Róisín Bryson is a theater director and photographer currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Originally from Ireland she ventured to Scotland to study drama. In this interview she tells us about auditioning for her play at 13, growing up in a creative household and her love for working with people to bring her ideas to life.
Daniel: Hey Róisín! Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Lets start from the beginning, when, when did you get into directing/theatre?
Róisín: I’ve always had a sort of affinity for the arts and creativity, but I remember auditioning for a play as a laugh when I was about 13. I got a part and subsequently gave up everything else to spend all my time in the theatre. I think it was a people thing – I am fascinated by people, the way they work and feel and interact with each other. Drama and performing is about that, whether it’s the people you meet and work with or the characters you get to delve into. I loved theatre instantly – even if I was and still am absolutely terrified of it!
Through school I had this sort of battle choosing between fine art and theatre, and which one I would go into. I chose drama and came to Edinburgh to study. With all the intention of being a performer. I’ve discovered I’ve an affinity for directing now, which is a lot of organising and decision making and creating whole worlds. Maybe I’m a control freak, but I really enjoy it. There’s something so exciting about being in a rehearsal room and building an entire live world and then sharing that with an audience. It’s completely magical.
Daniel: I see you do some photography, how did you get into that?
Róisín: I’m not sure exactly how or where I started using photography. I know it’s often a documentation thing for me – I want to capture moments of joy. Maybe that’s a bit pretentious. Most of my photos are just pictures of friends or family. I love portrait photography, and those photos are often my best, because there’s so much life in a still image. I also find it really useful when I’m doing theatre work – often I’ll document rehearsals, or head out and create a bunch of visual resources for the concept/vision of the piece – it’s very versatile.
Daniel: Where do you get your creativity from? How do you overcome road blocks with creativity?
Róisín: My entire family are all artists in one way or another, and very creative, so art has always been around as a sort of outlet I think. I can’t imagine not doing anything creative. Often it comes out when I’m stressed, or emotional, or in love. So, if I’m none of these things, I don’t really make anything. When nothing exciting is happening that’s when I have the biggest creative blocks. I think the only thing you can do is just to keep going, which might sound a bit obvious. But if you do that, even if 99% of what you make isn’t great, there’ll be the beginnings of something in there.
Daniel: What projects are you working on right now?
Róisín: Right now I’m writing a show for my alter ego, Sharon Fruit. She’s a very sad, lonely woman trying to be the perfect wife. The show is about all the men she’s loved and sharing that with an audience in (hopefully) a funny way. It started as a bit of a joke and now it’s a collection of different performances I’ve done over the last year or so. I’ve a separate Instagram for Sharon, so she’s also an ongoing photo project.
I’m also working with a group on a theatre piece which follows the different phases of women’s lives and the various relationships they have, and how love affects them. We’ve been workshopping and playing about with a lot of poetry, turning it into performance text and stimulus and things. I think it’s going to be incredible.
Daniel: Who are some of your top creative inspirations and why?
Róisín:It’s always changing but I recently discovered Juno Calypso’s photography. The worlds she creates are so strange and so beautiful and a little bit spooky. Pink is definitely my new favourite colour because of her.
Always Lady Gaga - everything she does is beautiful. If I could have that level of control, and autonomy with my own art I’d be sorted. But also – the fashion, iconic.
The performance artist Bryony Kimmings – somebody recommended her work to me after I first performed as Sharon Fruit and I am in awe of everything she does. She makes such interesting work and it’s a really accessible form of performance art so I love it. Her character Catherine Bennett, who’s a fake popstar, is wonderful.
Daniel: Advice to everyone the creative world?
Róisín: Have confidence in your own ideas and be honest. The best things I’ve created have always come from a place of truth and honesty. But also, I think people respect that – no matter how strange your art might seem.
Daniel: What do you think the future has in store for you?
Róisín: I’m not sure yet! I know I’ll continue doing what I do. Next year I’ll probably take a show to the Edinburgh Fringe, I also want to start a podcast. These are short term goals I guess.
Daniel: I really appreciate you taking the time to do this! I look forward to seeing all your projects flourish and am excited for all the good things that are going to come your way. Tell us where we can find you on the internet