'I'm ready for the skimpy outfits, but don't expect me to eat any mice' - Aoibhin Garrihy
When the lights dim for Aoibhín Garrihy's first dance in the opening episode of 'Dancing With the Stars', she will not be worried about the live studio audience.
Nor is she worried about the thousands who will be tuning into the RTÉ show at home. The 'Strictly Curse' or the "unforgiving" outfits also don't bother her.
But after a career of always playing other people, from Neasa on 'Fair City' to Sorcha on stage in 'Breaking Dad', Aoibhín knows this will be the first time she's stepping out as herself.
"The live thing doesn't scare me," reveals the 28-year-old star. "For me it's just about losing inhibitions. You play a character and that's fine, but when you're dancing as 'Aoibhín'... it's important to leave your inhibitions at the door and that's a concept that I'm struggling with a little bit.
"I suppose as a culture in Ireland we're not very good at that. Europeans are a little bit more passionate, or free, or whatever.
"I think we're probably a more conservative nation as a whole...you have your nana at the back of your head all the time."
In the UK, Strictly contestant Louise Redknapp recently embraced a more conservative attitude to her stint on the dance-floor, declaring she wouldn't be wearing skimpy outfits.
"That part doesn't faze me, although the costumes are definitely not forgiving and the timing isn't ideal, coming after Christmas when I probably had a few too many mince pies," Aoibhín laughs. "I'd love to have more time, I'd love to have a full-time personal trainer but hopefully we'll be working all of that off."
For anyone hoping for backstage tales of Des Cahill demanding more diamantes or Des Bishop requesting spray tans, Aoibhín asserts there's been no diva behaviour to report for now. "We haven't got there yet," she grins. "But the nerves I'm sure will kick in and with that comes pressure and with that comes the odd 'crisis moment' or two."
Not that she's had much time to hang around and assess her competition. The actress, from Castleknock in Dublin, has had a hectic Christmas, appearing in panto in Limerick, cramming in her Dublin dance rehearsals around 'Beauty and the Beast' performances as well as her commitments to her wedding planning business, Weddings To A Tea, and her drama school in Clare.
While some of her fellow DWTS contestants have been notching up eight hours a day in the studio (she won't name names on who these samba swots are), Aoibhín's been doing night shifts of four and five hours, leaving her little time to catch up with friends and family over the festive period.
"You can't go into something like this and do it in half measures," she says when asked if she's in it to win it. But don't be expecting to see her on any other reality TV line-ups. "This one was a no-brainer for me. It's not too invasive and is all about the dancing," she says.
"In terms of reality shows, I would imagine it will be my first and last. It's one thing putting one foot in front of the other, but having to eat mice or whatever… I'd have to draw the line there!"