This much I know: Actor and Singer George Murphy

This much I know: Actor and Singer George Murphy

I’ve just landed my first acting role. On The Abbey stage.

As a child, my dream was to become an actor, music was secondary. When I left school, I enrolled in the Bowe St acting school but ditched it all for the music when I successfully auditioned for TV’s ‘You’re a Star’ in 2003.

That changed my life. I shot to fame overnight as the winner and had a number one album.

I’m definitely on a huge learning curve with this role. Thankfully it’s not too nerve-wracking as, although I’m on stage a lot as the barman [in Dermot Bolger play Last Orders at the Dockside] I don’t have many lines of dialogue.

Growing up, I always wanted the spotlight. My father and sisters are singers and our house was full of music.

I’m a firm believer in fate. But I also believe that you have to put positive energy out there if you want to get anything back.

For a while, I enjoyed all the advantages of fame and fortune, but when I fell on harder times I found it very hard to deal with some of the things that were written about me and I began to wish I’d never had the ‘fame’ thing at all.

My biggest challenge was dealing with that fall from grace. It was 2012, I’d been living in the States and came back here to renew my visa and to try to bring my band back with me. Then I found out I was going to be a father so I stayed put — but the lads headed over to the US. Obviously I was thrilled at the birth of my daughter but it was tough being stuck here with no band to play with. I ended up signing on the dole, with no idea where I was headed.

I picked myself up off the ground by going back to basics. First, I taught myself to play guitar - between nappy changes - up until then I’d only been a singer. Then, I looked for new people to play with - my cousin was good on guitar and whistle, so we began to play together. We started small, getting bookings for the two of us.

Writing songs was therapeutic. And, to keep me sane, I’ve always played a lot of football. It’s Mickey Mouse Saturday stuff, but hey, our team did win the local league.

The pub also helps me let off steam. I try to stick to a maximum of three or four, talk some crap, and then head home. Some nights I’ve stayed out til 5am when I should have known better but…

I do believe in an afterlife. I think there is something greater than us and am very conscious of all of those who have gone before us.

My idea of misery is doing a 9 to 5 job. I’ve worked hard though. Besides the music, I spent years as a barman in New York.

My idea of happiness is watching my daughter grow and seeing how her musical tastes develop. She’s nearly seven and has a great voice. Sadly, I’m no longer with her mum — we were together 12 years, but I think she’d have preferred me to get a 9 to 5.

If I could be reborn for a day I’d be Eric Cantona.

The personality trait I most admire in others is a sense of humour.

The thing that irritates me most about others is greediness and being tight with money. I don’t put much value on material things.

My biggest fault is that I’m too single- minded. I can be pig headed and think I’m right.

The high point of my career so far was performing Raglan Road at a tribute concert for Luke Kelly in Liberty Hall.

My biggest regret is that I didn’t play the game enough. I didn’t make the most of the networking opportunities that were presented to me. This time round, I’m older and wiser…

So far life has taught me that the cliché is true: be nice to people on your way up, as you never know when you’ll need them on the way down.

George Murphy makes his acting debut in Dermot Bolger’s ‘Last Orders at the Dockside’. He is also launching his new single “Universal Soldier” and tour:

  • November 24 — Liberty Hall
  • November 30 — Acoustic Room, INEC
  • December 20 — Visual Arts Centre, Carlow
  • December 28 — Tullamore Court Hotel
  • January 4 2020 — An Grianan, Letterkenny
  • January 10 2020 — Glor, Ennis
  • January 11 2020 — Civic Theatre,Tallaght
  • January 31 2020 — Axis, Ballymun
  • February 6 2020 — Riverside Theatre, Coleraine
  • February 9 2020 — Ballymaloe Grainstore
  • February 13 2020 — Strule Arts, Omagh
  • March 16 2020 — Termon Complex, Pettigo

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