advice. They will help me to grow again, to better understand the power of words, to express my emotions with all the authenticity that I give them. To be honest, I'm already seduced. A few weeks later, I received Sylvaine at home, and I was amazed by this aura, this enthusiastic breath. What about this burst of joviality that I take in the face when I open the door to him? We believe in a mirage of happiness, until it takes its place on one of my armchairs.

We behaved as if we had always known each other, an assumed conviviality bathed our relationships. I smiled at him uninterruptedly, instinctively, I laughed, I rejoiced at our new closeness. Sylvaine is like a breath of fresh air.

Dear Sylvaine, Thank you for this exchange, then for this meeting. I seize the chance, the opportunity. People, often, do not dare to testify to the splendor of their meeting, they seem to be ashamed to show their sudden happiness on the face of the world but I like to preach it and I am happy to retrace it here. Sylvaine's energy is imprinted on me, and she has become a friend.

Sylvaine, Thank you for this interlude, for this fleeting joy to be gathered for a moment. These moments tasted like summer and the February sun.

A big thank you Marine for this article and this friendly intergenerational love at first sight! And I am proud to be the first woman interviewed for the Sephardic Amussef World Museum!

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