ALUMNUS OF THE MONTH – John Merriman
John Merriman stars as Little McWilliams in Anglo the Musical which appeared in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in November and is now coming to the Olypima Theatre in January. John graduated from the Full Time Actor Training Course at the Gaiety School of Acting in 2011. After graduating from The Gaiety School of Acting, John appeared in Romeo and Juliet, Scealta Átha Cliath and Anglo the Musical after which he will be in the Abbey Theatre in Selina Cartmell’s King Lear.
1. Did you always want to work in the theatre/acting business?
Since the age of six when I saw “The Goonies” on the TV and wanting so badly to tell stories and play with an adventure for any audience in any way shape or form if that meant standing in front of the TV and performing like a clown for the family and friends. However being an extremely shy as a child and teenager got the better of me out in the real world until I finished animation college and grew a set and fulfilled my dream of becoming an actor.
2.How did you start off in the business?
The very first start I had was in “Introduction to Drama” at the Gaiety and ever since then it was full steam ahead for me and acting, so after the first course I decided to jump into every course I could get my hands on in the Gaiety while I saved the money to go to the full-time Gaiety course.
3. Any tips for aspiring actors?
Don’t be afraid to throw everything you have at a problem, be respectful and kind, and always be prepared. Seriously “Always be prepared”. Never give up or lose track on what you want and eventually you can achieve it.
4.What did you like most about being at The GaietySchool of Acting?
Being thrown into a s**t storm of a life changing experience and coming out a far better person. Also having the greatest memories that I will have for the rest of my life, Bit of 2.5. Basically everything except the hole in me pocket.
Can’t pick one or list there is just too many on my mind.
David Mamet, Earl Nightingale and good ol’ William Shakespeare, christ on a bike that’s three sorry.
Favourite piece more like that stands out is “Raoul” by James Thiérrée which was in the Abbey, I came out of the show with biggest speechless expression you would have ever seen, anyone who saw it would know exactly what I am on about. Unreal.
8. Who has been the most influential person in your life so far?
Haven’t got one specific person but unknowing to them but my family members and also my Gaiety class mates.
9. Earliest memory?
First day of pre-school, remembering that toys are the easiest way to attract friends and then wondering when I get to go home. Can’t really remember much.
10. What would be your idea of the perfect day?
Having the best sleep possible followed by some tea and cereal for breakfast. Then going to work on exciting projects which I am very thankful to be a part of. Enjoying a nice meal, steak probably and finishing the day knowing progress has been made and feeling that I was productive.