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I am a waitress and have been in Galway now for over three years, but my passion is in the arts. I have been been juggling projects and waitressing for a long time now, and hope to create a full time career for myself in the future in the arts sector. I like to dabble in a bit of everything and explore what I like and what I don’t; and it has been really rewarding. Macnas has always been the biggest saviour for me. We have our weekly dose of Macnas madness every Thursday with Macnas Youth Ensemble where we devise, create, play and learn valuable performance skills. I have been in Macnas since I came here and to be honest, I don’t think I’d be who I am now without it.
I mostly do acting and performance, a smidgen of film, but recently, I accidentally fell into the realm of production designer and stage managing, and I’m really enjoying it! Last year, I tried out directing in the Galway-based collective, The Theatre Room, and found that I love directing. I am constantly trying to push myself to learn and explore and try out different things as much as I can.
It’s a collaborative effort to piece together this project and it has proven challenging at times, but we’re powering through and getting on brilliantly.
“It has proven challenging at times, but we’re powering through and getting on brilliantly.”
In Macnas Youth Ensemble, we have a really exciting project in the making to appear in the Galway Theatre Festival. Without spoiling it too much, it is an immersive, thought-provoking and emotion-evoking piece devised by our ensemble and facilitated by Ionia Ní Chróinín, actor and co-director of Moonfish Theatre. We are all taking on different roles in the production process, as well as performing in the finished piece. We started a number of weeks ago with a blank page. It’s a collaborative effort to piece together this project and it has proven challenging at times, but we’re powering through and getting on brilliantly.
“It’s hugely accessible and breaks the barrier of the sometimes cliquey theatre scene that can be found.”
I am also involved in a project entitled ‘What Foremothers?’ for the Cúirt International Festival of Literature and as a part of ‘Waking the Feminists West’ with Sarah O’Toole. We’re studying Irish female poets and breathing a new life into their work through drama and interpretation. It’s very inspiring and totally hands-on, as we are all researching our poets and exploring methods to reawaken their underrated works. I felt that through the rehearsal and research process, I was getting to know my poet and became almost protective of her. It’s a strange feeling that can only be fuelled by passion, really. I never felt that closeness in the Leaving Cert English curriculum! I am also involved with the Theatre Room as much as I can be. The Theatre Room is an amazing initiative that has really opened up opportunities for people to get involved in theatre, and it has such a welcoming vibe. It’s hugely accessible and breaks the barrier of the sometimes cliquey theatre scene, and allows people to try their hand at acting, directing, or writing – whether they’re a complete newbie, or have been on the scene for a while.
Other projects are looming in the future, in the making and being fleshed out. So really, I try to keep myself busy with work as much as possible. All the while, I am working my four nights a week to pay my way. It’s a bit hectic, but it’s all in an effort to hopefully mould my future career.
“It would be brilliant to see some of the derelict buildings in Galway renovated and used for artists hubs and workspaces.”
Visions for 2020
Galway is a brilliant creative and cultural melting pot. This city is bursting with creativity and incredible musicians and artists of every form. I don’t think I would be as involved in the arts if I didn’t live in Galway and took part in my first parade with Macnas when I was 7. But with every city, there are improvements that could be made.
I would really like to see a more accessible, safe and secure space for artists. We have such a thriving community of creators and passionate artists that struggle to display their work or to find suitable rehearsal space. It would be brilliant to see some of the derelict buildings in Galway renovated and used for artists’ hubs and workspaces. Galway is beautiful, but it has so much more potential, and I feel that if enough TLC was put into our city and the derelict houses to create studio spaces, galleries, dance studios, rehearsal rooms, then we would really be off to a flying start.
“I would love to see Galway welcoming all forms of the arts and culture with open arms and taking care of the creative folk of Galway.”
I would also love to see a greater appreciation for the arts as a career choice, rather than a hobby. I’ve seen artists who struggle with recognition as professionals in their craft, and I feel like it would be essential to set up a support network for these artists. The likes of physical theatre and street theatre can be seen as more of a hobby and entertainment rather than a real profession. Personally, I would like to study physical theatre but there are no schools in Ireland to provide the professional training that I want. So I would love to see Galway welcoming all forms of the arts and culture with open arms and taking care of the creative folk of Galway.
“It is so important to take care of our youth and to allow them an accessible and collective method to explore themselves and express themselves through creativity.”
Impact on Galway
I would like to further my studies and keep dabbling in different forms of the arts. I would love to work with children and young adults in workshops in the future. Workshops surrounding acting, speech, writing, art and freedom of expression and identity. I believe it is so important to take care of our youth and to allow them an accessible and collective method to explore themselves and express themselves through creativity. There are already brilliant groups for this in Galway city and county, but I would love to see an expansion on these groups and a further appreciation for the work they do.
I would also love to aid in the broadening of the perspective of art in Galway through means of workshops and collectives, and to help in establishing safe studio spaces for artists. But first, I want to gather as much experience as I can in different projects, to further my studies, and to keep working with Macnas. In the far future, I would like to believe I would be doing workshops working with people from different social backgrounds and just having a great time doing what I love, all the time.