Sarah Purcell is an Irish actor and teacher currently residing in Berlin. She is a qualified Primary School Teacher and holds a Speech and Drama teaching diploma from the London College of Music and Drama. In Ireland Sarah acted with Estuary Players, Bradan Players and Next Stage Productions in many theatres throughout Ireland. She completed an Intensive Michael Chekhov Training Programme with both Sarah Kane and Graham Dixon at the Michael Chekhov Studio London. She also completed The Michael Chekhov Intensive Training with Joerg Andrees at the Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin and is qualified to teach this technique. She now assists Joerg Andrees on the Michael Chekhov Intensive Training in Berlin. She also teaches Michael Chekhov technique at weekly drop-in classes at Mime Centrum, Berlin. Sarah founded Roonagh Productions along with fellow actor Stephen Gibbons and is also collaborating on an on-going basis with actors Gretchen Egolf and Patrick Bailey on a devised work-in-progress, ‘How We Need It To Be.'
Where were you born? Where do you live and work?
I was born in Dublin, Ireland and studied at the University of Glasgow and London Metropolitan University. I lived in London for the last 8 years and just moved to Berlin 6 months ago.
What fuels your desire to act/create?
Firstly, it’s the opportunity to play and to try to understand what it means to be human. I don’t know if I can put it into words the absolute joy it is to act different characters, to get to explore different aspects of human emotion. To have the opportunity to empathize with characters ranging from the most horrendous to the most delightful; the result being the wonder of theatre. From the moment I first sat in a theatre as a child I’ve always loved the magic of that space. From the wings to crossing the threshold to the world of the play, is for me, the most exciting step to make, entering the world of the characters and sharing the story of the play. Then beyond that, when theatre is at it’s best, it is when the audience and the actors are working subconsciously together as a conduit for the play.
Tell us about your connection to Michael Chekhov’s work.
I came in contact with Michael Chekhov’s work during a Summer Drama School in Gormanston, Dublin, with tutor Joerg Andrees. I was immediately hooked. There was something so special about this technique. It not only gave me invaluable tools for stage, but also for life. I could explore my own creativity without being limited to my own personal experience. The field of the imagination was opened to me in ways I hadn’t experienced before. Once I had found this technique, I never looked back and that was about 15 years ago. While I was teaching primary school, I missed acting but having completed the course with Joerg Andrees in Dublin, I was inspired to set up a theatre company with a fellow actor in order to create work for ourselves rather than waiting on others to realize our ambitions.
How do you work with overcoming fear/doubt?
I still struggle with fear and doubt, but the best way for me to handle fear is to bring my attention and concentration to the present moment. My fear comes from an uncertainty of my future, but I have to remind myself that all futures are uncertain, so to fear it is futile. Doubt occurs the moment I begin to compare myself to others; I can try to overcome doubt once I bring awareness to this fact.
What is your greatest obstacle in working with self?
Procrastination! I am the worst - the closer I get to achieving something, the greater I avoid facing it. It most likely comes from a fear of failure. I find deadlines really help me. I also try to surround myself with inspiring people.
What are you inspired by NOW?
I continue to be inspired by Michael Chekhov and by people who have the courage to trust their own instincts and follow their own creative paths.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Trust yourself and your own intuition and let that lead you through life.
What is your next project or a recent project?
I am currently in the process of writing a play, this is a whole new area and it may never see the light of day but I’m enjoying the process.
In 2017, SUPER SPACE is serving as a vehicle to facilitate Created to Create Project.
CREATED TO CREATE
INTRODUCING ONE ARTIST PER WEEK, FOR 52 WEEKS IN 2017.
Beginning, January, 1st, 2017
ACTORS, ARTISTS, THEATRE MAKERS, FILM MAKERS, DESIGNERS, TEACHING ARTISTS, STUDENTS all chosen because they spend a part each day creating. Artists will be chosen in no particular order.
Introduce artists from different parts of the world. People who use different mediums and whose practice is at a different skill level. A thing they all have in common is unique sense of style and self-expression.