This Much I Know: Actress Aisling Kearns

This Much I Know: Actress Aisling Kearns

I one 100% always wanted to act.

My mother sent me to Tullamore stage school from the age of six.

I did a BA at the University of Limerick, in Voice and Dance, majoring in dance, but I knew I wanted to act so I auditioned for the Two Year Actor Training Programme at the Gaiety School of Acting and graduated last May.

There’s no real history of acting in my family — although my parents do sing and play guitar — but nobody discouraged me from following my dream, although we all know it’s a very precarious career.

I’m just very positive about the whole thing. I have it in my head that I will be working one way or another. Even if I’m not acting, I can always teach dance.

During college, I’d loads of retail jobs and was also lead singer in a covers band that gigged all over the country, which was great fun for the three years it lasted.

Since graduating, I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been. I had the leading role of Emma in Louise O’Neill’s hit play, Asking for It, I filmed the crime TV series Darklands (on Virgin Media One) over the summer and I’m about to open in Martin McDonagh’s wonderful play The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

I find auditions much more nerve wracking than the performances themselves because at that stage you’ve no idea what they are looking for or if they will think you’re any good.

I’m good a separating my life from my career. I see acting as my job, but I also have things in my life which have nothing to do with acting — like my love of GAA and rugby.

My idea of bliss is simply being able to relax — to go for a walk, put the feet up and watch something on Netflix, or read a good thriller.

My idea of misery is a nine to five office job.

If I could be someone else for a day I’d be Beyoncé. She’s such a complete entertainer. She can do all three — sing, dance, and act.

If I could change one thing in our society I’d change the perspective people have of jobs in the arts as not being ‘full time’. My career guidance teacher encouraged me to go for teaching over performing.

The trait I admire most in others is positivity.

If I have a superpower, that is probably it. I never doubted myself and think that has had a massive part in how things are going. To keep mentally calm, I do yoga and I meditate whenever my head is becoming too full.

I find it incredibly hard to wind down when I come off stage. It takes at least and hour and a half for the adrenaline to wear off. It was completely different with the band as once we came off stage we still had to take down the gear and travel home.

The thing that irritates me most is being closed minded. I tend to think outside the box which helps in this industry where you can get very locked into a moment. It helps to take a step back and look at the whole picture to see the reasons why you mightn’t have got an audition for example.

I’m not religious but I do believe there is some kind of afterlife. I think our spirits live on in some way.

The biggest challenge so far was losing two friends aged 18 and 19, in different accidents. Having close friendships and a sense of community helped me deal with the grief.

My biggest fault is that I get easily irritated — by noisy eaters for example!

Ambition is more important than talent. You will get nowhere without it. You must have that fire in your belly.

The big lesson in life to date is that everything happens for a reason. But I’ve only been around for 24 years so far…

Aisling Kearns appears in the The Gaiety Theatre’s new production of Martin McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore from January 27 – March 14 2020.

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