The shape I'm in: Camille O'Sullivan, singer and musician

CORE VALUES: Camille O'Sullivan values friends and family over work commitments.

SINGER and musician Camille O’Sullivan goes all out on make-up and costumes for her exotic stage shows, but she wants her three-year-old daughter to have a different focus.

“The world is so crazy about the Kardashians it’s just gone bonkers,” she says. 

“I really want my daughter to have self-worth. Especially as a girl. Your looks are important but not in the sense of who you will be.”

Reared close to the sea in Passage West, Co Cork, she is making the most of her daughter’s magical early years.

“I’m not the best at reading stories and stuff but it’s really a joy to make things magical for her and I do know this can only last a few years. 

"I’m making her a ginger-bread house out of cardboard at the moment. I can fit into it myself.”

Being a mother has also helped her to refocus and step into adult shoes. 

“I was very worried when I had a child that it would change everything but actually it changed things for the better. Especially to concentrate on someone other than yourself — the eternal teenager.”

* Camille O’Sullivan performs at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, on July 15 with the RTÉ Orchestra and on July 28 and 29 at the Mermaid Theatre, Bray, Co Wicklow. 

For details see: www.camilleosullivan.com 

What shape are you in?

I probably look like I’m in okay shape but I don’t feel in good shape. Before I had a baby I used to cycle all the time. 

The only exercise I get is performing on stage. I dance and move around quite a lot. I also walk a few miles a day. I try not to take the escalator but to use the stairs instead.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I’m doing a diet at the moment, the 5:2. For two days I can only take things like salads and protein. I use the MyFitnessPal app it lets me look at what I’m eating. 

Now I understand why you don’t have five pieces of toast or that a wrap has more calories than a piece of bread.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

Dark chocolate. I’m also a big fan of Dairy Milk. And I like tempranillo. 

My mother is French but I’m not well versed. Sometimes I’ll ask her for advice on what wine to get.

What would keep you awake at night?

Everything. I am a terrible sleeper. 

I am doing the National Concert Hall soon and I was working on keys, singing to myself last night and it went on until 2.30 in the morning. 

Of course, my daughter woke at 6.30.

How do you relax?

When I was pregnant I did a mindfulness course. Now every now and again I do a meditation. I do try to take a walk and just be very present. 

Sometimes I just try and not to think about work. I enjoy going to an exhibition, to a film, to see a friend.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Tom Waits, David Bowie, Prince and Nick Cave. I had dinner with Nick and the band before. I didn’t say a word because I was too nervous. I probably made a fool of myself.

What’s your favourite smell?

I love the smell of trees, wood burning, and lavender. I especially like the smell of rain on plants. Sometimes I go right back to when I was four years old.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I’d love to be toned and to be wrinkle-free. 

When you look at people who are very famous and they’ve got work done, it’s not that they look any better it looks like that they’ve got work done. 

I’m lucky enough I think I’ve accepted myself.

When is the last time you cried?

When I heard about the MP Jo Cox [who was murdered]. Even if she hadn’t been a mother I would have cried but the fact that her children are aged three and five — I find that devastating.

What traits do you least like in others?

Rudeness, lack to empathy, unkindness, disrespect.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

There’s a selfishness to myself as a performer. 

I have my priorities right and it would be friendship and family first over performing. 

Also, sometimes out of nervousness I can gabble and I hate that.

Do you pray?

I was raised Church of Ireland so I did go to services. I would pray for friends and family and people. 

I am a spiritual person. I believe in the power of prayer. I’m just maybe not a churchgoer anymore.

What would cheer up your day?

Giving up work. I do think about it a lot ever since Prince and Bowie died. 

I have to go out and smell the flowers. 

Also my daughter’s smile and being with her.


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