I came to Ireland in May 2007. I was 26, a recent university graduate, with all of €500 in my pocket, drawn here by Mel Gibson’s Braveheart (no joke.) I knew the film was largely shot in Ireland – upon watching it, all in tears at the drama and the romance, I decided Ireland was the most beautiful country in the world and that I wanted to live there.
At the time, I was on my way out – in my heart and mind – of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation, a religion I had been deeply rooted in since I was ten years old.
Jehovah’s Witnesses practice extreme shunning of their former members, and so it was easier to leave as nobody in Dublin knew me as a JW. I was able to build a network of friends and a decent corporate career without the experience of former JW friends crossing the street when they saw me.
In late 2014, I left my corporate career with a professional burnout and threw myself into making of my first short film Testimony. I had no background as a filmmaker but the desire to tell stories through film was overwhelming and so I followed it.
To my delight, Testimony was picked up by Irish national TV broadcaster RTÉ and nominated for multiple awards in festivals in Ireland, Australia, UK and USA.
A year later, my second film, an LGBT drama The Betrayal, featuring music by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, was also broadcast by RTÉ and screened in festivals in Ireland and Canada.
My new short film Debutante, a drama set in the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses, starring Úna O’Brien, premiered at the Galway Film Festival in July 2021. Making it, from raising €20,000 in a global crowdfunding campaign, through shooting it while pregnant in the first wave of Covid, to post-production with a newborn, was quite a journey! Since the Galway premiere, Debutante has been nominated for multiple awards, including an IFTA (Irish Film & TV Academy) nomination for Best Short Film. The film also won Best Irish Fiction Short at the Kerry International Film Festival, and it received an Audience Award at the Chicago Irish Film Festival.
My other love, passion and obsession is acting. During the past 10 years, I had the pleasure of performing on the stages of The Abbey Theatre, Smock Alley and many others. Most recently, I was delighted to take part in The Visiting Hour at the Gate Theatre.
I feel very lucky about the life I built in Dublin and it’s very much my home now. I look forward to connecting and collaborating with creatives in Ireland and internationally on my journey as a director and an actress. If you have a project you’d like to discuss, I can be contacted here. Thanks for reading!