ALUMNUS OF THE MONTH – Cillian O’Gairbhi

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Alumni Interviews, News & Events

Cillian O’Gairbhi stars as one of the two brothers in search of the “True West” in Sam Shepard’s American Classic which is on show in Smock Alley Theatre later this month. Cillian graduated from the Full Time Actor Training Course at the Gaiety School of Acting in 2011.

1. Did you always want to work in the theatre/acting business?

Yes, though for many years I was afraid to admit it. I think I carried it around like a dirty secret. Acting isn’t necessarily the done thing where I’m from.I spent time at other things: law, bar-work, labouring, woodwork- none of them sat right with me. On some deep level I think I always realised that acting is the work I need to do. It was a relief to give in to it in the end.

2.How did you start off in the business?

The first time I ever performed in front of anyone was for the audition for the full time course in The Gaiety School of Acting. I remember how petrified I was, trying to keep that morbid fear at bay. It’s still all a blur really. All I remember is John Delaney’s smile…That day was the beginning for me, I suppose.

3. Any tips for aspiring actors?

As a wise man once told me, all you need is the quiet conviction that this is the work you need to do. Embrace yourself, no one can do it like you can do it. Don’t compare. Learn the ability to fail. And then, learn that there is really no such thing as failure in acting. Express and enjoy yourself always. ( If this doesn’t work, try living in the remote wilderness, give up television, do chin ups and eat lots of peanut butter)

4.What did you like most about being at The Gaiety School of Acting?

In first year, Maureen White taught me a simple phrase, “What am I doing?” Her approach forms the basis of the way I think about acting. I loved how nurturing and safe an environment she created for us all. And John Delaney’s ‘Manifesto’ class. The personal ethos and practical skills we learned have proved invaluable. Certainly (and I know Jamie and Genevieve share this opinion) Ramblinman Theatre Company owes its genesis and viewpoints to Mr Delaney’s very own provocative ‘ramblings’.
(I’d better say I particularly liked the trinity too, they remain all powerful)

5.Favourite actor?

Daniel Day Lewis.

6.Favourite writer?

Sam Shepard.

7.Favourite play?

True West. It is, in my opinion, one of the most important plays there is. It tackles big and difficult and lofty questions while remaining, at its core, a compelling, funny and very simple example of the power of a good story. These are the reasons that Ramblinman have chosen it as our debut production. (aug 20th -sept 1st, smock alley theatre)

8. Who has been the most influential person in your life so far?

My mother

9.Earliest memory?

5 a.m. 

10.What would be your idea of the perfect day?

A sold out matinee and evening performance of True West would be very hard to beat!

Check out our other Alumni interviews here