ALUMNUS OF THE MONTH – Stefanie Preissner
Stefanie Preissner graduated from the Full Time Actor Training Course at the Gaiety School of Acting in 2010 and is currently starring in ‘Solpadeine is my boyfriend’ at the Project Cube as part of the Absolute Fringe Festival from 6th – 15th September 2012.
1. Did you always want to work in the theatre/acting business?
No! I wanted to be a guard and spent two weeks on work experience in Templemore. Now I want to be a doctor! But I’ll stick at this as long as the work is coming. And for the time being it is.
2. How did you start off in the business?
When I was in Templemore I got a call to say that a youth theatre in cork needed an actor to fill in for someone who was sick. So I joined the youth theatre and from there Geraldine O’ Neill kept me on my toes doing plays until college where I studied Drama and Theatre and Spanish in UCC. That’s kinda where it all kicked off.
3. Any tips for aspiring actors?
Honestly? I could say, “keep at it”, “never give up on your dreams” or some such cheese but I’d rather tell the truth and say get an honest objective opinion from someone as to whether you are any good before you spend your whole life trying to do it. It sounds awful and really harsh but it’s a grueling and tough business.
4.What did you like most about being at The Gaiety School of Acting?
I really enjoyed the rigour of the training, the high demands that were placed on the actors. It’s not a cushy 2 years, nor should it be.
Couldn’t possibly pick. I love Martin Crimp. But closer to home I am really inspired by Arthur Riordan and Raymond Scannell. Their work is real, and true and important. I really believe they are shaping Irish Theatre and it’s so exciting to be working at the same time as them. Cork seems to churn out the best of ‘em!
Again, impossible. I’d say Cruel and Tender by Martin Crimp, ‘Night Mother by Marsha Norman. But whenever someone asks me that, Improbable Frequency comes to mind. This was the first play I ever saw really. And it shaped how I view theatre. It’s so clever. Arthur’s plays are wrought and not written. It’s incredible really, when you think about it, like. ‘Solpadeine is My Boyfriend’, the play I have written for this years fringe is in rhyme and, like my last one is really inspired by how Arthur writes.
8. Who has been the most influential person in your life so far?
Career wise, probably Tom Creed. I know I sound like I’m blowing fierce heavy on the Cork horn here but Tom has always made himself available to me for advice and guidance and knows what it is like to be a blow in in Dublin. The progress he has made in a relatively short time is extremely inspiring. He is also really humble when he speaks about his work and I guess the most notable thing is that he sees everything. He supports the industry he works in and is always keeping on top of his game. In the future I would hope to have the resources and drive to be that fully committed to my vocation. For now I’m not doing too bad though.
Life wise, probably Celine Dion.
Moving to Ireland as a kid, not speaking English and wondering why everyone was shouting at me!
10. What would be your idea of the perfect day?
All of my pals, from all over the world, together, on surf boards, in the pacific ocean. Just hanging, and chatting, with no place to be.