More than a Dream: Waking Up to What You Love
When we are young, we all have grand visions of what we will be and do when we get older. Our dreams are so wild and exciting that sometimes others try to make us think that those dreams will never come to fruition. Then there are our loved ones who not only believe in our dreams, they help us make those dreams a reality. With the support of her parents, Sinéad D’arcy was able to bring her dreams to life. An actor, singer, and voiceover artist, this talented and beautiful Irish woman who proudly has dual citizenship, considers herself to be a “micro influencer”. Musical theater always has and continues to be something in which Sinéad finds joy. It was her love of the stage that drew Sinéad to practice dance. She also loves martial arts and has earned an orange belt in Krav Maga. Sinéad looks forward to her chance to begin producing films to show that she is just as strong behind the camera as she is in front of it. Thanks to her persistence and her refusal to give up on the industry that she values dearly, Sinéad is doing all she can to make her dreams come true.
Rachel: Thank you so much for joining us! What is your “backstory”?
Sinéad: I always dreamt of being a performer. My mom says I sang before I could talk and danced around the house from the time I could walk. I got the acting bug at 4 years old watching Barney the purple dinosaur, saw a girl my age, and that was it. I told my mom “I want to be that girl.” I begged her for years to let me go on auditions, but she always said you need to wait until you’re older. She did let me do talent shows and I did lots of them, but when I found my mom’s CD of the original Broadway version of A Chorus Line, it was love at first sight. I remember seeing my first Broadway show, Wicked. As I was sitting in that beautiful theatre, hearing those angelic voices, feeling the excitement in the room, I bloomed! My first play was in 7th grade: Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. That performance was when my parents truly understood this was what I wanted to do. After that, I was hooked and started doing musical theatre in plays like Hairspray, Anything Goes, Singing in the Rain, and Broadway Bootcamp during the summer. I did competition plays, acting competitions, and won awards at district, regional, and states. I had the time of my life, but the minute I could, I came to Los Angeles to pursue my dream and now here I am.
Rachel: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your acting career?
Sinéad: I was at a commercial audition and you never know what you’re walking into because those kind of auditions are mostly improv. I walked in and they say, “Ok, so you’re a cool kid. So act super chill. But also, act like you’re surfing on a sandwich.” I’ll leave that to your imagination.
Rachel: What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Sinéad: I’m doing an awesome film called Cockroach that should be filming this year. It’s about the political climate we are in with Donald Trump in office,
and this young couple Rose, and Oli who live in this desert town. There’s a great message behind it, and I’m excited to see how people respond.
Rachel: Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Sinéad: I was working with Skyler Barrett, writer, and director of an award-winning web series I was cast in called Reckless Juliets. As her casting assistant, it was incredible to see how she looks for the uniqueness and authenticity in an actor rather than how they fit in. I remember this actor came in. He had a strong build, was short in stature, had freckles, and had beautiful long hair. When he left the room she said, “Wow I am gonna write something for that guy. He’s not right for this, but I am going to write something for him.” She’s really one of a kind. I also love and totally relate to the projects she does about young women and what we go through.
Rachel: What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or an example for each.
1) Embrace the beautiful mess that you are. I was shamed for my big curly hair, but now it’s something that’s celebrated and makes me stand out. The things that make you different, are also the things that can make you successful if you learn to embrace them.
2) Trust your instincts. Everyone has an opinion, so you have to trust your instincts. If you feel like something inside you is telling you that something’s not right, listen.
3) Don’t make excuses. You are the biggest thing standing in the way of your success. If you tell yourself, I can’t do this, or I don’t have the resources then you won’t get any further than where you are now. If you are in the mindset of yes I can, then you can make anything happen.
4) Trust in the process. It’s hard when things aren’t going the way you thought they would, but you have to trust the process. You also have to trust in the people you are working with that they are going to get you where you want to go. Things don’t always happen overnight.
5) Take one step at a time. I love checklists and checking things off. But you have to focus on one thing at a time. If you don’t have a focus, then you will spread your energy everywhere and nothing will get done.
Rachel: Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Sinéad: “Never ever ever give up.” I used to have a bag that I brought to auditions with this quote on it from Winston Churchill. People will tell you no or won’t even give you a chance. Despite their rejection, you have to learn to keep going to find people that will say yes and will give you a chance.
Rachel: Who do you consider to be your role model for the way in which you have molded your career? What can you share about that person?
Sinéad: Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird was a huge inspiration to me because it’s about a teenager just trying to find herself. That moment she tells her mom that driving away from her hometown she started to see everything differently and says “I love you. Thank you. Thank you.” That scene took my breath away and brought back all the feelings I had when I left home.
Rachel: Where were you in your career 5 years ago? What do you believe has changed in that time frame (personal, with the world, and/or with your profession)?
Sinéad: I was starting high school, so obviously a lot of things have changed since then. Now I’m pursuing my acting career professionally and look forward to doing projects that incorporate musical theatre in the future. I have learned so much being in the industry and have grown as a person and an artist. My family is still supportive as ever, and I have been blessed enough to work with incredible people that believe in me.
Rachel: We always hear about the best advice we have been given. Tell our readers the worst advice you ever received.
Sinéad: The worst advice I have ever gotten is that you have to go a traditional route to be successful. Everyone has their own journey. There are many, many ways to get where you want to go, and you can create your own.
Rachel: What are you currently reading that might be something I should try to read as well? Why?
Sinéad: Right now I am reading The Four Agreements. It’s a life-changing book by Don Miguel Ruiz that my manager Nancy Scanlon, Au Courant introduced me to recently. It’s about four agreements to live by in your personal and professional life. Those agreements are 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take anything personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions, and 4) Always do your best. I love these this message in this book because it’s so simple and yet so deep. It makes you honest with yourself and others.
Rachel: When you have the time, what do you binge watch?
Sinéad: I just finished binge watching Riverdale. My favorite characters are Cheryl, the evil cheerleader played by Madelaine Petsch, and Betty the Nancy Drew type that Lili Reinhart plays. I love the drama, mystery, and all the twists.!
Rachel: Where have you traveled that has given you inspiration personally or professionally?
Sinéad: Ireland, 1000%!!! Looking out the window and telling my dad, “We are in Dublin!” and seeing my dad’s hometown in Drogheda felt like a fairytale. There were the most beautiful castles and the greenest grass you’ve ever seen. I’ll never forget when I looked at my parents and said, “We’re home.” It was definitely a feeling you can’t describe.
Rachel: What would you say we need to know as a society to “move forward”?
Sinéad: Compassion. That’s all we need.
Rachel: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Sinéad: For this one there is no question; it’s my manager. We work so closely together on developing my career. It’s really been an amazing ride working with her. I’ll never forget when we first met for a coaching session. I looked like a girl who got off the bus from Virginia with hair down my back, a floral dress, and flip flops on. I was on camera doing a cold read and I remember she looked at me. It was at that moment that I knew my life would never be the same. I was on my way! This journey has been so inspiring. Nancy has been not just a part of it, but has had her hands on so many aspects of my career. I couldn’t thank her enough.
To find out more about the exciting work that she is doing, follow Sinéad on Facebook at Sinéad D’arcy and @sinead__darcy on Instagram and Twitter.