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Body and soul: Eleanor Tiernan

My parents were . . .

both hard-working people. My dad is retired now but he worked in the County Council for years and my mum is a social worker in Athlone.

The house I grew up in . . . was where we were always putting out fires, not literally, but there was a lot of crisis management.

When I was a child I wanted to be . . . something different from one week to the next and I could never pick one particular thing. When I was doing my Leaving Cert I decided I wanted to study civil engineering because my dad had done it, too. I did some amateur dramatics while doing civil engineering and went back to college in Bull Alley after working in civil engineering for six years.

If I could change one thing about myself I would . . . get more sleep.

You wouldn’t know it but I’m very good at . . . maths. I’m good at understanding graphs, but there is not much call for that; there’s not much demand for comedy graphs.

You may not know it but I’m no good at . . . taking a break or slowing down, I tend to clutter up my day with things and I’m not good at saying no.

At night I dream of . . . holidays. I’m going to Spain for a week after the Fringe production. I tend to travel a bit doing stand-up, though, so sometimes it’s nice to be home.

When I look in the mirror I see . . . black rings under my eyes, and make a point of going to bed early if I do.

My favourite item of clothing is . . . a blazer that I bought in Urban Outfitters recently. I always find it difficult to find blazers that fit properly.

I drive . . . a 1999 Seat Cordoba. I would like to avail of the Government scrappage scheme, if I could buy a €1,500 car to replace it with.

My house is . . . in Ranelagh. I’m living on my own for the first time, which is interesting because I have no one else to blame if the house is messy or I run out of toilet roll.

My real-life villain is . . . my own fear of doing things and getting old, of looking back and realising I didn’t take opportunities.

My favourite artist is . . . Gerhard Richter. He paints on huge canvasses, and his paintings are almost like construction paintings. I love his work and saw it in the Tate Modern recently.

A book that changed me is . . . The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch. I do like to read but I don’t make much time for it. I buy more books than I read.

The people who really make me laugh are . . . my younger brothers, John and Conor.

The last time I cried . . . was last weekend when I went to visit my grandmother in Cork. I hadn’t seen her in a while, she’s 98 and I cried because I thought she looked like she had aged.

My five-year plan is . . . I don’t have one. I go from one project and one crisis to the next. I’m way too naive to plan anything.

My life philosophy is . . . to try and enjoy myself without hurting anyone else too much.

Eleanor Tiernan stars in Fredelnick’s new show City West Side Story which runs as part of Absolut Fringe 2010 at Bewley’s Cafe Theatre from September 14-18. Absolut Fringe runs city-wide from September 11-26. Bookings & further info at www.fringefest.com or call 1850 FRINGE (374 643)