Iris first took part in Young & Hungry programmes during her final year of high school in 2012. She was an Ambassador and was part of the Festival of New Theatre as an actor in Flash by Kate Morris. She returned in 2013 as an actor in Dragonlore by Nic Sampson.
Iris went on to study theatre at Victoria University. She has toured the country with Hamlet and The Lord Lackbeards, and made her directorial debut with a contemporary re-imagining of When We Dead Awaken.
Iris now works in communications, but still keeps up with theatre. In 2017, she acted in The First Time written by Courtney Rose Brown at BATS and Circa Theatre. In 2019, she directed Period. which featured in the NZ Fringe Festival and was nominated for the most promising emerging company.
We caught up with Iris to get an inside perspective on careers in the arts:
I don’t really have anything coming up but the show, Period., I directed in the Fringe Festival we are going to be putting that on in schools. I won’t actually be going to the schools but just helping shape the show more through a school’s focus. It is a 50-minute educational comedy about menstruation though an 11 yr old girls perspective. We’re educating them in a really fun way but it’s good for everyone of all ages. A lot of people don’t know a lot about it, so there’s a lot of fun to be had with it.
Look at doing Young & Hungry. But also just get out there and do it. I think a lot of teenagers in particular are quite hard on themselves and scared to give things a go, but realistically we have a pretty accepting community and you can kind of throw something out there and you’ll get noticed. It doesn’t matter if your first attempt isn’t fantastic, just do it. Get out of your head.
I think I would just stress that importance of just giving things a go and that’s what Young & Hungry taught me. Also learning how to work things through that you can’t control is also a really big part of it– it teaches you really important life skills in a not so intense environment. It’s really good life experience and training for the real world. For the workplace, or university or wherever it is you’re going. I think it’s really valuable stuff. I totally recommend it for anyone looking to get into theatre or even just looking to make some friends.