Spotlight On… Síofra O’Dwyer

The DCU Drama “Spotlight On…” series continues, this time with the wonderful Síofra O’Dwyer! Síofra has been a vital part of our society since becoming First Year Rep at last year’s EGM. We caught up with Síofra as she spoke about her role and some of her highlights, and what a year it was!

First things first, congratulations on your role as Production Manager this year, well earned, hope you’ll do great. Do you want to tell us a little bit about you for those who might not have had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Siofra O’Dwyer yet?

Thank you! Well, I’m a second year Accounting and Finance student – something that always comes as a surprise to people when they know I’m involved in Drama! I’m from Donegal originally and honestly, it makes up 90% of my personality. I have four plants called Jerome, Cecil, Diana, and Patti LuPone, and firmly believe there’s nothing that can’t be fixed by hash browns and tea.

So take us back, October 2019, you decided to stand up at our OGM and run for First Year Rep. What inspired you to go for the position?

My sister had just graduated from DCU, and she was super involved in society life. I knew from seeing her that societies could become your family, and they completely made her college experience – I wanted that for myself and as I’d been in a TY musical or two, I figured Drama was the place to do it.

When you got the spot on the committee, how did you feel trying to blend in? The role of First Year Rep is to be the bridge between the old-timers and the freshers, did you feel divided at all from the existing group?

I felt really clueless at first, to be honest – everyone seemed to know exactly what they were doing and had so much experience compared to me. I think I went to three meetings without fully understanding what a member’s production was! For some people, it was their fourth year on the committee so I was very much the baby of the group. This babying nearly became the way I bonded with people so much older than me – the chair and vice-chair were my Drama mum and dad, everyone else a varying range of aunts and uncles. I definitely idolized the committee and felt so lucky to work with them all, so when they’d get stressed about the responsibilities of running the society, I was there to remind them how class Drama actually is. I think that’s a really important feature of First Year Rep; they look at everything with fresh eyes and see all the good things about it.

It’s hard to imagine Drama without you at this point after the impact you had on the society last year, what would be some highlights for you from the year? Or something you’re very proud of achieving.

I was obviously very proud of producing Rent until it met an unfortunate end (lol still hurts) but to be really honest, the thing I’m most proud of is how I forged friendships with so many people in Drama. It’s not easy coming into a group of people who have already been friends for at least a year, and I remember being so determined to force my way into their lives and make lasting friendships, especially with those who were graduating. Now they might not have been happy about it, but through sheer force of will, I made a place for myself in their lives and can now happily say I live with, have games nights with, tea, swims and so much more with so many people I met last year. I took a lot of relationships beyond just sitting on a committee with them, and I’m very proud of that.

Now, big question coming, what do you think of Drama? Like what do you REALLY think, deep down in your soul of souls?

I’m fully obsessed with it. I know I’m biased, but it is absolutely the loveliest society to be a part of. We involve such a huge amount of members, whether that’s through writers, production team members, casts, tech teams, backstage teams, even just popping along to an event for a song or some improv. The atmosphere at any event or rehearsal is always so warm and supportive, and the shows that Drama creates generate a huge amount of pride. It’s really, truly something special.

It’s a lot to get up and sell yourself to total strangers as a Fresher, any top tips for people to put their best foot forward if they intend to run?

Personally, I’d avoid listing off all your achievements/grades/shows in drama or musical theatre – this can get quite repetitive, and being the First Year Rep isn’t about how qualified you are! You only have 30 seconds, so try to focus on why you want to be on the committee and involved in Drama – what do you want to get from the experience, what do you think you can bring to the role.

So, to wrap a lovely conversation up, would you recommend people to run for the position? Or would you tell them to run for the hills from the army of DCU theatre kids?

No nobody run so I can keep the position please and thank you.

Ah genuinely, I love being Production Manager but I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy another position as much as I enjoyed being First Year Rep. It’s hands down the nicest position on the committee – you get all the perks without any of the heavy responsibility. You can learn about any aspect of the society that you want just by asking another committee member and following what they do. Biggest CLICHÉ going, but being on a committee is absolutely a ready-made family, and none more so than Drama. If you’ve even the slightest inkling of running for First Year Rep, do it. You’ll meet more lovely people and have more incredible experiences than you can ever imagine.

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