Vialucci Media CEO
Despite what his name might suggest, Theo Vialucci is a Londoner. One of those people you could brush past on the Underground without noticing, with a million stories to tell that you might never hear. Nothing wrong with that. Even if one were so optimistic as to imagine that everyone had something worthwhile to tell (and that they were able and willing to tell it), if you tried to extort some sort of meaningful anecdote from every passer by in a city like this, you would die trying. Blinkers are required for city living. Even so, it is the potential of a meaningful encounter against the near-constant backdrop of an anonymous crowd, which makes life in the big smoke worthwhile. The one person you meet who might change your day, week, month, life.
Theo Vialucci is not interested in his own story – not that he isn’t willing to tell it – an Irish mother and a Cypriot father, who to each other were abuser and battered wife. An older sister, and two younger siblings who he left behind when he walked out of home. He refers to his leaving home as a sign of early maturity; trying to respond in the most positive manner to a bad situation. He couldn’t stop the situation, or save anyone else from it, so he left. Was it, then, early maturity that made him leave, or was it just leaving that made him grow up? Theo is aware that cause and effect are especially hard to untangle. Theo left with nowhere to go; from Hertfordshire to London’s streets, where he was lucky and unlucky in equal measures. He was unlucky enough to sleep rough for three months, but lucky enough to be helped by a fella who ran an electrical repair shop on the Kentish Town Road. When quizzed, Vialucci suspects that the man would take elastic bands off the inside of working Walkmans and hand them to the young Theo ‘to fix,’ paying him a pound a pop for his expertise. He let Theo use the shop’s address, to apply for housing and help, which he got. Set up on his own, Theo spent years as a bouncer, as a boozer, as a compulsive bloke fast to confrontation and with an addictive personality.
It was at around this time that Theo began to fully grasp that he was on his own. This was not a temporary state, but a permanent one. Whatever mission he decided to turn his hand to, or fate he decided to accept, there was no one else for him to answer to but himself.
When Theo speaks about the chain of events that constitute his childhood and early tearaway years, he does so in a matter-of-fact way, he’s not upset. The childish recall of a ramshackle house on an empty plot that he grew up in; the night he left and the way the headlights looked as they beamed up from behind him, stretched along the potholed road that led away from the house; it is maybe a sad beginning to a story, it is not an uncommon one. The same as a million others. It was understanding how commonplace his experiences were, that started Theo thinking about how best to apply what knowledge, not looking for a happy ending as such, more the exciting bit in the middle where there is everything to play for, and everything to lose.
In 2010, Theo started putting together the foundations for Vialucci – what would be an umbrella media organisation publishing and promoting ‘good’ information which then branched into a regular Podcast which he refers to as Uncensored and Uncut as conversations should be.
He describes himself, at the start, as a people person – meaning he is good (from his years of working the doors of clubs) at reading and controlling extreme behaviour. He is sensitive, a dirty word when applied to a man these days.
The foundations were laid by Theo going round and (his words) pestering CEOs of media and publishing corporations. Not for money, mind, but for methodologies. There was no point, he says, going for anyone except the boss, who has the most time on their hands and the most money, usually accompanied by a latent guilt, which makes them happier to help. Theo bounced his idea around other people’s boardrooms; Vialucci was to be a self-help magazine with firm spiritual values. Theo, all too aware how laughable these terms are nowadays, but it was that which made him more determined to do something to stem the abuse of these cliched terms at the hands of money-hungry motivational speakers and charlatan psychics, brainwashing agony aunts and PAYG religions.
Instead of putting a call out for journalists, he looked for experts; people who worked in different fields who, as a by-product of their own work, could shed new perspectives on various aspects of mainstream society, and offer decent advice on how best to enjoy it. Theo decided to provide a platform for them; a publication that hopes to present a genuine alternative to consumer media.
Some people say our fates are sealed in our name. Theo is god’s gift, and Vialucci means the way of light.
By Iphgenia Baal