Alumnus of the Month – Clare Monnelly
Clare Monnelly graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2011. She is currently starring alongside Chris O’Dowd in ‘Moone Boy’. Clare will play the role of Fidelma Moone in the upcoming series due to air on Sky One early this summer. The series is written by Chris O’Dowd and Nick Murphy and is loosely based O’Dowd’s experience as a 12 year old child growing up in Co. Roscommon.
1. Did you always want to work in the theatre/acting business?
I started acting when I was really young and immediately knew it was something I would always do in some capacity or another. As a kid I always said I wanted to be an actor when I grew up, but it took a little while for adult me to build up the courage to really make a go of it!
2. How did you start off in the business?
I acted a lot as a kid, as part of the Irish Children’s Theatre Group first, then I joined the Gaiety’s Youth Theatre Company. I was a member of Players while I studied at Trinity, did a part time course with the Gaiety again, then finally got my act together and applied to train there fulltime. I graduated in July 2011.
3. Any tips for aspiring actors?
Finally taking the leap into fulltime training was the best thing I did for me. Everybody’s different, of course, and it wouldn’t suit everyone, but it just gave me all the tools I needed to walk out into the industry and really give it my all.
4. What did you like most about being at The Gaiety School of Acting?
The madness. I never could’ve predicted the kind of two years I’d have there…. It was the most challenging, demanding, exhausting, exhilarating 2 years of my life. I was so ready to be out in the world by the end of it! And as an added bonus, I made some of the most amazing friends I’ll ever have. Worth every last mental breakdown!
5. Favourite actor?
This changes weekly… but I thought Aisling O’Sullivan’s performance in Druid’s ‘Big Maggie’ was outstanding.
6. Favourite writer?
Again, this is changeable… Enda Walsh.
7. Favourite play?
That is almost impossible. But one of the plays that left the most lasting memories and images in my mind was Silent by Pat Kinevane.
8. Who has been the most influential person in your life so far?
9. Earliest memory?
I’m awful at this kind of stuff… but I do remember my first time on stage. I was playing a water baby, wearing knickers, a t shirt and some form of blue material sash thing…. You wouldn’t get away with it now!
10. What would be your idea of the perfect day?
Up early for a days work, lunch with family, evening with friends. I am easily pleased!