Tallaght Community School

Ben Morris Graduate 2004

Ben Morris Graduate 2004

Ben Morris
Graduate 2004

When I entered Tallaght Community School in 1999, I had never been on a stage, anywhere, ever. I had a hunch that it was something that I might enjoy, but I certainly didn’t realise it would become such a huge part of my life. I performed in school musicals each December and quickly realised that I wanted to have a career in the theatre. I was encouraged at TCS to chase after my dream, through hard work and dedication. I joined theatre groups outside of school and went to as many extracurricular classes as possible to improve my craft. In school, my teachers were constantly encouraging me and my fellow students helped me to become the man that I am today. That said, it wasn’t always easy at TCS. There were really hard times. I often felt like I struggled to fit into a group within my year, that was sometimes lonely and even unpleasant, as there weren’t many students with similar interests or personalities to mine. But once I was in rehearsals with the theatre folk of TCS I felt right at home. I worked hard in my academic subjects and tried to achieve the best grades possible. The discipline and transferrable skills that I developed during those years stood to me throughout the course of my career.

Growing up, there was often a perception that being raised and schooled in Tallaght was some sort of disadvantage. That sentiment was sometimes felt by locals within Tallaght and also from some who lived elsewhere. It is false. Having lived abroad for so long I reflect on my home town and appreciate just what a great place it truly is. Our community is strong and full of ability, ideas, creativity and ambition. The school at its centre promotes its students in an excellent light. There are opportunities everywhere for those proactive enough to seek them out.

Being an actor is a tough job. The glamorous aspect to the work probably accounts for somewhere between 1-2 per cent of the overall lifestyle. I’m self-employed, always chasing the next gig and I have very little security. But TCS taught me to have confidence in myself and in my abilities. My time there taught me, most importantly, to work hard in pursuit my goals. My profession is highly competitive, so goal is always to work ‘harder than everyone else’.

I graduated from TCS in 2004 and moved to London a few weeks later to study for a degree in Musical Theatre under scholarship at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. By the age of twenty, I was in my first west end show, Fiddler on The Roof. Since then I have had a diverse career as an actor and singer. I’ve worked in many theatrical productions in the UK and Ireland including ‘Phantom of The Opera’, ‘The Commitments’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘Hair’, ‘Oh What A Lovely War’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. I’ve acted in TV shows like ‘The Tudors’ and worked as a backing singer on all five series of ‘The Voice of Ireland’. I won a TV talent show, ‘Fame: The Musical’ on RTE, for which I owe a huge amount of thanks to the staff and students of TCS who were unrelenting in their support. I’ve had incredible experiences, like singing before a Republic of Ireland football match and at one of President Mary McAleese’s garden parties. The list goes on, but it all started on that stage in the hall at Tallaght Community School. When I’m not performing, I lecture in Acting at the University of West London and I teach Musical Theatre at many of the Drama Schools in London.

I love my job, it’s the only career that I’ve ever wanted to pursue. I guess I was quite fortunate to realise that at a young age, but I was even more lucky to have the unflinching support of both my family and also my school, and for that I am forever grateful.

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