Originally from Mill Valley, California, Vivian Marino moved to Ireland in 2019 and graduated with a degree in English, Theater and Film from University College Dublin.
Life in California was great, she says. The nature there was “very calm and pleasant”. But after Marino spent a year after graduating from her high school, she decided to try something new by studying abroad.
As a theater lover, she had considered courses in London, but eventually she settled on Dublin. Dublin was a city suggested by her family friends in Ireland, where she thought it would be easier to get a job in the arts industry.
“My most direct connection to Ireland was through my mother, who was an open water swimmer for about ten years,” says Marino. “There is a fairly large Irish open water swimming community in California and she was a friend of my mother. They gave me.”
Choosing UCD was “one of the best decisions I ever made for myself,” she says.
“Before coming to Ireland, I dropped out of secondary school for a year. , as a place to trace the trajectory of life, it was an attitude that decided everything.Your parents spent thousands of dollars on your 18-year-old’s college application.It’s ridiculous. “.
“When I came to Ireland, I flew by myself. I had never been to that country, but I remember people being very friendly, even on the plane.” I remember asking him what he was going to do in Ireland and he was very kind and even the taxi driver was very kind and curious.”
The people at Marino’s course were also “very friendly”, but it took her a long time to develop true friendships.
“My first year here was pretty tough to be honest, but it had to be like that to get to where I am now. I used to wake up early in the morning and go to class in the evening to study.I was so worried about maintaining this relationship that I became friends with my housemates and went to concerts in the evenings and regular university classes. It took months to get things going. Then Covid hit.”
Marino was back in California for Spring Break 2020, but was there when she learned that “the world was basically shut down because of Covid.”
“Even though I had only packed for a two-week trip, I ended up staying home for about a year. moved house, so I sat on my parents’ sofa for a year.
“At first, I was comfortable being home and caring, waking up at 4 or 5 a.m. every day and taking classes online. I felt I was there and longed to go back to Ireland.
Directing is how I assert my power. I learned a lot through it. At first I took a very autocratic approach to get to this piece, but since then I’ve realized it’s not the most fruitful directing method.need to be more cooperative
After returning to Ireland in 2021, her relationship with Marino ended and she threw herself into college life.
“I ran for a position on the committee of Drumsock, a theater association, as a theater manager and won it with another member. I remember the scene, that was my life, I was ready for a change.
Drumsock “changed my life,” she says. After directing her first show in Society in 2021, Marino realized that directing was her career.
“I think directing is a way to assert your power. I learned a lot through it. I realized it wasn’t a fruitful way of directing, it needed more cooperation, and I had no idea that giving up some of the power in that way would actually be so rewarding and fulfilling. It’s a big trust,” she explains.
Since then, Marino has directed and assistant directed several amateur shows in society and has completed her Bachelor’s Degree in the last few months. Her ‘dream’ is that she will study directing at Lille next year and get a job in Ireland. As of now, she works as an usher at both the Bord Gáis Energy Theater and Gaiety.
“Theater is everything to my life. There is something about the nostalgia of Gaiety, chandeliers and safety curtains.The whole look of this place pulls you back. Because the creatives go into this void to create space, whereas with the Gaiety style, you’re completely removed from the modern world and taken into this particular, comfortable theater space.It’s spectacular,” she said. say.
Some of Marino’s favorite shows were at Bord Gáis.
“I’ve come to see some of them as guides. Sometimes I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something relevant to my life through the show,” she says.
“Was it the right thing to do to break up with that man?” Then comes My Fair Lady, but she leaves him behind. It was the best decision she made. Or Beauty and the Beast is on and it’s about love and sacrifice.
“Living in Dublin is very romantic to me. she says.
So many Irish friends got in touch to give them places to crash or help them get around. To be honest, that made me cry.The reality of eviction has only just begun, but I was simply moved by the overwhelming kindness.
“California is one of the most beautiful places in the world, but I left because that bond wasn’t strong enough to keep me there. It makes me so sad to think about leaving and leaving all the people I met.”
Marino had his own set of challenges navigating Dublin’s housing crisis, but when he found a room with friends at UCD a year ago, after being evicted from the property on just one month’s notice, Marino “I got lucky.”
“When that happened, so many Irish friends got in touch to give me a place to crash or help me move. Honestly, it made me cry.” The reality of the eviction had not yet begun, but I was simply moved by the overwhelming kindness.After such a difficult situation, I was fortunate enough to be able to live with my friend Lucy.I am with her. I love and appreciate living in – especially considering how difficult it is to find a home.
Thanks to the friends Marino made in Ireland, Marino felt that Dublin was the place to stay for the long term.
“If I were made to be alone in the world, I think maybe California’s nature, the forests, and the ocean would be where I want to be physically. , if I have no one to bring, I will bring the people of Dublin.