Friday 17 November 2017

Meet the Irish women who film their lives, warts and all, for new RTE2 reality soap 'Connected'

Connected cast
L-R Alanna Diggin, Nicole McQuillan, Elayne Harrington, Venetia Quick, Anna Ryan, Kate McGrew
Connected cast L-R Alanna Diggin, Nicole McQuillan, Elayne Harrington, Venetia Quick, Anna Ryan, Kate McGrew
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

A new 20-episode reality soap kicks off on RTE2 on September 22 featuring six Irish women who have charted their own lives over the course of ten months on camera.

Five of the six talk to Independent.ie about their individual journeys on the brand new Irish reality show.

Elayne Harrington (27) aka Temper-Mental Miss Elayneous, rapper, from Finglas.

"I'm from Finglas.  To a degree it was easy to record myself and do the camera stuff.  I have a good artistic eye and I would have a vision as to what would be appealing with the size of the frame and content and stuff but for me it was more difficult to come away from the show girl portrayal of what Miss Elayneous is. 

"Temper-Mental Miss Elayneous - Elayne is encompassed within that, note the spelling - so it was difficult for me to kind of find that balance and oftentimes the producers would be trying to coax more from me, more personal stuff.  But that's actually not how I work.  It was actually effort for me to be personal to give people something to chew on.

"I fell in love with somebody actually.  I had to tiptoe around it.  I wanted to keep it for me.  I didn't want it to be commodified.  But I think you'll see little bits and piece s of it in the footage, it's in relation to the area I work in, in the Hip Hop world.

"I won't watch it.  I don't watch TV.  I haven't watched TV since I was 17.  I don't won a telly.  I've never owned a telly independently in my life.  I moved out independently when I was 17 and never owned a TV.  I still haven't finished all the books I want to be reading so why would I have a TV?"

Meet Elayne...

 

Venetia Quick (40-ish) from Ringsend

"I learned how to drive which was big.  My husband started a new business a few weeks ago sot hat's a happy ending.  My dad had been staying close to us because he had been ill so he recuperated and went home. Lots of normal life stuff happened. 

"It was very difficult initially to film myself.  But I think it's the sort of show that unless you're brutally honest it's not going to work so I just had to decide to tell it like it is.  I think people will relate to all the stories.

"There were lots of times I didn't want to film.  I was reticent about doing it initially because it wasn't something I had ever thought of doing. But I'm a radio producer for Q102 so it was another angle of learning how to use a camera and learning about sound and lightings and producing so it was a whole new skill set to learn.

"It was also kind of therapeutic sometimes when things are like 'aargh'!  But I'm really s***ting myself about seeing it.  It's weird.  I think once it's on it'll be okay.  But I've worked in radio for 18 years but I've quite a thick skin in one way but then again if people say mean things...  I guess if somebody has something nasty to say they should take the energy and do something more worthwhile with it."

Meet Venetia...

 

Kate McGrew, aka Lady Grew, originally from Canada, living in Cork.

"I'm a singer and a dancer so thats' where Lady Grew comes from.  I'm from Ohio and I've been in Cork six years.  I love it.  I will never ever leave the craic and the people.  I really enjoyed doing this.  I was potentially really nervous about this kind of show but as a performer its the kind of nervousness that we thrive on.

"It has been a turbulent time and that is definitely seen throughout the show.  Aspects of my life becoming exposed and my family having to deal with that.  Those things came about because I was doing the show.  I think I thought before I started the show I was like, 'I'm not going to talk about this and that'.  But then I decided if I was going to do it I was going to do it full on.

"At first it was quite hard, because I was like, 'Who am I talking to?' so finding it a natural way of talking was hard.  But just the process of doing it I realised I have grown from doing it and I have a show that I've toured the world with and that has changed so much in the past year as a result of doing this."

Meet Kate: Making the connection - feminism and sex work

 

Nicole McQuillan (21) from Baldoyle, Dublin 13

"I'm living in Finglas at the moment with my boyfriend Noel.  I'm a part-time model and full time student of law. Things just happened, day to day things, I have events on and stuff.  It's just me living my life.  I love the camera. 

"When I did hear about the opportunity I felt it was really personal and I didn't really want to engage in that and I didn't want to go down the TV route.  But then I felt it was too good an opportunity to give up and I wanted to take it and utilise it. 

"I love filming myself.  I bring the camera wheerver I can.  I love it all.  I dont want it to end.  It's been great.  I know it sounds weird going around filming yourself but in this day and age everyone's filming and photographing themselves all the time."

Anna Ryan from Dublin is the sixth participant in 'Connected' but was unavailable to interview since she has recently relocated to Africa.

Meet Nicole...

 

Alanna Diggin (21) from Tralee, Kerry

"I've recently gotten really bad muscle and back pain so it's a lot about my health.  And there's a lot about my boyfriend in there and the lifestyle of young twenty-something college students.  I'm not in college myself but my friends are so it's kind of an insight into life around Tralee. 

"I enjoyed the talking to the camera when I was in my room and at home, it was relay comforting, but gong around town was kind of hard people would be looking at you why you're recording yourself sot hat was kind of hard!  After two or three months I would record myself in the morning with no make-up and stuff so it got easier over time.

"Everything I think and feel and do is in there. I'm very excited about seeing it.  I was nervous a few months ago but now I'm excited to see what people think of myself and all the other girls.  I'm really excited to see how the other girls got on."

Connected starts on RTE2 on September 22 at 10.30pm.

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