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 here.
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 here 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 RTE and nominated by 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 Irish TV and screened in festivals in Ireland and Canada.
My new short film Debutante, a drama set in the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses, will premiere at the Galway Film Festival in July 2021.
As an actress, 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’m looking forward to sharing my new film Debutante with audiences in Ireland and beyond.