LAUNCHING: FIONA MCGARVEY

Current Employer:

Self-employed, Actress

Time at the company:

Almost 2 years

THE BIG QUESTIONS

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?

Actress.

WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?

When I’m in a show, prep, warm-up and perform and spend any free time looking for upcoming auditions, emailing casting directors, directors and producers. When I’m not working, I temp in offices or childcare and attend workshops, practice my violin and look for/prepare for/attend auditions.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?

Become a doctor.

WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?

9 GCSEs, 3 A Levels, BA degree in Human Sciences.

WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

To walk into every audition repeating a positive mantra to yourself (something like ‘You are worthy’ or ‘You are strong’) and not to spend your energy on self-doubt or blame, whatever the outcome.

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?

Tamsin Greig, Emma Thomson, Olivia Coleman, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Lena Dunham - lots of reasons but overall their talent, integrity and courage.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?

Being able to work as an actress and, currently, working with children and introducing them to Shakespeare with the Young Shakespeare Company.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?

I have to travel a lot of the time for work, which I find tiring and I miss my own bed.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?

Working in film, TV and for some of the major national theatre companies (hopefully!).

DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?

It always takes a little time to get to know new cast-mates but then I always feel comfortable to be myself.

WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?

I work with a lot female directors and companies with female artistic directors. My agent is a woman and I have come across a lot of female casting directors, producers and writers.

DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?

Yes, very much. I think it very important to not only strive for more diversity in casting but also diversity in new scripts and plays. Historically and in general, there have been more white, male characters written than anything else and we should always be moving towards a more diverse reality in terms of race and gender.

HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?

Good, I feel like I get a lot of time to myself however when I am away on tour my social life suffers a little!

WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?

I think actors need to be patient whilst being ambitious, good at taking rejection and diligent at keeping up their craft, especially when they’re not working.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS?

Follow your dreams, you don't have to be a doctor.

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