Times have changed I am not longer a green early 20's country girl landed in London but yet am every bit as clueless on how to proceed at the moment. My father having passed over on Oct 2015, which is an emotionally decimating time to say the least, and after a short illness myself, I now find myself back in Ireland trying to get into an industry in which I have no network built up as even after ten years away in the UK, it still is who you know over here!
I tried before, for two years 2008 - 2010 when he was extremely ill and I had to come home to help my family. Ireland was in the recession and jobs were very scarce but still nothing essentially has changed, apart from the fact that now every second course provider in the country is selling Media, Film & TV now when in my time St. John's Central College in Cork was the only one, and it is still the best in the South. (total plug there and proud to be an alumni!)
Today it seems companies want to hire either a recently qualified student to work for free as an Intern or a seasoned veteran, but nothing in between.
I may not have been working everyday in the UK film industry but it is full thanks to people like Monika Y. Dee at r-Kive Productions http://rkiveproductions.co.uk/ who found me on www.mandy.com who gave me a leg up, and kept me working and upskilling on shorts in between the day job of putting a roof over my head in London.
It comes a time however when you need a paid job to go forward in life and a company to work with you, invest in you and see your potential and if you can't get in anywhere you just have to do it yourself!
The issue in Ireland seems to be at the moment any paid jobs (if not bloody internships or jobbridge schemes) are based in Dublin where the rent is as high as London... "News-flash" people need to eat and put a roof over their head so that would be back to square one working weekdays in a paid role (probably behind a desk) and spending the weekends on shorts, which is fine if you are in your twenties, and I spent 10 years in London doing that!
The flip side of the coin, the areas I would love to work in like Donegal, Sligo, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Kerry and/or my own native Cork, well suddenly you need to be fluent in Irish to get the paid work!
Now I can read Irish I'd say my level is now about Junior Cert Honours level even though I did Honours in the leaving Certificate but I haven't used the language in years and I didn't attend a Gaelscoileanna or come from a Gaeltacht area so I was never a fluent speaker!! When I left Ireland initially in 2004 Irish was only just becoming popular, TG4 was only 8 years old, and my generation had thought Irish a pain in the arse, The Simpson on Sky were more fun!. Today Irish is totally on trend, well in the media industry it seems it is... and I am seeing it everywhere else in the country now, and rightly so. The production values of content broadcast from TG4 is fantastic and visually it is on par with Europe, and productions coming out of France and Scandinavia.
I'm not here for a moan or a "I should be handed anything on a plate" whinge, I know life is hard work and not always fair. So the upshot is I've booked myself on a refresher Irish course in Ballyferriter for a weekend crash course. Now this is in the hope that I can get Munster Irish back on my ear, I have no idea if I will need Connacht Irish or Donegal Irish to get work, this is still a mystery to me!! But it is hopefully the start of cúpla focal! I intend to blog and video this journey of mine as at least if I can't work on a production I can create my own little documentary about this lovely life obstacle, and whether or not I'll overcome it, and sure if it worked for Des Bishop...