BEACON FALLS — For Beacon Falls resident Liz Falzone, “Silent and Grateful Tears” is more than the name of her book, it’s a reaction when she looks over her life.
“This book starts out with me growing up in Bridgeport in a six-family tenement house. I was neglected and abused. I went through some torturous situations,” Falzone said.
In addition to her difficult home life, Falzone said, she also had a hard time with her peers.
“I could never understand why, back then, I was the one everyone was making fun of because everybody was in the same boat, but I guess my boat was a little smaller,” Falzone said.
Although Falzone writes about her abuse in the book, it is not the focus of the book. Rather, it is the catalyst that sets the rest of her story in motion. The autobiography tells Falzone’s tale from childhood to her modeling career to owning her own casting agency.
“Finally, when I had my last episode of abuse, I knew I had to get away. So I got away, as a teenager. It was hard, but I worked two jobs. I found a small apartment in Bridgeport from a little Italian lady,” Falzone said. “From there I was intent on doing better for my life.”
Falzone began working in a factory five days a week and attending the Barbizon School of Modeling in Stamford on the weekends.
When she was 21, Falzone had saved up some money, bought a two-family house, and decided to pursue modeling.
“I figured, with the two-family house, the rent downstairs could pay for itself and I could be OK with that. So I decided to open a modeling place,” Falzone said.
She managed to open a modeling and acting business in Stratford called LT’s Talent Casting.
“We got everything together, I opened the business, and started working with New York casting agencies. And I’m still doing it to this day.” Falzone said.
Falzone has done casting work on such major motion pictures as “War of the Worlds,” “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “Sleepers.”
Falzone also did the casting for an educational video on bullying called “Hazing and Harassing.”
“That struck a note with me. I was asked to get some clients to play the part and, little did I know, some of these clients were actually bullied. So I did my very best to make sure that was going to be a good project and, from what I understand, it is still distributed as a learning tool,” Falzone said.
Although she had come a long way from her life in Bridgeport, Falzone still faced some hard times in her life.
During her time working on the set of the film “Stepmoms,” Falzone was diagnosed with uterine cancer.
“I went through that, had radiation treatments, and pulled through it. I kept on ticking,” Falzone said.
She has been cancer free for over 12 years now.
Falzone has lived in Beacon Falls for 20 years and has put down strong roots in the community. She has served on the Inland Wetlands Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission, and is currently serving on the Zoning Board of Appeals, Falzone said. Falzone is also an active member of the Beacon Falls Lioness Club.
While looking for a place to live, it was a haunting memory from her past that made her fall in love with Beacon Falls.
When she was a child, Falzone said, she had a traumatic experience of seeing a cow being slaughtered at a slaughterhouse.
“When we came to Beacon Falls looking for a house, my husband, my daughter, and I, there was a young man walking his pet cow up Burton Road from Main Street, and I knew this is where we’re going to live. To think there was such kindness here,” Falzone said.
Falzone found out later that the cow was indeed the boys pet and he would often take it for walks.
“I love Beacon Falls. I talk about it being a small town, but that’s OK. Some people say it being a small town means everybody knows your business. I think being a small town is great because, even though everybody knows your business, it seems to me that they are there when you need help,” Falzone said.
Stories about the town, her business, her escape from abuse, and her time on the set of different movies can all be found in “Silent and Grateful Tears,” Falzone’s first venture in writing.
While portions of the sale of the book will go to Boys Town, a nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for children and families, Falzone hopes her story will reach people who still carry the scars of a difficult life.
“What else can you hope for, right,” Falzone said.
The book is available for sale at Beacon Falls Pharmacy, Amazon.com, and directly from Falzone at any event where she is speaking.
Congratulations Liz — I do hope you reach those who can benefit by your story and ultimately your success. Wishing you the best. Anita