If you don’t believe in yourself how can anyone else? I went to an audition convinced I wasn’t good enough to even be in the room. This doubt was so so obvious to everyone else in the room. That’s when the casting director said to me “why on earth should I waste time seeing you if you, yourself don’t think your good enough to be here”.
As a part of our interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Káit Feeney.
An stage and screen actress who champions new writing and has a passion for bringing theatre to as wide an audience as possible. An Arts Council supported national tour last year led to filming with the Irish Repertory Theatre UK and most recently Káit filmed her very first music video.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I come from an Irish family where music, drama and dance was integral. I did have a tendency to show off though so my mammy rationed my acting activities until I was 18. Then off to training in London and I loved everything about the business. Rehearsals, set building, stage management & I even managed to study film. I just felt that this was what I was meant to be doing.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Oh so many. I’ve been lucky to work with some incredibly talented people. But my favourite has to be when a well-known British pop star asked if she could have her photograph taken with me!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I was filming with the BBC Film club & my character had to bring a sandwich to the hero, after I had emptied a syringe full of poison into it. The director told me to make sure I plunged the syringe right in as if emptying all the poison into the sandwich. So, I did as directed, not checking that the syringe was completely filled with water. As I took the sandwich over to the hero, it disintegrated from all the water. We did all laugh but I learnt the very important lesson about checking props carefully beforehand and, if possible, rehearsing with the props.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Since lockdown everything has had to be performed online. I’m currently working with Directors Cut Theatre Company, a community of actors, writers and directors, and we have been creating some incredible original work. It’s amazing how creative you can be on Zoom. Check out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAv0q1Tv9FpDrnhkvNq1FVA to see some of the work.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/d0f4d1ef6d639f55805befe13a24d395
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
The most interesting people I’ve come across are those with incredible generousity of spirit. The stars of the music video I’ve just filmed were wonderful. And their management team too. It hasn’t been released yet and I’m restricted to what I can say because of the NDA I signed.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Be kind to yourself. Learn to say no. Not getting a role doesn’t mean you weren’t good enough. Keep learning and look for the joy in what you do.
You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
Be prepared to work hard. If you’re becoming despondent, not getting cast, be brave enough to ask yourself if acting is the only thing you want to do. If it is, keep at it. Attend classes, network with others in the business. Write your own work! But, if you have doubts but love the business is there another area that would fulfil your ambition- direction, lighting, sound, stage management, photography. I have a side line as a rehearsal and stage photographer for when there’s no acting work.
Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.
I exercise, drink loads of water, do vocal exercises in the bath/shower even when not on a job and go for walks with my camera. Our dog Doris, a Westie, died last year and we’re ready now for a new dog. But lockdown is making it very difficult. I’ve been happily married for many years to a drummer who doesn’t do theatre. He will come and see my work though and afterwards he always says the same thing, whether the show was good, bad or plain awful- “well done mate”.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Ooh I don’t know whether I have 5 but let’s see.
- Never eat cheese and onion crisps before doing a kissing scene. Believe it or not my co-star still talk to me.
- If you don’t believe in yourself how can anyone else? I went to an audition convinced I wasn’t good enough to even be in the room. This doubt was so so obvious to everyone else in the room. That’s when the casting director said to me “why on earth should I waste time seeing you if you, yourself don’t think your good enough to be here”.
- Just because you work with a group of people for 2,3 or even 4 months, go for meals together etc doesn’t mean you’ll become best friends. Everyone moves on. I bumped into someone I had spent 3 months working with just over a year after the show had closed. I, of course, remembered his name and bounced over to say hello. He looked at me and I was devastated that not did he not remember my name instantly but he didn’t think it was a big deal.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I have two: my father told me that we had 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason. We should listen twice as much as we talk.
The other is about disregarding gossip about people: I will work with anybody once but reserve the right never to work with them again. I’ll make my own mind up about a person.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Lisa Thomas, a director. I had a long break from the business caring for my parents, sister and uncle in their last days. I returned wondering if I could even remember lines let alone act. Lisa cast me as Melanie Klein in the play Mrs Klein and then as Lily in The Night Season. She restored by self belief an enabled me to move on with my career.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
More decent roles for older actresses and directors brave enough to cast talented, older but unknown actresses.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Chuck Feeney because I want to know if we’re related in anyway. I’m very big on family history.
Patti Scialfa because she’s such an inspiration and so talented.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!