While I posted numerous times on all my social media channels asking for submissions for the Guest Blogger Month, I also mentioned it to several folks that I had been talking with on Snapchat. Some followed through and submitted love stories. Others for various reasons were unable to do so. This was never intended to be a dreaded school assignment with the impending doom of a due date. But only an open invitiation to participate in something unique and special. A month long opportunity to celebrate LOVE in all its forms.
A bonus for me is the chance to meet some new folks. These brave souls read my “help wanted” sign, wrote a love story and courageously pushed the send button. They might have thought their stories wouldn’t get published, but I have posted every story that has graced my inbox. Each one like a star in the vast night sky conspiring to bring some light into the dark! I am beyond humbled by this folks. Nearly in tears. And reading a story like this one from the beautiful Eimer is reason enough for hosting this series. To read her love story for her acting touches my soul. Because she has so much passion for it and has sacrificed so much!
Well, this is probably one of THE scariest things I have ever sat down to do and if it posted, I guess that will be even more terrifying. But I’m thinking baby steps. I was always the person who wrote letters and never sent them. Although I did write one letter that was certainly delivered; a letter to myself.
When I was in my final year of school our religion teacher asked us to write a letter to our future self. She put questions to us, such as, “Where do you think you will be in a year?’” “What are your hopes for the future?” And, “Is there anything you would like to say to your future self?” We answered the questions, sealed the letter in an envelope, and she said she would post them to us in a year’s time – after we finished school.
It arrived in the post, and as you can imagine, the majority of the letter was about the boy I fancied at the time, how we’d split up and how ‘heart-broken’ I was (I can tell you now, poor old 16 year old me didn’t know the half of it). I was concerned about who I would be bringing to the Debs and who after school I would still be in contact with.
It was the year 2000 so Facebook wasn’t a thing and the letter speaks of bumping into people. I’d no idea that you could still feel connected to old friends via the ‘internet’ – we were still in the days of dial up connections and chat rooms asking ‘A/S/L’, that’s Age/Sex/Location for anyone who wasn’t around at the time and for the record ‘sex’ was asking biology, nothing else. It was all about putting people in easy boxes then.
In all of the talk of boyfriends, Debs, break ups and college I wrote one line “Eimear, promise me you will make your break in acting or singing”, and it would appear I have never let that promise to myself go.
I always wanted to act, we did shows in school and I loved being on stage, but when talking to the guidance counsellor about career choices, I was steered away from anything in the performing arts. You see, there was a guy the year ahead of me who was “very good at acting”, and he didn’t get into Trinity, so maybe I should pursue a back-up plan.
I liked the idea of teaching so I was encouraged to go down that road. I did also like the idea of psychology and wrote about that in said ‘letter’ but I knew I hadn’t done nearly enough work to get the points for it. My parents could sense that I wanted to perform and told me if I got a ‘Degree’ under my belt and still felt the same they would support me to follow the acting route financially (I think they are still sorry they ever said that but I have to say they have been the most supportive and encouraging parents anyone could ask for).
I went to college and did a Theology and Arts degree and if you know me, you’ll know it was merely out of pure devilment and for a good debate that I did theology (I am not a religious person at all). I met super people there, who are lifelong friends, but still I longed for the chance to perform.
I got involved in our local theatre, Draíocht, in Blanchardstown – Draíocht is the Irish for ‘magic’ or ‘enchantment’ and it certainly sprinkled its magic on me. From there I met so many incredible actors, producers, managers and it cemented for me that I NEEDED to train as an actor – but would I be good enough? An Irish writer by the name of Gina Moxley saw me in a play she wrote which Draíocht produced and she asked why I wasn’t studying acting? She sat me down on opening night and told me to go for it. I’ll always remember that, even if it was a few years later before I finally found the courage to audition for acting colleges. There was a rocky road between that conversation and my graduation from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2008, but that’s another story.
So here I am in 2017 – An actor, voiceover artist, facilitator/acting teacher and single!
In this industry you are ALWAYS looking for those ‘Gina Moxley conversations’, people to believe in you, to tell you, you are good enough to continue with the life you’ve chosen.
You see, I look around me at my friends, most of whom are now parents, home owners, married, in long term relationships or have a solid career and I don’t have any of that. I don’t even have one of those things, and why? Because I am not prepared to give up on this dream of acting.
Some may say I have a successful career and I am grateful for the opportunities but for the sporadic nature of what I do, is it worth the sacrifice? Every few months I sit and have that conversation with myself and right now, YES, I believe the sacrifices I have made will make that ‘next job’ worthwhile.
But can all of the things I feel I am missing out on fall into place given the dream I am chasing? Or do I need to give up on the dream, my LOVE of acting?
I can only hope that all of the above can co-exist, to believe it to be so, believe in myself and stop making excuses for all the other things. And if the truth be known, if I was not in the position I find myself in I would not have found my second love – teaching. I have grown to realise that I have a passion for that, that is on par with performing and I am working with young people that I hopefully will share a stage or screen with some day. They are the ones who inspire me to keep going, to follow the dream. I finished working on a show before Christmas with Westside Performing Arts where I teach, and although as I watched them on the stage I wanted to be right there with them – the magic of their enthusiasm, the talent they brought to the table and their energy made me not want to give up on this dream of mine because I see in them every week the fire that I had in my belly starting out and you know what, I still have it.
Actually it was a past student of mine who recently published a blog, unbeknownst to her, that gave me the push to write this one when I saw Karen calling for submissions.
I LOVE ACTING and I LOVE WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE. All of the doubt in this career of mine fades away every time I weigh it up. I love what I do and I am so lucky to be in a position to be doing it.
I feel as if the sound track to my life is ‘What I did for love’ from A Chorus Line – ‘…Can’t forget, wont regret what I did for love……’
Eimear thank you so much for getting in touch and sharing this gorgeous LOVE story! As I spent most of my life as an actress before switching careers to the food industry, I can relate to so much of what you shared. Academy Award Winner Viola Davis said in her acceptance speech regarding acting, “it’s the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life”. So long may your LOVE for acting and teaching last! We need both in this world to add to our humanity!
Act, Teach, LOVE,