Ace your Audition

By Rena Bryson

As an acting teacher, I’m often asked how to best prepare for an audition. Being an actor and producer I’ve been on both sides of the audition process. Having recently cast Eva’s Echo’s upcoming production Starseed I felt now was the opportune time to share some audition tips. 

Headshots

Headshot by Catriona Bonner Photography

Having high quality and clear headshots is often essential when applying to audition. Professional headshots are best but if it is an expense you can not afford ask a friend to take some photos for you, even if the quality is not as high it’s still better than applying without one.

  • Wear plain clothing, you are the focus.
  • Same goes for the setting, keep your background plain.
  • Make sure it looks like you, this means no heavy make up.
  • Your eyes should be perfectly in focus, alive, and energized.
  • Some agencies will ask for a full body shot as well as a head and shoulder shot, capture both on the same day for consistency. 
  • Different agencies have preferences for color or black and white headshots, have a copy of each shot in both styles.  

Showreels

A showreel is a great opportunity to showcase your talent before your audition. If you don’t have any experience on camera you can still create a showreel, simply film 2 – 3 monologues or duologues at home. 

  • Include your name, headshot and agency if you have one at the beginning of your showreel. 
  • Many producers or agents will have limited time to view several showreels so put your best work at the start.
  • Each clip should ideally be of similar length, around 30 seconds per clip is ideal.  
  • Show the variety of your talent by showcasing contrasting roles.
  • If you have a suitable clip, lead with a clip of a project similar to the one you’re applying for. 
  • Do not include extra work in your showreel, unless you are applying for an extra role.

Dress Comfortably

When preparing for an audition make sure you are not wearing clothing that will limit your ability to act. Those skinny jeans might look great, but if your unable to use the space or follow the directors physical direction your putting your audition in jeopardy. 

Warm up

Warm up your body and voice before you audition. An actor’s body is their instrument and needs to be tuned before any performance. Due to the amount of audition applications each actor we see at Eva’s Echo usually has a fifteen minute slot. This doesn’t allow time for warm ups in the space.

Be Punctual

Be on time or early if possible. I always take note of actor’s punctuality as I see it as a reflection of their time management for rehearsals. 

Research

Research the production and the role before applying. Over the years we’ve received so many emails from actors applying for unsuitable roles or for a production that collided with their own schedule because they did not read the application before applying. This wastes both the time of the actor and producer. 

Photo Credit – Sabrina Kelleher

Read the script

If you are provided the script or a scene before the audition read and analyse the work, especially the role you are auditioning for. You’ve been given an opportunity to rehearse with the text prior to the audition, meaning the director expects you to have done so. I don’t always provide the script before an audition but when I do I hope to discuss the play with the actor. An extra bonus is when an actor memorizes the script for an audition, without being asked. This has only happened once at Eva’s Echo and when it came down to a severely close call we cast the actor who had put in that extra effort.  

Be Yourself

Photo Credit – Piotr Łyszkiewicz

When you enter the audition room you have an opportunity to introduce yourself. The time spent speaking with an actor before their performance is an important part of the audition. When casting I am always factoring in how people would work together as creating a strong team is just as important as strong performances in individual roles. Be yourself, be friendly and use the time to show the director what you would be like to work with. 

Take Direction

After you’ve completed your first reading the director will often ask you to perform the piece again with notes. This an opportunity to show your variety and that you can take direction. Make sure you understand the directors note and ask for clarity if needed.

Ask Questions

Be open and authentic, if you have a question about the script, the production or the rehearsal process it’s the best time to ask.


Artist in Love

By Hazel Doolan

Prologue

In light of the two year anniversary of our debut of the romantic comedy ‘Match’, I thought it was only appropriate to blog about a relevant theme. We’ve all been there, all in search of something special with detours along the way. Awkward secondary school crushes, dramatic romantic affairs in uni, long term relationships, brief encounters, standing up dates, being stood up, blind dates, Tinder dates and so forth. The same goes as an artist but can vary depending on the scenario and the stages one may be at.

Act One: Pursuing

The search on cast/class nights out, the swiping on an App and creeping in the college library/theatre. Underneath all the drama and excitement of pursuing a beau, an artist like anyone else wants a meaningful connection. Best case scenario would be picnics in a meadow while the love interest plays the guitar while you recite poetry and then, you know. You know that you’ve found the one… It doesn’t exactly happen that way though. Typically you’d be doing your best take on movies, making impressions with your knowledge of art/literature/theatre practices and or reciting that famous monologue. Over blaring music at a house party/night club you debate why Brecht’s works are still significant in modern society although the person in question may not know who Brecht is. This sets your ambitions to impress higher and then you share more of your ‘artsy’ knowledge. In some cases you successfully woo said person and you walk away with a number/Facebook friend request. This leads into more conversations about your chosen craft. Late night texts, funny memes they thought you might like, ‘Hey, how’re you?’ messages and so forth. Before you know it, you’ve been asked to go for a drink/coffee.

Act Two: Dating

Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

So, you have a date. You have caught the attention of another being who could potentially be the guitar player/poetry reader under the tree. What now? Well, you need to make sure you’ve enough artistic material to keep you covered in conversation in order to not repeat yourself, a killer outfit which expresses your individuality while appealing your best assets, and… Wait, did you already tell them about your trip to London and the terrible Opera? You can’t repeat yourself again, quick! What else is there? No you’ve said too much about Brecht and you’ve said your ‘let’s break the fourth wall’ joke. Ok, don’t panic. You’ll definitely have more to say. 

You arrive and there they are… Where’s the music? The lighting change? Hmm, alright then. You exchange a friendly meeting and you proceed to get coffee/drink, the curtain is up. The date in all goes well, you laugh and find out more about your potential beau as they share their interests with you, artistic and others. The panic you had before seems irrelevant now and you continue to enjoy the rest of your date. 

Act Three: Relationship

The unimaginable has happened, your potential beau is now your beau. They go to all your shows/exhibitions, they lend a helping hand for flyering/get outs, they have tea made after a long rehearsal, they show extra support during tech/show/exhibition week and know not to throw anything out that may be a ‘prop’. Your house is full of crap and you’re drowning in paperwork from applications/scripts but they are there for you throughout. They are at the stage where they know references from Grease and Chicago which they may not like the fact that they do but they know how much those movies mean to you and embrace it. You do the same for them, whether they are a fellow artist or not. Then on a summer’s day you are sitting outside reciting poetry while they are playing guitar/picking a song on Youtube… And then ye have to leg it inside out of the rain cause let’s face it we’re in Ireland.

Epilogue

An artist’s journey for love and romance is no different from others whether looking for love, dating or being in a relationship. They embark on their search in the same ‘stages’, experience the same fear of having nothing to talk about on a first date and dream of having that magical moment as depicted in romance novels/movies. Like any relationship though it is important to remember that ‘Perfect is just perfect, better is better.’  

Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

A Blog about Vlogs

By Rena Bryson

I write this blog in the mists of that strange post show blues, relief to have my life back combo that I’m sure most theatre makers can relate to. Bringing Vlogger from script to stage was an unforgettable worldwind of filming, fighting with technology, urika moments, long days, lots of laughs and even more fights with technology, ironic I know. 

Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

I was inspired to write Vlogger after an experience at a family friends home, while visiting I noticed the children were watching YouTube videos on repeat. Their mother told me this was their main source of entertainment, which was fascinating mainly because the videos were so unbelievably boring. Once I got home I fell deep down a youtube rabbit hole of mundane videos, morning routines, evening routines, sick day routines, you name any mundane activity and I guarantee there is a video of a beautiful 20 something year old doing it. 

It was hard to tell the difference between research and procrastination when I found myself watching youtube all day. I had never before considered the impact Youtube has had on our culture, from Barack Obama’s viral Yes We Can video to Justin Beiber’s speedy leap from Youtuber to star, the platform has the power to change lives.  

After watching way too many hours of Vlogs I became fascinated by the line between reality and edited reality. In most other forms of entertainment there is some separation of creator and creation but when your creation is about your life how seperated from it can you really be? Especially in an industry were authenticity is a key element of the entertainment.   

Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

This question was explored when my research (youtube rabbit hole) lead me to Vlogger Logan Paul who recorded footage of a dead body and released it to YouTube. When recording this disturbing footage, he presented it in a casual manner which matched his dementer during mundane experiences in his other videos, it appeared that he viewed no difference between his absurd and everyday actions. This detachment from social norms and the blurred line between one’s authentic self to the self constructed version, inspired a great deal of Mia’s rationale throughout the play. 

I felt a multimedia theatre production was the best medium to explore these issues, by merging live performance and film both real Mia and online Mia could share the same space. The audience could witness the hidden turmoil in Mia’s life alongside the creation of her vlogs, the content creation process and see an influencer use Facetune in real time. 

Mia’s identity is completely linked to her online persona and even if she does not participate in activities such as morning yoga, she gains happiness from others believing that she is, this allows her to experience a short term joy greater than she would achieve through the activities themselves. As her personality begins to merge with her online persona, her own sense of identity is lost and she becomes a shallow representation of herself. This element of mundane vlogs is what I believe makes the content so appealing, especially to young viewers. Stepping into the shoes of someone who never breaks their diet, lives an exciting life style and is effortlessly beautiful is a welcome break from reality.

Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

Many Vloggers share their mental health difficulty’s with their audiences but maintain an overly optimistic outlook on life, which although inspiring is often not an authentic representation of living with a mental illness. Perhaps it is comforting to some viewers, especially those dealing with mental health difficulties to believe for a 20 minute Vlog, that life is simpler than it seems. After all, is it all that different from enjoying a sitcom that will maintain the status quo in 30 minutes?

In the same way previous generations escaped their reality by enjoying sitcoms, thousands of online audience members follow the lives of youtubers. The key difference being perceived authenticity, while previous generations admired celebrities looks and were influenced by their style, say getting ‘the Rachel’ haircut, there was a barrier between real life and entertainment. The public were aware that celebrities could afford personal trainers, beauty treatments and surgery but these practices weren’t attainable by the general public. Unfortunately a great deal of Youtubers and Influencers continue the trend of unattainable beauty standards and as they are not traditional celebrities their looks appear attainable to you or me if we buy their green tea or follow their five tricks for a flat tummy. 

Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

The most dangerous aspect of this issue is that through apps like Facetune these influencers are creating beauty standards they can not match themselves. The normalisation of filters and Facetune encourages the user to present themselves as flawless online, which if done consistently can have serious effects on mental health as the user inevitably compares themselves to the edited image. I admit I’ve given myself a fright once or twice when my own face was reflected back at me while snapchat filters changed. 

Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

I wished to spark a conversation about sexual consent and technology following the final scene of the play. Following her brother’s death Mia compulsively creates content about the tragedy. Leaning on social media in a crisis similar to the way someone else may turn to drink, cigarettes or drugs in a time of great stress. Her partner Sandra scolds her for recording the funeral which leads to a fight, after which Mia loses a YouTube subscriber and goes over the edge. Focused only on her goal to gain online attention she places a camera by the bed and hits record before making up with Sandra and convincing her to have sex. Sandra consented to have sex with Mia but she couldn’t consent to the recording as she wasn’t even aware it was happening. In a digital age this is a scenario that is unfortunately not that far fetched and is worth discussing.

Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

Vlogger posed a lot of questions, but did not give many answers because honestly the issues explored don’t have clear solutions. The internet is a powerful tool which can change lives for better or worse. Mia’s followers led her to find her missing brother possibly saving his life, but sharing his story online was a contributing factor to his depression and may have been the reason he ended his life. Recognizing the power the internet has is the first step towards being responsible consumers and creators online.

I hope to go back to Vlogger and expand the piece as there is so much to explore. But for now I’m putting the script to sleep for a while and enjoying cat videos without wondering what impact they have on our culture. Till next time, don’t forget to like and subscribe!

My favorite memory was our first full run before show week including all projections, set and costume. It was a tough journey for everyone with challenges along the way but we had an amazing first run and we all just gave each other a big hug after. It was so nice going home after that long day seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces.

Hazel Doolan – Director
Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

“Being on the team for vlogger was a very interesting experience. Watching the many levels of the show from the relationship dynamic, to the projections and the constant change of the expectation of a perfect life on social media to the reality of the situation. Its always been a pleasure to come aboard on the Eva’s productions and probably as the last member to be on board ,you see it in a fresher perspective but on capturing Vlogger from a visual perspective, there was something so refreshing bringing out the issues of modern Ireland on stage. To be able to show that on a larger scale and then to focus in on the main characters relationship, its incredible. Everyone on the project was brilliant and there was a great feeling of unity and has a great creative space to thrive in”

Catriona Bonner – Photographer

Directing Vlogger

By Hazel Doolan

In late January 2019, I put myself forward for the directing role of Rena Bryson’s ‘Vlogger’. Though fresh from my previous directing gig for Dayshift, I wished to challenge myself further in opting for a raw gripping drama with a hint of comedy. The idea of integrating technology into live theatre always terrified me, as something could easily go wrong whether it be timing of cues or technical faults. This fear was however one that I wished to face by embracing modern technology and combining it with old school live theatre.

Director Hazel Doolan watching over the cast during filming.

One of the elements I wish to achieve as director is to give both characters a story. I want to show that there is more to them than the vlogger and the girlfriend. They have pasts, a present and wishes for the future. In search for Sandra I aimed to cast an actor who would give the character substance, be relatable to the audience and make the relationship with Mia genuine. In my minds eye, Sandra is from a humble background and a good family, never went through anything hugely dramatic. Sandra felt however that she was different. She felt oppressed in her home life, by her family and couldn’t figure out why. It was when she discovered that she was LGBT and came out to her family she realised it was her family oppressing her hence her estrangement. Leona Burke was successful in casting as she gave Sandra likeable, grounded and genuine qualities. I honestly thought that I could sit down and have a cup of tea with this girl. As for Mia, I took inspiration from certain vloggers on Youtube which ranged from girly routines to very personal content. Mia is as one would call ‘basic’, pastel clothes, pastel decor, inspirational quotes, pink smoothies and so forth. There is however, an underlying anxiety within Mia that only becomes amplified the more she immerses herself into the vlogger lifestyle. She then feels obligated to share more personal content hence putting a strain on her relationships.

During the first three rehearsals in particular I reached back to my go to techniques of characterisation inspired by Stanislavski. I was interested to know the subtext of each character while the actors were on their feet. For example, during one scene I would shout ‘Stop, character’s name’ that said character would then verbalise their internal thoughts during the said scene. I integrated this into other characterisation exercises which enabled the actors to get an understanding of how and why they are how they are at a certain point of the play. For example, I had the actors reimagine and relive the moment that their characters came out to their families.  During this phase I asked the actors to stop and verbalise their internal thoughts again while asking further questions about what is happening, how they feel and if certain things make them a certain way. For example, if a family member reacted in a way that dismissed the character what does that make the character feel and what does that say about them as a person.

Directing the filming of Vlogger projections

Then the fun began when it came to directing the projections. Working with the production team, the script was gone through with a fine tooth comb to pinpoint the exact projections needed whether they be images and or video clips. Even after every production meeting I would always turn back and say ‘Did we forget anything?!’ Jokes aside, this was the element that was going to challenge me as a director as my knowledge of filming and technology was very limited. When it came to working behind the camera, I have learned an immense amount about how the smallest things can make a difference. For example, I had not been that aware of lighting and would’ve thought that as long as it were day light that it would be fine. However, with the expertees and know how our designer and videographer, I have first hand seen how the slightest adjustments improves the quality of the image. As for style, I have taken inspiration from other vloggers and was given the freedom to play around with angles, styles and create the vision for Mia’s Youtube channel.  Since then, the projections have just been completed and all set for the show.

Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

We’re still in the process of developing Vlogger however the experience has exposed me to a new kind of theatre which is interactive, modern and relevant to Irish youth. I have been enabled to integrate my own style with this new approach and hope to bring another dimension of storytelling to the script. I believe it is a way forward to create theatre for a young audience while maintaining the lifestyle of theatre.  


The honest Tale of Eva’s Echo.

By Rena Bryson

I will never forget the phone call that changed everything, I was 23 sitting in my parents kitchen, cup of tea in hand speaking with my friend Hazel Doolan. We had both moved to Galway after studying Performing Arts at I.T Sligo earlier that year. Disillusioned with the far and few between opportunities that presented themselves we were growing frustrated, frustrated that we were not using the creative muscles we had worked hard to develop over our four year degrees. Auditions seemed to be a rare occurrence in Galway, a fact we were very surprised by as it was known to us as such a wonderful city of culture.

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Match rehearsal.

We were both fortunate to have worked as actors following our studies but these jobs were not always paid. We felt very uncertain of what to do but we knew we felt the same drive to make theatre. It was during one of our many venting sessions that we remembered the joy we felt performing Hazel’s work in progress Match at a creative writing night at college. Despite having no funding, experience producing or  business know how we decided to create our own company in order to stage Match. All we needed to do was finish the script and get it on stage, easy peasy.

Flash forward two months and I’m sitting on the set of Match sharing three boiled eggs with actor Killian Glynn. This would be our pre performance and only feast. I had learned the hard way that working in the arts and running an arts organisation are two very different things. Although I had felt the struggle as an independent actor was rough, it wasn’t until I put all of my money and energy into the company’s first show that I felt like in that moment a literal starving artist. I could now understand why other unfunded emerging companies were not paying travel expenses, paying actors or providing a profit share, without the support of sponsors, community or government funding there is no source to accommodate these payments. Although it created personal and financial difficulties I am proud to say we successfully produced our first show with our company ethos in tact. Each member of the team received an equal profit share and those travelling received weekly travel expenses. I believe this proves that however small the budget, every company can provide payment for their cast and crew. Even if a payment is small it is an important symbol of respect and appreciation for an artists work.

The cast of Match backstage .

My best advice to achieve this without ending up eating boiled eggs for dinner is to budget and save ahead of time. My struggle was primarily due to having no savings and receiving a weekly payment of €100.00 via the dole when I founded the company. Business aside, the rehearsal process was wonderful, we couldn’t have asked for a more talented and driven team. The mix of nerves and excitement waiting behind the curtain on opening night, surrounded by the cast and crew is a feeling I will never forget. We were shocked and so honoured when we received the Best Emerging Artists Award at the Galway Fringe Festival ball. The award signified the importance of supporting emerging artists, an important part of our ethos to this day.

Hazel and I both took some time out before our next production, this was an important period of reflection. We had founded the company as a means to stage Match and to prove small companies could pay their teams. After that was achieved what was next? We narrowed down our company values into three main principles; respecting and representing emerging artists, expressing modern Ireland on stage and giving a voice to the voiceless through theatre. The name Eva’s Echo originates from an Irish Legend titled The Children of Lir. This famous tale begins with mention of Eva, King Lir’s wife and mother to the four children who after her death is seemingly forgotten. As we strive to give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves through our work, we’re honouring Eva through the company name while staying in touch with our Irish roots.

We received nearly a 100 scripts and after a difficult selection process we choose to produce Donna Hoke’s The Way It Is. This meaty script differed greatly from our first light hearted and comedic production, as it dealt with domestic and sexual abuse towards men in heterosexual relationships. As the director of this production I drew a great deal of inspiration from female leads in romantic comedies and sitcoms, noting that these women are often abusive towards men but their behaviour is not only excused but a source of comedy. Hazel Doolan took inspiration from this and the character Yasmine became more likeable, allowing the audience to empathise with her, laugh at her behaviour and therefore be shocked having not condemned her behaviour before it eventually led to her committing sexual assault.

Photo credit – Piotr Lyszkiewicz

Michael Reed’s ability to utilise moments of playful bickering followed by intense and intimate monologues portrayed Cane as a flawed but sympathetic character. The team behind The Way It Is was the smallest behind any show, with a cast of two and a director on board. Due to the costs of producing Match we decided to work with a smaller team, this would also increase the percentage of the profit share significantly. I was very proud of the show and enjoyed tackling several roles alongside directing but learnt through the experience it would be unhealthy to continue such an intense work practice, especially as I was also completing a Masters degree at the time.

I feel we truly achieved balance when working on Jungle Door. This production would lay the groundwork for company practices inside and outside of the rehearsal room. Previous to Jungle Door Hazel and I were tackling each task together. We decided it would be more efficient moving forward to create different departments within the company. From that point onward I managed public relations and Hazel managed administration. This made a huge difference to our work practice, efficiency and stress levels.

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Photo Credit – Piotr Lyszkiewicz

We recorded several projections with the wonderfully talented Piotr Lyszkiewicz, which was a new but exciting challenge. I was so excited to bring Jungle Door to the Where We Are Now Festival and was especially delighted to be working with Elizabeth Flaherty and Sabrina Kelleher. I had directed the two theatre makers in two short scenes at the same festival the previous summer. Roles were clearer in the rehearsal room than they had been in the previous production and surrounded by a brilliant team I felt confident enough to back away from other tasks and truly concentrate on acting. Each rehearsal was fun, light and lacked a stress that had been lurking in the background of our previous productions. I feel this was due to our growing confidence as a company, utilising what we had learnt from our mistakes and choosing an exceptionally positive team.

Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

Returning to the black box in I.T Sligo to perform was a surreal experience, Hazel and I had performed so many college shows in the space, we never imagined we would return with our own company. I was so thrilled when the play was received well as a part of me was nervous about staging my writing. I was especially pleased that the audience members I spoke with appreciated that it was a story about LGBTQ characters facing struggles outside of their sexuality as it was an aspect of the characters rather than a plot point, which was a goal I felt very passionate about. We were delighted to bring the play to Galway Pride following it’s Sligo run to fundraise for Teach Solais. We were especially proud to be the first to perform a play in the venue.

During the summer we put out another call out for scripts, we had another tough decision to make. Along with several others we had received Dayshift by Darren Donohue, it had a larger cast and was far more ambitious than what we were going for but we just couldn’t put it down. We decided to return to our roots with a comedy and fuller casts than previous productions. The audition process for Dayshift was the most intense so far, we had several very difficult decisions to make. The chosen cast were fabulously funny and added to the positive atmosphere we now prioritised.

Photo Credit Sabrina Kelleher

Director Hazel Doolan took five minutes at the beginning and end of each rehearsal to instruct the actors to meditate, I found this extremely useful. Taking that time out allowed me to disconnect from anything I was working on as a producer and focus purely on acting for the duration of rehearsals. Sabrina was now fully in her element as both our stage manager and designer, she was Hazel’s right hand woman throughout the entire process. We also had Elizabeth back on board operating lights and Piotr was capturing the play. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to work alongside old friends and new.

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Photo Credit – Catriona Bonner Photography

Eva’s Echo has grown so much in two years. From staging Match, excited but unsure of what was next to preparing for Vlogger confident about the productions to follow, there has been quite a great deal of change. This change is something that can only be achieved through experience, learning from our mistakes and learning from those around us. Of course none of this would be possible without having taken a chance on staging Match, it could have all fallen apart but that was a risk that had to be taken and I’ll always be so grateful that Hazel took the leap of faith with me.

Memory lane with cast and crew


I remember one night in (Match) we were on stage and a small bit of water spilled, playing a waiter I started to clean it up while saying my lines and it all went smoothly and the audience thought it was all part of the show . The next night because it worked so well we said we would try do it on purpose…. (However) we ended up spilling the whole glass and the stage was soaked and I gave all of my stage time cleaning while still trying to be flirty with Elizabeth and say all my lines. – Cathal Ryan

My first fond memory from Match would have to be that bloody jacket that kept on getting left behind on stage! Somehow, every night, it ended up somewhere it wasn’t supposed to be – it was fully cursed. We always found a creative way for its location to make sense though (Pam’s quick thinking and lots of improv came in handy)! The next would have to be the transition of getting that massive desk and chair back through a significantly smaller exit in central stage. That transition was never discreet and all you could do was laugh. And who could forget Elizabeth spilling water all over my costume? Luckily I had to change for the next scene! – Killian Glynn


I loved our lunch outings in between The Way It Is rehearsals. It was something that we carried with us moving forward as it improved moral, you had a chance to socialise with your team and you had fun. I remember after our shoot in Salthill I was wearing a thin black dress and was absolutely freezing. Fortunately I got to pick where we had lunch that day and of course went for comforting warm grub from McSwiggans! – Hazel Doolan

Due to complications we had to relocate for our shoot in Sligo while our tech was cancelled. It was very stressful at the time I was pacing down the corridors of IT Sligo with full make up done and wearing a wedding dress. I didn’t think it was funny at the time but it probably looked funny from the outside looking in. Thankfully, with the help and quick thinking of friend and photographer Catriona Bonner, we moved location and still got a shoot so it wasn’t a waste of a journey after all. – Hazel Doolan

Photo Credit – Piotr Lyszkiewicz


After Hazel had told us that we had to dress in grey on stage I noticed that Rickie was wearing entirely grey from that point on and I was so in awe of that, that I knew I had to raise my game. Weeks after we finished Dayshift I saw Rickie was still wearing grey and I told him he was incredibly committed but it turns out he just likes wearing grey. – Mícheál Ó Fearraigh

My favourite experiences from Dayshift were the days we made discoveries about the scenes and about the characters, when things just worked. For instance the first time when Michéal had the puppet prop for Mr. Rivendale and his character just came together, or when (Rickie’s) performance of John from Filing elicited raucous laughter, or when the complicated scene where Mr. Day and Cathy try to reach out to each other across the noise – when that scene was finally over prepared and worked upon so much that our ambitious vision for it finally became a reality – these are the ah-hah! moments during the rehearsal period that were so exciting from an acting and performance point of view. Of course our routine trips to Mr. Waffle were a joy of mine also, letting go of our scenes and discussing all sorts of shite over delicious waffles and re energizing coffee was also a highlight of the Dayshift experience ! – Conor O’Dwyer

Photo Credit – Piotr Lyszkiewicz


I’ll never forget the time I got locked in in the Acoustic Room hallway in NUIG. It was a Sunday morning, I missed breakfast and decided to get in nice and early, drop off my things and get a quick breakfast. I had just messaged the group chat asking if anyone wanted anything from the shop when all of a sudden, click. I turned around and tried to push the emergency exit door which locked me in the small corridor where the acoustic rooms were. No one was around and I was desperately sending messages to the group chat to see if anyone were nearby. I was 10 minutes looking out the window of the fire exit door until our designer Sabrina came to the rescue. I spent the rest of the day warning anyone who was coming in. It brought a new meaning to ‘Hold the door!’. – Hazel Doolan