The day came up clear in Ethiopia. The night’s wind that had gusted at 10 miles an hour had calmed down.
It had rained a tenth of an inch and then stopped. When the sun rose, at 6:53 a.m., the temperature was 63 degrees — it was a perfect day for a race car driver in Ethiopia.
Adalberto Frezza has been racing cars since his early 20s. He had shared his love of racing cars with his only son, Alberto.
Alberto Frezza loves watching his father on a racetrack.
Alberto looks at Adalberto prepare to participate in the qualifying rounds. The driver that has the fastest time will get to start the race.
It wasn’t that he was the baby of the family that made Alberto stand out — it was that he had two older sisters.
Alberto cherished his time on the racetrack with his dad. His parents were the biggest influence in his life. They had pushed him and believed in him since he was a child. It is no wonder that young Alberto was eager to learn a life lesson from his father about applying racing to life.
“My dad told me that he didn’t want to get first place in qualifying rounds,” Alberto Frezza said. “If you get first place, there will be people and animals on the road, you will be the first person passing through this. It is always good to start second because someone will open the road for you and you can go quicker through it.”
Those words of wisdom from Adalberto continue to haunt Alberto.
“It is something that I have always kept in my mind,” Frezza said.
“It’s not about being first all the time. You need to be patient and play your cards right. Never compare your success to someone else because your lives are completely different. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get somewhere.
“Life is about the journey and not the destination. You have to go through life being open to new experiences. You never know where your treasure is hidden.”
Frezza is no longer living in Ethiopia hanging out with his dad on a race car track. He now spends his days in Los Angeles. He can currently be seen as Deputy Garrett Sykes on “Dead of Summer.”
“Dead of Summer” is a coming-of-age supernatural horror drama about identity that is set in the 1980s.
Deputy Sykes sees things are not making sense to him at the camp. He begins to investigate it.
“Garrett Sykes is confidant and seeks the truth in everything,” Frezza said. “He has had a rough past. His dad was a respected sheriff. He works hard to fill the big shoes that his dad left behind. He is a complicated kid with a big heart.”
It is the two sides to Deputy Sykes that Frezza is enjoying playing.
“It is super fun being a police officer is in the late 80s,” Frezza said. “Putting that uniform on everyday and living the character in the 80s is my favorite part. Deputy Sykes is a young cop that has not reached the point of being an actual cop.”
Frezza was a kid that one day knew he would be the bad guy and the next day he would be a police officer. He enjoyed playing both roles. Like the child that loved being a villain, he hopes to one day play a villain.
“Villains are fun to play,” Frezza said. “I’m hoping to play a villain one day that is deeply flawed. Then both my dreams will come true of playing a cop and playing a villain.”
But for now, he is enjoying playing the good guy.
“Deputy Sykes doesn’t take no for an answer,” Frezza said. “It does not matter how many people try to stop him from investigating these things that are happening. He jumps in 100 percent. He wants to find the truth.
“He believes the bad things that are happening could have potentially killed his dad so he wants to find out what is going on.”
Alberto Frezza was born in Italy. He moved to Ethiopia when he was a month old. He spent 15 years in Ethiopia before moving back to Italy when he was in high school. He went to an international community school that allowed him to meet people from all over the world.
Ethiopia is a huge diplomat city. It is the headquarters for the African Union.
For these reasons, Frezza was able to experience different cultures and meet people from all over the world. Frezza considers growing up in Ethiopia as one of the biggest blessings that he has had in his life. He cherishes the unique experiences he had in Ethiopia.
“My parents were born in Ethiopia,” Frezza said. “Growing up in a place like Ethiopia makes you thankful for everything you have and it makes you grateful for what you accomplish in life. It really grounds you. I miss Ethiopian culture, food and the people.”
But this former Ethiopian resident does like Los Angeles.
He is an outdoor person who loves the beach. He lives on the Westside, so that he can fish and dive when he gets the chance.
Like most people he hates Los Angeles traffic.
Frezza misses the New York transit system.
“In New York, I took the subway,” Frezza said. “I would read a book or go over my lines on the subway. Being an actor in New York, it’s awesome to be on the subway because you get to watch people and study them. In L.A., you spend all this time in your car making sure you are focusing on driving.”
Frezza was able to bring his parents out to watch him on set.
His mother is super excited. She loves sharing everything.
“My mom keeps wanting me to post pictures of me on set,” Frezza said. “I’m not as active on social media as other actors are.”
He may not be active on social media but this actor hopes to play roles in the realm of Al Pacino.
“Dreaming does not cost anything,” Frezza said. “If I could play anything in the realm of what Al Pacino has done with his career then I would be very happy.”
“The Godfather” is one of Frezza’s favorite movies.
“I love those complicated characters,” Frezza said. “The biggest villain that I have seen is Heath Ledger’s The Joker – even tapping into that something like that would be great.”
He tends to gravitate toward dark meaningful stories.
“I am interested in roles and independent films that open people’s eyes,” Frezza said. “I want to be a part of different films that after you watch them it makes you want to create a conversation about it. I’m interested in broken characters that have not had it easy in life.”
A former soccer player, Frezza knew he wanted to be an actor after he watched River Phoenix in “Stand by Me.” Frezza describes himself as outgoing, passionate, strong and good hearted.
“River Phoenix’s character in ‘Stand by Me’ is what opened my eyes to me wanting to be an actor,” Frezza said. “My parents had to take the film from me because I was watching it everyday. It was not appropriate for the age that I was at.”
Frezza is no longer the little boy in Ethiopia watching River Phoenix in “Stand by Me.” He is now forging his own path and acting in his own body of work. He wants to inspire people as River did for him.
“I want to change someone’s life with the work that I do,” Frezza said. “The way my life was changed by River Phoenix work in Stand by Me. I’m working hard to accomplish that.”
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