This much I know: David Pearse, actor

David Pearse

I’m a bit of a dreamer. I have a lot of ideas, but few of them ever leave my head and get turned into action.

Even if I won the Lotto, even if I was a millionaire, I’d still act. I wouldn’t think twice about even the possibility of having any other career. I’d probably take a bit of a holiday, though.

Acting was something I started doing as a hobby, when I was in school. By fifteen, or maybe as I got a little older, I began to take it more seriously.

Acting seemed fun. At a certain point, I realised that this fun thing I did was something you could do for a living, that I could marry the two, so I thought, ‘why not give it a go’? And it has been fun ever since.

I was a normal child, I’d say, not particularly shy, but not particularly outgoing, either.

I went to Trinity College Dublin, and studied theatre there. Home is Newry, but I live in Dublin now.

When it comes to acting, or anything in the arts, I don’t believe that there is any one, single way of achieving your goals. In school, our career teacher said it doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there, and I think that’s true.

I was well aware of the unpredictability of acting, early on. Our tutors made it clear that it is not an easy profession, that you have to go looking for work and be prepared for a very long, hard slog, so I was fairly clued in, but I was certain that it was what I wanted to do. I remember thinking this makes sense to me, so I wasn’t put off.

If I could be someone else for a day, I’d choose to be John Lennon. I was always mad into The Beatles and thought it would be so cool to be a Beatle. But, I remember thinking, ‘what if you were a Beatle, though? Who would your Beatles be then? Who would you have to listen to or to admire’?

I could be a bit more ambitious, more driven, I suppose. I’m certainly not inactive — I have goals — but they are not necessarily too far out of my grasp.

I’d have a certain amount of spiritual ideas in my head, ideas concerning life after death. I do believe in energy. It would be nice to think that, after death, the energy continues, be it in the form of a spirit or a soul. When people think about, or pray for, someone who has died, I believe they are reigniting that person’s energy. In what form, I’m not so sure. Of course, it would be great to think that there was a big room with a massive party going on, where we go after we die and meet everyone we’ve ever known.

I think there is an intrinsic value to creativity. I think there is a decent enough appreciation of what actors and artists do in Ireland. But, then again, the majority of the people I know are artists.

I believe that being an actor or an artist is your life, 24 hours a day. It sort of engulfs your ideas and hopes and aspirations. There is no clocking-off time, not for me, anyway. I’m constantly learning and trying to improve my skills. My biggest challenge is to maintain an acting career and balance it with the realities of living in Ireland.

I wish I was disciplined about keeping fit, but I’m not. Every now and again, you might see me running around Dublin in a pair of shorts, but, then, you probably wouldn’t see me doing that again for ages. I do like cycling, though. I do go for cycles out the coast and along the shore.

So far, life has taught me not to be too hard on myself.

David Pearse is appearing in Vikings on Sundays at 9.30pm on RTE 2


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