Interview : Shane Robinson, Dublin Director & Actor

Déshabillé talks to busy actor and director Shane Robinson about his acting career and his latest project Go Home, a visual abstract piece about Dublin nightlife.

Q. How did you get into acting?

It was a weird turn of events really. I was finishing second year in DCU studying biomedical engineering and sitting my last exam and I just looked around and felt this overwhelming sense of "What the hell am I doing this for? It's not what I want to do" I got up and left. I did some soul searching.I then randomly found a drama group online and after being cast in my first production I caught the so called acting bug and nearly a decade later I'm still heavily infected. I've done three years media production in Colaiste Dhulaigh, a year in the Gaiety School of acting and did the full time programme for Screen Acting in Bow St so I'm always looking to see how the different mediums of film and theatre can cross paths.

Q. What have you done, plays or film etc as an actor so far?

Yikes, thinking back over the last couple of years I've done so many different types of plays and film it's hard to pick. There has been a lot of trail and error and learning on the job I'll tell you that. One year I think I did something close to like 30 short films most of them student shorts and I'd be lucky if I'd show maybe one or two to family and friends. Being hugely influenced by the philosophy of improv I'm a bit of a yes man... Though learning through mistakes and failing is the best way to cement how not to do things so I'm constantly open to failing in new and beautiful ways! 

Most recent memorable performance I've done for stage was An Experiment With An Air-pump by Shelagh Stephenson in the main space in Smock Alley I had to play two very different characters both 20+ years my senior and from different centuries in time with 12 costume changes through out plus a narrative that was very emotionally close to my own. So that was most definitely a challenge and a half.

Q. What's it like/was it like on set of Go Home?

Go Home was quite an interesting project how it came about. My good friend Síofra Ní Mheara who plays the lead in the film came to me last year with a monologue she performed at a spoken word event which got a very strong reaction and asked if I would be interested in making an online video for it. Unfortunately both us were busy at the time and nothing really more happened until early this year it came up again and I'd been itching to direct something for quite sometime so all the stars aligned when I passed on the script to the kind souls at Pale Rebel Productions, without which none of this would've been possible, and they immediately showed an interest in helping get it on it's feet and into production. 

It's a very descriptive and visual piece about Dublin night life and a young girl's battle with her own self image and how the two of them fuel one another for better or worse. Instead of going very literal with it visually and showing crowded pubs and clubs mixed with the classic shot of the Liffey, we went down a much more abstract route and located the entire narrative inside the protagonists home. Turning it into these psychedelic chambers were she relives moments of different nights out. 

The set and lighting design became integral to help create these nightmarish locations to which my producers assembled nothing short of an amazing crew. The chemistry on set between cast and crew truly was unbelievable and it definitely shines through in the footage. We got very lucky with the ensemble of actors that were cast, who were all dedicated in creating the world and telling the story through a variety of different movement. It's 90% voice over so it was essential but thankfully there was a lot of space to play not having to worry too much about recording sound on location. 

Q. How can people support the Go Home project?  

We have a link if you'd like to donate to the film. We can't thank people enough who've helped us already and appreciate every bit of support we can muster. We're in post production at the moment trying to put the final touches on the sound design and colour grade to get it ready for entry to film festivals.

Q. What are your plans for the film?

ideally the plan is to get it into quite a large number of the bigger film festivals around the country and globe. Everyone whose worked on the project has poured their hearts and soul into the piece and all worked for free with a very low budget so to see it come to life on the big screen is all always an amazing experience. I do believe a lot of people will relate to the text, now I don't want to give too much away but we've all at some point doubted ourselves and felt that uneasy feeling of not being good enough and using vices to escape our problems rather than facing issues head on. We're looking forward to getting it out there in the festival circuit and hope everyone gets a chance to see it very soon.  

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