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INTERVIEW NO 13

Antonio & Natalie

ENOUGH SLEEP

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“It’s hard for me to believe the real life is not a dream, I truly believe that when I’m going to my bed I will wake up and live the real life, the rest is a dream, we are like ghosts, going to work every day. When we are asleep we are really free.

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After living in NY for three years I finally met somebody that lives in Staten Island. Antonio from Colombia and Natalie from Germany live in a house close to the beach and take the ferry to Manhattan every morning.

September 2015
Staten Island, New York (EDT)
Photography: Antonio Castello
Follow Antonio's and Natalie's instagram: @antoniocastello @zonderbar
Interview: VM

“... I can sleep in the Subway, in the Ferry, on the ground, in my bed … But the best place is the beach.“

What are you doing during the day?
When we are not sleeping we work for Lomography as Marketing and Content directors, I work for the North American market, Natalie works for the German speaking market in Europe. We both are film enthusiasts and film lovers, we always have a film camera with us, 35mm, 120 or 110 format, Polaroid, Instax film, they all fill our fridge. You can find more film than food in the fridge actually. Lately we are a little obsessed with the Lomo’Instant camera and we shot this little Instax pics all the time.


What time do you usually get up?
Antonio: I’m everything but an early bird, I try to delay my wake up the most I can, I’m supposed to be at the office between 9 and 10, so I’m always there at 9:59 if possible, which helps me to sleep till 8:25.

Natalie: I’m this kind of person who wakes up before the alarm is actually going on. But most of the time I hate getting up by then, so I start pushing the snooze button as often as possible until it’s late and I have to get up which is around 8. After getting up and taking a shower it’s my job to kick Antonio out of bed.

How does your alarm sound?

Antonio: I’m not sure, when it sounds I try to put it down as soon as possible, and try to keep sleeping, I think it’s something chill, like birds or air bells, but I’m not completely sure. Actually I think Natalie has an alarm for herself, but I have never heard it. 
Natalie: I’ve been using the same alarm sound for the last 5 years. It’s an adapted version of “Talihina Sky” by Kings of Leon. I cut it myself so that I’m only hearing the instrumental part of the song.

What is the first thing you do in the morning?

Antonio: I usually don’t have time to do anything but get ready, so as soon as I wake up I just go and take a shower while listening to the Colombian radio news. I like this radio station called La W, they have news from Colombia and around the world, they can be a little mainstream and pro-government , but I love the way they speak with people all around the world, it gives me a worldwide flush of news (they also play some good oldies and new soft music). Once I’m done I just get dressed and go out and try to chase the last early Ferry to NYC.
Natalie: I get up, take shower, kick Antonio out of bed and listen to the Colombian radio news with him while getting dressed. The funny thing is that I don’t speak Spanish and therefore I don’t understand a word but still I’m listening to it every morning. Sometimes I understand a few words and try to repeat it. Then Antonio laughs because I said it in a completely wrong way and he translates it for me.

Do you like having breakfast? And what do you have?
We would love to have breakfast, but we have no time, we prefer to sleep rather than wake up earlier to eat breakfast, so we usually have a look in the fridge and try to find something quick to eat, or buy a banana at the Ferry Station, then in the office we usually drink a tea or a coffee and eat a cream cheese bagel.

What time of the day are you most productive? 

I’m a night owl, after lunch my brain starts to work faster and better, and by the end of the day I’m doing a lot of stuffs, I usually go back home and keep on working till midnight on my own art. Natalie is more of a morning person, she works all day like a machine and then by the end of the day she is dead.

Do you think sleep influences your work? 

Antonio: Definitely, I’m a dreamer, I’m always dreaming about business ideas or crazy stories that I want to create in real life. I usually remember my dreams in the shower and start to think of new creative ideas for my job out of them.
Natalie: I’m the exact opposite. I never dream or at least I can’t remember my dreams. But I always need around 7 hours of sleep to get my day managed.

Do you think you get enough sleep?

No, never. How much is enough? Natalie: 7 hours are enough, Antonio!

Where do you sleep best? 

Everywhere, I can sleep in the Subway, in the Ferry, on the ground, in my bed… But the best place is the beach, our home in Staten Island is 15 minutes away from the beach by bike, so we like to go there on the weekends and sleep in the sand.

Do you have any rituals before going to bed? 

Antonio: Not really, I just need to have a bottle of fresh water next to me. I usually try to watch a movie or a short show before falling asleep, this will bring me more crazy dreams.
Natalie: I’m already sleeping like a baby while Antonio is still watching movies.

How do seasonal changes affect your sleeping habits?
I come from Colombia where we don’t have seasons, so this really don’t affect my sleep, only my pyjama, long pants and socks for the winter, shorts and naked feet for the summer.

Do you remember your dreams?
As said before I do. I dream a lot of my father who died some years ago, but I also dream of new business idea, like this time I dreamed I have a beauty salon for kids that also sell toys for them and kitchen tools for their mothers.

Have you ever dreamt an idea that you brought to real life?
I did a comic book once based on a dream, I was a spy shooting from a Car in Manhattan and chasing someone through an elevator. My dreams also give me ideas to shot with my camera.

Do you care for what you're wearing to sleep?
I do, I like to feel free, I use big clothes, big pants, big shirts (XXL), and during the winter I use long socks and big sweaters. Natalie is wearing almost the same. And sometimes my pants.


Describe your bed in 3 words.
Big, fluffy, blue stripes.

What is the most special spot you’ve ever fallen asleep?

Antonio: Once I fell asleep in the back of a truck during a party. When the truck left everyone thought I was still in the trunk and went running after it, but the owner of the trunk had put me in the grass before, so I was still there and everyone was still chasing the truck.
Natalie: I am able to sleep everywhere too. Once I was partying in a club with friends. I was extremely tired but no one wanted to go home, so I fell asleep next to the loud speakers.

What do you think happens while we sleep?
We are awake again. It’s hard for me to believe the real life is not a dream, I truly believe that when I’m going to my bed I will wake up and live the real life, the rest is a dream, we are like ghosts, going to work every day. When we are asleep we are really free.

How many sheep do you count?
I usually count them backwards starting from 999, it’s harder to count and you fall asleep faster.

What do you want to dream about tonight?
I try to do that every night and it never helps. Lately I wanted to dream I’m in a fancy hotel in Venice having breakfast on a balcony.

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