In Focus: Fiona O’Loughlin - County Clare girl in New York pursuing her acting career

Aspiring actress and Co Clare native Fiona O'Loughlin

Background: A Sunnyside, Queens resident, Fiona O’Loughlin is originally from Ennis, Co. Clare. She moved to the U.S. to pursue an acting career.

When did you move to U.S.? 

“At the age of 21, having successfully auditioned in London for the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts in November 2011, I was on a flight to New York within two months. I have an uncle living in Manhattan and he gave me tremendous support on my arrival.”

How did you first become interested in acting?

“My grandmother loved all the classic films and musicals. I think I developed an interest at a very early age with her being a big influence on what I am doing today. At the age of seven, I joined the School of Performing Arts in Ennis and remained with them for the next eight years, then went on to study theater performance in CSN Colaiste Stifon Naofa in Co. Cork for a year, before coming to New York.” 

Who are your acting influences? 

“Right now I would have to say Jennifer Lawrence.  She has this incredible presence about her in every performance that she gives. Meryl Streep is also someone that nearly every actress looks up to. When I’m in a scene I will always say to myself, ‘Now what would Meryl Streep do?’  

“I enjoy doing comedy and would love to do stand-up in a few years. I think my dream role would to be in a movie with Will Ferrell and Tina Fey.”

You recently graduated from the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. What was it like?

“It was an intense two year program that has given me the tools to enter into this business. I think the biggest difference was being able to study theater and film. I feel blessed to have had the best of both worlds. 

“I got to work with so many talented actors who traveled from all around the world to come to this school, which is something I don’t think I would have got back home. I would have never discovered the Meisner technique, which I have continued to study since graduating.”

What is your big dream, to become a Broadway actress or pursue a career in TV?

“I would like to do both but I’m happy with whatever work comes my way as of now.  I am very passionate about the theater, and I think all great actors have hailed from the stage. I believe it is the foundation of any great actor.” 

Tell us a little about the recent production you were involved in.

“I was in an off off Broadway play called Seventeen Come Sunday, written and directed by Bryan McHaffey. It was an Irish play set in the west of Ireland. My character was very promiscuous and feisty. I had a lot of fun working on this production and I can only hope that there is more to come.”

Describe your life in New York in three words.

“Motivating, educational, crazy.”

Interview by Molly Muldoon