After a very busy 2015 with almost non-stop appearances and performing, Tristan is taking a break for some rest and relaxation. He still made time for some of your questions today, and in this short interview Tristan discusses his work with the Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards, how things he says are often taken out of context and then printed as fact, the importance of giving back, and more. It's always a pleasure to hear from Tristan, and we appreciate how much time he gives to his supporters. Enjoy!
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You’ve been busy. A lot of your supporters from all over the world have expressed an interest in what you’ve been doing lately and wanted to know how we could help so I thought the best way was to spread the word as much as we can so that no matter where you are, there is always a group waiting to support any causes or work you are doing if we can.
Things are good. I’m kicking back a little bit and taking a break after a long year and busy holiday period. Now I’m just clearing my head and getting my ducks in a row. Work has been good. Things have been working out alright lately and I’m lucky to have a lot of options on the table after putting a lot of time and effort into things at the minute so no complaints.
First of all, tell us about your involvement in the Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards which will be held in May.
I was contacted and asked to be involved - simple enough to be honest. It’s something I’m really happy to be involved in. It’s not something I had been following for a while or anything but when I looked into it a bit more I realized how important it is. It’s not necessarily important to see who is amazing and who isn't but it gives students at home an opportunity to have their talents recognized a bit more. There are a lot of amazing theatres in Ireland and I’d love to, in a little way, try to help promote something that helps us fill them with our own talents from home. It starts with things like this where we have students from primary and secondary schools being encouraged to put their stamp on the industry.
Obviously the arts are important to you, but from your perspective, how important is it for children to be exposed to the arts at a young age – whether they ultimately choose it as a career path or not?
Just to encourage the youth to express themselves and encourage them to work hard is paramount.
Along these same lines, several articles have been published recently about your desire to possibly, at some point, work back in Ireland in some form in stage and theatre training. In the event this comes to fruition, what would you like to see as the focus of such a school or venture?
That was all taken out of context to a degree. I think there was an angle that I wasn't really privy to when all those questions came in. They should have been about the student awards but it ended up being about Strictly and me and reality shows and silly things. In response to a question, I said that of course at some stage to come home to Ireland would be great and that I could see myself living there but not right now. If a dance show came about I would consider it but there is so much more to it than just that. I suggested a great show would be something put together by different counties throughout the country and there would be a cast selected from the same production across the board and that way it would actually mean something. Students could be taught how to put a show on, how to manage a show, how to perform or produce essentially like a theatre school. It would be a show that didn't rely on celebrity to sell it. There are too many people getting excluded from too many things for absolutely no reason so I said it would have to be a show or something that actually meant something to people and not just a reality fad for a few weeks or months. I think the best thing about Strictly is that they have a People’s Strictly which consists of people who contribute to their communities somehow and are fans of the show so they come on and dance with the professionals for a live show. I think that brings the whole place together more.
In addition, we saw a photo of you with the Purple House Cancer dancers and since cancer prevention and cure is a cause near and dear to many of us, someone asked if you are working with any particular charities these days. A lot of the people on the website are heavily involved in different charities – many cancer related – and the question came up a few days ago and this seemed like a good time to ask. We always encourage the people on the site to support any cause important to them either by giving their time or money when possible but we are always happy to give them a nudge in a certain direction if they want to help in some way.
I don't have any particular charities I work with, no, and there are so many it’s hard to exclude. If I can help something I will. If not, I try to not feel guilty about it. Unfortunately, there are so many people who need help and there never seems to be enough around! Purple House is a great charity. We all hate cancer and we all have been affected by it somehow. This time I’ll try to raise money for that. Last time it was homelessness. There are a number of people who work their arses off every day for these great causes so to help in any way - however small it seems - I think is necessary. There is so much money in the world and although it’s not the answer to everything, it goes a long way to helping. There are a lot of amazing people in the world who give everything they have so it’s not much to try and ask people to give a little if they can. We never know how we can help and we never realize that what we do helps more than we know so if there is anything you have an interest in, sometimes the biggest step is making the contact. Just maybe the people who feel most hopelessness and helplessness in their own lives can be the most important in somebody else’s.
We all hope you’ve enjoyed being home. Have you had lots of time to rest and relax and just take it easy?
Not just yet but I’m working on it!!
Finally, back to that dancing thing for a moment…do you have anything coming up? We’ve been keeping an eye on the 2016 Ballroom With A Twist dates in the U.S. and weren’t sure if you would be available for any of those or any other planned shows or events here in the states, in Ireland, or elsewhere. There is a lot of interest, as always.
Nothing is booked in just yet. I’m working on a whole bunch of things but I’m not looking past this week at the moment! I’m shattered and my body and more importantly my head needs a break.