Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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INTERVIEW | David O'Reilly, Everybody's Talking About Jamie

We have been in "lockdown" for a month now, oh how life has shifted in that month. We've been attempting to follow workouts by the hundreds through social media, trying to organise our entire lives and navigate ourselves through a temporary normal. One of the people I've been tuning into regularly for the past month is David O'Reilly. Actor in the hit musical, Everybody's Talking About Jamie has been using his social media platforms to lift the spirits of people with his epic Dance with Dave Monday-Fridays as well as hosting a fantastic array of people to his platform to discuss a variety of important topics. O'Reilly has an infectious laugh and aura around him that makes his stuff highly engaging and I am delighted that he agreed to have a quick interview with me, enjoy! 

Before the pandemic, David was performing as Laika Virgin in London's West End production of Everybody's Talking About Jamie. The musical is based around Jamie Cambell's true story when he attended his school prom in a dress. Everybody's Talking About Jamie takes us on that journey from becoming a Drag Queen for the first time and going to his school prom, "Upon the journey, we are shown the difficulties and the ignorance that surrounds some characters and their attitudes towards it." David O'Reilly plays Laika Virgin, one of the Drag Queens at the Club Legs 11 where Jamie performs in Drag for the first time. "Along with the other Drag Queens, we take Jamie under our wing and prepare him for his performance as the opening act at this club night."

David O'Reilly explained that his favourite part about this character is "how unapologetically herself she is. She can be brash and loud but there is something normal and relatable about her at the same time". "The most challenging aspect of this job has been doing Drag make-up every night. I have little patience when it comes to make-up and I just want it to be perfect there and then but sadly it's an art and with that comes a requirement to practice and as they say, practice makes perfect. I have so many friends who paint their faces so incredibly well and look incredible!"

Unfortunately, over a month ago, the show closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak within the UK but David wasn't here as he was "in Dublin for his grandad's funeral who had died from a non-corona virus-related illness the weekend before. I heard the theatres were closed through the company WhatsApp group". 

"It's important to acknowledge we are feeling low and then remind ourselves of the positives. For me its about perspective and hope."

David is currently living with three of his best friends during the lockdown. "We know each other well enough that we can comfort each other if we are down or give each other space if we need it but most importantly we try and laugh as much as possible." Mentally David has been putting himself into projects; focusing on his writing and doing the regular Instagram content that he's become more known for over the weeks. "I am also making sure I get in contact with different friends every day. For them but for me to keep active mentally. Physically I will get out for a walk but not as much as I should be, so that's something to try and improve. I also don't punish myself if I can't stick to the routine. We are in incredibly weird times and it's important to acknowledge we are feeling low and then remind ourselves of the positives. For me its about perspective and hope."

On Monday-Friday's at 3:30, David sprinkles some joy with his Dance With Dave instalment. "I've always done silly dancing on my friend Amy's Instagram and I included it in my comedy show last year so we thought when the lockdown was brought in why not do a daily song, just having a dance and a laugh. Hopefully, it makes people smile and we have a laugh doing it. I love making people laugh, it's like an addiction for me." Creating the content is quite spontaneous with this, "sometimes on the day we don't pick a song until half an hour before and sometimes we plan it. A lot of the dancing is improvised and hopefully, that adds to it. I just want people to laugh, I want whoever tunes in to forget what's going for three minutes and laugh at me being a dick throwing myself around on the floor."

"The funny thing is Amy and Craig who do it with me are incredible in their own rights and have incredible credits to their names so it's hilarious to see them genuinely try and figure out what the hell I am doing!"

With regards to the Instagram Live videos I was aware of so many amazing people some friends some not who where all going through the exact same scenario as us and we all shared something and that was the question “How are you dealing with isolation?”. It was important for me to spread important information but also show that everyone is in the same boat. So my interviews hopefully give people some perspective. 

In the early evenings, David then opens up his Instagram live to a line up of stars to discuss an array of important topics. Some of the fantastic line up have already included Arlene Philips, Denise Welch and Aaron Renfree. "For me, it is important to find out how they are finding the lockdown and what they are doing to get through it. By telling their stories and routine they may inspire something watching to do the same. I try to keep it positive and we also talk about the journey they took to get where they are". These are fantastically engaging chats that I personally make time to tune into each day, I would highly recommend! 

"Broadening our horizons can only but aid us as actors so I’m opening myself to films and books I wouldn’t normally read in the hope of learning."

During this time I wanted to know whether David has learnt anything personally or as an actor, "I’ve learnt that preparation is key. I’ve also learnt that I just love to work and be busy. Broadening our horizons can only but aid us as actors so I’m opening myself to films and books I wouldn’t normally read in the hope of learning."

"The hardest part of lockdown has not being able to see my brother. We both live in London and see each other regularly but it's been six weeks and that is hard. Also knowing that I can't just jump on a plane and go home to visit Mam and Dad". When lockdown lifts and normality begins to resume, "I hope I take away the importance of appreciating the world around us and not take anything for granted. By that, I mean being grateful for what we do have." 
David concludes the interview by sharing advice to people during the lockdown and tips for keeping yourselves motivated, "I would say allow yourself to feel emotional but put in practice ways to stay positive. Set yourself a goal and something to work towards. Remember that health is wealth and kindness is key."

Follow David O'Reilly on Instagram and tune into his live content Monday-Fridays. 


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