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12th Sep 2018

Lovin Dubliners: Anne Doyle Talks Being An Improv Actor

Éadaoin Fitzmaurice

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since setting up Lovin Dubliners, it’s that the most interesting and passionate people are ones who live an unconventional lifestyle.

When I say unconventional I mean not your typical nine-to-five at a desk.

When I created this series I had no idea how lucky I’d be to meet such incredible people from all walks of life.

I’ve met business owners, entertainers, zoo keepers, bloggers and people inspiring positive change. It has become my favourite part of my week to go to a random place be it a canal boat or a farm, meet someone new and get the opportunity to walk in their shoes for a day.

Every single time without fail, I leave with a smile on my face and a lesson learned.

The Irish are just brilliant people, friendly, accommodating, inspiring and super hard workers. We could really learn a lot from one another if we gave each other the time to sit down and really get into deep conversation.

So here’s my little nugget of contribution – A weekly series dedicated to the people you walk past on the street every day. Those who are making a change, trying something different and ditching their day job to pursue their passion.

This week I caught up with the lovely Anne Doyle, an actress and improviser.

What’s an improviser, you ask?

Exactly what you’d expect. Large groups of people gather to the show and watch Anne and her colleagues perform a completely unprepared and unscripted piece.

Sounds like my absolute nightmare, I always plan things to a tee, but Anne seems to take it all in her stride.

Anne participates in an improv show upstairs in The Duke, just off Grafton Street, every Wednesday night. The show is based entirely on audience suggestions and every week is a different show.

I met her in the venue and asked her a few questions in the lead up to her performance:

How did you come about this line of work?

“I always wanted to be an actor. I studied drama in college and a few years ago I saw an ad online to join an improv group and I kind of just fell into it. I haven’t looked back since. “

Do you think it’s difficult being a female in comedy?

“I think it’s hard being in comedian, period. It’s so difficult to make an income from it and to get your face out there. Generally, I think when you see comedians on the television, they tend to be male but we’re breaking that wall, there’s some amazing female Irish talent around right now.”

What is it about comedy and acting that’s made you stay instead of going back to a 9-5?

“I suppose it’s the buzz. Making people laugh is a really special thing, to take them away from their everyday lives for that hour or two every week and just really make them giggle.”

I could tell that Anne was super passionate about her line of work. I could also understand exactly what she was talking about. There are times I’ve visited a comedy show and realised I hadn’t laughed properly in so long, it’s really therapeutic in a way.

“We make ourselves laugh. I’m so lucky to work with such talented people who make me genuinely happy and that brings me out of my comfort zone.

What’s the most challenging part of it all?

“It’s always tough when someone pursues a career in the arts because it’s unstable. There’s lots of highs and lows. I never have a steady income from one week to the next, I don’t usually know where my next pay check is coming from. From that point of view it is a struggle but it does make me happy. I’ve been at this seven years now and I’ve never felt like I’ve worked a day because I enjoy it so much. That’s much more important to me than a mortgage.”

It’s pretty damn cool to see someone taking that risk to pursue their dreams.

What advice do you have for someone going into this industry?

“Just be yourself and be thick skinned. Just bare in mind that you’re going to come up against 100 no’s, don’t take it personally. Also, try to have another job on the side that’s going to be flexible and will still let you explore your creative side, you just can’t rely on acting to pay the bills every single month, unfortunately.”

The show will run tonight and every single Wednesday in The Duke.

It’s set to be a barrel of laughs and different from any other comedic night in the city. It’s the ideal way to take the hump out of your Wednesday, have a few pints and a giggle.

Show starts at 8.30pm sharp.

See you there!

Header image: @annedoyle90