ACTOR - CIAN HUGHES
Although my grandparents were all born in Ireland, my Mam’s side living in Milltown Malbay and Quilty and my Dad’s side in Waterford and Balbriggan, my parents were both born and raised in England. I was born in 2002 in London and spent most of my early childhood in Notting Hill. Soon after I was born my grandparents on my mother’s side moved back to the west of Ireland. With two families split between two different countries, we would frequently travel to Ireland and back to visit them. It was not until I was almost three that we moved to Ennis permanently. Shortly after moving my younger brother would be born in limerick.
Once I began primary school, I soon started learning Irish traditional music and Irish dancing. I began playing the tin whistle then the fiddle and later learned to play the accordion, but quickly gave up dancing after a few years. Throughout the last years of primary school, I was constantly partaking in ceilís and the school’s trad band, which also continued into my early years of secondary school. It was not until I was around 13 or 14 when I started to take an interest in piano. I eventually convinced my parents to buy a keyboard which quickly turned my interest to guitar as well. Since then I have played for my friends and family and school concerts and have recently started writing my own songs.
Whilst I was in primary school, I also gained an interest in acting and performing. This came about during my First-Class school play where I was given the lead role of Fantastic Mr. Fox. I then attended speech and drama for the final few years of primary until I reached secondary school. Although I had always wanted to act in front of a camera, this gave me a good insight of how to get into character and perform on stage.
I was lucky to land the role of Patrick, I guess I was in the right place at the right time to find out that this short film was being developed. At some point during secondary school, I began attending my local youth service Clare Youth Centre. From there I began to get heavily involved with their programmes. One of the specific groups CYS had to offer was Comhairle Na Nóg, the youth parliament that operates on a government level, voicing young people’s opinions. During our annual AGM, one of our speakers, Sinead Collopy, announced that she was a script writer and had a short film in the works. It was a lead role for a 16 to 17-year-old boy who could pull off an English accent. Me being the right age, had previously lived in England, got pretty excited at the opportunity to act in front of a camera for the first time, but a lot of murmurs around the room proved that I wasn’t the only one. So about a month of procrastinating on signing up for part, I finally asked my youth worker to give me the contact details. Soon enough I got the email and sent in the last self-tape in Ireland for a chance at an audition. The directors and producers asked me to come to an audition for Patrick and a few days later I was told I got the part.
Another reason I believe I was lucky to land this role was because of the similarities between me and Patrick. Patrick had to get used to growing up in England whilst I had to get used to growing up in Ireland, so although where we live is flipped, we both were brought up with Irish culture and music only to realise our interests in more modern styles of music and culture have a far greater appeal to us.
Working with the team was amazing, they were all able to give me the confidence for a task like this and make it feel comfortable along the way. I hope the future brings me more opportunities to partake in projects like “Paddy”.
PADDY short film was funded by Creative Ireland, Creative Ireland Clare and Clare County Council.