Quine of the Month Questions
How would you describe your current job and what do you like best about it?
I am a freelance Actor, Theatre Maker and Painter. I love the variety this brings, that every job can mean working in a different way with different people. I’d had the privilege of working with some amazing people and companies.
It’s a very precarious life with a lot of uncertainty, but that uncertainty makes it full of potential. You never know what work the future holds and that means there is always the potential of maybe your most exciting work ever!
What do you consider your best work and why?
That’s too difficult to answer! I’ve been involved in many projects that have been special for different reasons.
What was your first ever job?
I was 17 and worked in the Lyceum box office for a month and then was sacked! I’m still not quite sure why I was sacked, I thought I was doing fine. Although I did get lost when sent out for tea bags and didn’t return for about 2 hours!
What was the contact/opportunity/job offer that you feel has made the most difference to your career?
Working at the Royal Exchange in Manchester introduced me to a world of theatre outside Scotland. Scottish Theatre at the time could be quite a macho environment where you could be teased for doing your homework/preparation for a role. I got used to hiding the fact I’d been working away at home on a piece.
So it was really refreshing when, on the first day of rehearsals at the Exchange, we all sat around the table and everyone brought out their preparation to share. I didn’t have to pretend anymore, it was fantastic!
Things have changed in Scotland now, thank goodness.
What’s the biggest opportunity that you missed or wished you had taken up but didn’t?
There have been jobs I’ve turned down that maybe I should have done, who knows. It’s impossible to say really. What’s your favourite theatre production?
Communicado’s production of Cyrano de Bergerac has got to be up there. It was a fantastic thing to be a part of but also just one of those occasions when everything comes together. Edwin Morgan’s brilliant translation of a fantastic play and an amazing cast all brought together by the genius of Gerry Mulgrew’s innovative direction!
What do you like the best about working in theatre?
I love the element of risk, when you’re not sure whether something’s going to work. The opening night, which is both terrifying and exhilarating, then the rest of the run when you continue to develop and refine things and the discipline involved in keeping things fresh.
What do you like the best about being a writer/performer?
I wouldn’t call myself a writer, more of an actor and theatre maker.
One of the best things about this job, is the other people you get to work with. It isn’t a solitary job, like a writer, you can’t do it on your own. And the privilege of meeting and working with so many extraordinary and talented people, makes this one of the best jobs in the world.
What advice would you give emerging female practitioners in theatre today?
Value yourself and what you have to offer. Challenge yourself; if you think you can’t do something, that’s the thing you have to do. Believe in yourself, I know that sounds simple, but it really is so important. Don’t let that belief be rocked no matter what’s going on around you.
Who would your Stellar Quine of the month be and why?
That’s easy, Muriel Romanes. She’s a fantastic role model, I have such admiration for her vision, artistic bravery and tenacity. If Muriel believes in something, she will make it happen, no matter what odds are against her.
I trust and believe in her 100%!