Limerick actor, director and producer, Liam O’ Brien is setting up Limerick’s first actor’s agency, The Director’s Chair.
When Liam first heard about the arrival of Troy Studios, he decided to look around to see what he could do to contribute and seize this opportunity. What he saw were lots of talented actors who didn’t have any representation.
The announcement of the placement of the film studio was what spurred Liam to think about what the studio would need and Limerick was lacking. He says: “First of all we need a portal for potential producers and film companies, directors and the studio itself to source talent locally.
From my perspective we have an abundance of talent here, but unless it is all presented together and we all work together and cooperate we’re not going to be taken as seriously as anyone that would be represented by an agent in Dublin or London.”
The agency hopes to draw on the international spotlight placed on Limerick, to gain attention from and get the chance to represent and work with the many talented actors we have here in Limerick. Liam stresses that wanting to be an actor doesn’t mean having to leave Ireland anymore. “We’re next to an airport, Shannon airport is 15 minutes away, nobody has to be living in London or New York anymore to be an actor, once they’re near an airport they can fly over and follow work as it goes.”
The agency’s launch hopes to coincide with the launch of Troy Studios in the coming weeks. With 18 years of acting experience under his belt Liam feels he can help represent actors by bringing a level of experience to the agency.
“I’ve worked in Emmerdale for several years, I worked in the UK, I’ve worked in Fair City here and done a lot of feature films. I have some connections already and experience abroad and I’ve also worked with my own agents so I know exactly the conditions that one should expect.
When this film studio starts getting busy you may find that actors from all over the country start moving to Castletroy, down to Limerick city because they want to be where the action is, just like many actors started moving to Belfast when they started shooting Game of Thrones there. With the Director’s Chair we can give actors an opportunity for them to be seen, to be heard and to be represented, so if they do get a job somebody is talking for them on their behalf, negotiating their contract and doing everything that an agent does.”
Liam says unlike some other actor’s agencies every client will have a show reel online showing material they’ve done before and if they haven’t done much, the company will help them to produce a show reel. Rather than reading a list of plays you’ve been in on your CV, film studios will be able to see what you look and sound like on camera, something that is obviously so important in a visual medium.
Liam hopes that producers will be looking for actors of all different looks, and they will have the opportunity to find them locally first in his acting agency. In turn, he says, “sourcing actors locally will save money as there is no expenditure on flights or accommodation, as three would be with actors from places like London.”
Liam stresses how important getting acting training is, if you are serious about what you want to do. “Even if you feel you could learn those skills along the way he feels the connections you form when studying and being with a group of like-minded people is invaluable.
The Director’s Chair is only interested in taking on actors who are serious and professional and see the worth in investing in themselves, such as getting professional headshots.”
Liam says he will represent a couple of people with no training, but they would have to really prove their passion and dedication to him, by doing something for example, like showing that they had produced successful short films.
“I’m hoping that the acting community in Limerick, which is really vibrant, gets behind the actors and behind the concept so we can represent ourselves such better. I feel the city was missing this agency and we have the opportunity to do something great. Effectively this business is a service to employ people, which will mean more people living here, going to see shows, more business, and more people eating and drinking in Limerick.”
If you are interested in being represented by The Director’s Chair Acting Agency then please get in contact with Liam through the firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by: Sarah Talty
Photography by: Tarmo Tulit
Read more from The Limerick Magazine here.