What is your favorite travel memory?
I remember the first time I ate an eclair in France. It had chocolate pudding inside and I remember thinking, "this is the best thing I have ever eaten!" I thought it was particular to that bakery- but turns out all eclairs in France are made with chocolate pudding! That's the first time I really got what's so special about French food, the care with which it is made, the quality of the ingredients, and the pride they take in preparing it.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
I started at Berridge as a student and anyone who saw me as a sixteen-year-old, and now, always tells me that I have changed! Berridge offered me a connection to my art and myself that has influenced all aspects of my life- from my writing, producing, filmmaking, right back around to my work with Berridge. I definitely would not be who I am today without Berridge.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
It's hard to pick one, but one I have heard quite a lot is "it was the first place I felt like I could be myself". I feel that way about Berridge too so that means a lot to me to hear someone else say that and know that I'm a part of making that happen for someone else. I also hear a lot of stories around students feeling that Berridge transformed their confidence and how they feel about themselves. That means so much to me.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
I would love to go on the film program in Ireland! The filmmakers/staff involved are so talented, and I would love to be able to explore that medium in Cork. It's such a special, unique city and some fantastic film is coming out of Ireland at the moment. It would be such an amazing experience to make films there with Brian Dwyer, our film teacher.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
We really do care about the student's experience as an individual. I think that's something that really sets us apart. We want each student to have the experience they want to have, and we are always curious about finding out who each person is as an artist. I am proud of our team every time the students perform. Especially after the writing workshop showcases, where I can see how the teachers unlocked the inner worlds of each student, helped them find their unique voice, and now they're up there on the stage making me laugh and cry.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Authenticity, and heart. We really believe in what we do. None of us need to be there, we could all keep on with our professional lives, but we do it, not only because we love it, but because we deeply believe that providing this sort of space for young artists is important. I also think one of our strengths is being so approachable when we are at programs. The faculty and staff live amongst the students and we become like a family during our time there. The faculty are always there to coach, rehearse or work on projects with students, they don't drift away into some staff zone where you don't see them until the next day!