Irena Reedy is not a stranger to Daramalan College, even though she graduated more than ten years ago and lives on the other side of the world. Irena is pursuing her acting career in Hollywood and gives full credit to the Daramalan Theatre Company (DTC) for supporting her dream, pestering her talent, and giving her direction in life. 


Who was your favourite teacher?  

That’s a tough one, as I really liked a lot of my teachers, but my top three would be Mr Woodward, Ms Lee and Ms Howard as they all impacted me the most.  


How has Daramalan College influenced your life? 

Daramalan will forever hold a special place in my heart. I will be honest, there were a couple of years when I wouldn’t say I liked school, and I felt like I didn’t  fit in, but I was lucky also to have a couple of really close friends who helped make the days easier (and they are still my best friends to this day, a decade later and on the other side of the world). I still keep in contact with Mr Woodward and will always make an effort to pop into Daramalan when I’m in town. Daramalan helped me find the confidence and courage to pursue my dreams, and I am lucky enough to say that I am making them a reality today. I would be sitting in C1 with Mr Woodward, talking about moving to America and continuing my career as an actress, and his belief in my talent and perseverance helped guide me to where I am today. In my final year there, when I knew I would be moving to the States, you could find me in Ms Lee’s office, most likely crying, from the fear of change and not knowing what I was getting myself into. She had a special way of making me feel safe and ready for this journey at such a young age.  


What was your favourite play with the DTC as a student? 

Definitely The Tempest. It was also the hardest one for me, and I spent over 200 hours in rehearsal and learning lines and the pronunciation of Shakespeare’s last solo play, and monologue after monologue – I was really proud of myself for the performance I was able to give and the entire cast was brilliant!!!!  


What did you do after finishing College, and what are you doing now?   

A month after graduation, I moved to Washington DC with my family. Two years later, I moved to Chicago for University, and then, in 2017, I moved to LA to finally put 110% of myself into my career as an actress. 


Tellus about your film Another Story, which you presented at the Performing Arts Festival at Daramalan. 

In March 2020, we were scheduled to film a completely different script called Picture Perfect, but the week we were meant to film was when Covid-19 put Los Angeles into lockdown. My mental health rapidly declined during this time, and I experienced a lot of shame around not feeling worthy of love or the life I was living. It has been a lot for me to unpack, and something that I still continue to work on every day. I wanted to bring normality to these feelings and start a conversation – mental health illnesses have increased by over 200% since 2020, and I felt a duty to myself and others to be someone who others could look to for support. I want people to know they have community, even in their loneliest and ugliest moments. I wrote a rough draft and brought it to Ashlyn Pearce (my director and co-writer), and after several hours of rewrites and an entire writing retreat, we found our final script for Another Story. We were so proud of ourselves because we felt we had achieved the dialogue we wanted to convey – there is no “good guy or bad guy”. Life is a rolle

rcoaster. It’s messy, it’s complicated, and sometimes, there are no easy answers. 

  • The film presents two people trying to have a successful relationship. One person has a mental illness, and the other person is figuring out how to navigate the relationship best, so their partner feels seen and valued whilst also ensuring their own needs are met. We really try to dive into what the dialogue and dynamic of that could look like. Ashlyn and I wanted to showcase a “fly-on-the-wall” experience where you see real and raw emotions without glamorizing them. We want our audience to walk away from the film feeling understood, seen, and even a little confused about who they felt empathy for – because the reality of this stuff is that it is hard and confusing. 


Please let us know about your next project.  

My director Ashlyn Pearce and I are teaming up again to create another film that is a complete 180 from Another Story but still aims to challenge stereotypes and gender r

oles. We are filming another short film (which we aim to turn into a feature next year) called Cinder-Ellie, a dark comedy/thriller. You can follow us on our journey for that film by following our Instagram page @cinder.ellie.official  


What are you most proud of in your life? 

I am most proud of my resilience and perseverance. The life of becoming an actress and being successful is having it within yourself to never give up. There have b

een days where I have called my family in tears, feeling lost and questioning why I am doing this. I am very grateful and lucky to have a family who supports me 110% and who holds that belief in me when I have difficulty to do so.  


What is your advice for current students?     

GO FOR IT!!!!! Whatever makes your heart happy and feels like your purpose in life, DO IT!!! I have never lived a day in regret because I decided to follow my passion. There have been hard, challenging days for sure, but I would relive those days over and over again, if it meant I would be where I am today.  


If you could have dinner with one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be? 

Julie Andrews!!! Every time I went and visited my grandparents in Adelaide, my Nana, Papa and I would always watch The Sound of Music. She is a big reason I wanted to become an actress and a performer.  

Who is your favourite fiction/movie character?  

This always changes for me, but right now, I love Edna Mode from The Incredibles, haha. She is so funny, sassy and cheeky, and I love her. 


P.S. Read Voyage LA article about Irena 


Posted By , 21 Jun 2024

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