Recorded at her home on 21.04.15. Running Time – 38:38.

Most proud of: Neil Labute’s Bash at the Gate Theatre, Dublin.

Yesterday marked exactly one year since I first had the idea to start a podcast. Just under two months after conceiving of ‘In anything at the minute?’, I was getting set to start rolling on my fourth interview – with Justine Mitchell – with no idea if anyone would listen by the time it came out…

366 days ago, this whole thing didn’t exist, but within two weeks, the equipment had arrived, iTunes had approved the listing and the first audio was online – a brief 5 minute intro in which I roughly outlined what the hell I intended to do (I’ve included at the bottom of this post, if you’re interested). Justine is part of that early group that took a leap of faith in agreeing to be interviewed for something that hadn’t yet found it audience, and for someone who didn’t really know what they were doing.

The thing I noticed most when editing Justine’s interview is how much more relaxed and conversational it becomes over the course of the 75 minutes for which I was recording. The project is much easier to introduce now, and the latest interviewees have largely had a sense of the type of questions they would be asked. Matt Flynn was the first to say “I was thinking about this before I came in…” and that phrase, or a version of it, has become much more common in the intervening months.

I’ve been holding off on releasing Justine’s interview as it is one of my favourites. It’s also ended up being the longest episode yet, and for good reason. Her honesty and bravery is, at times, as breathtaking as Denise Gough’s. And what makes her such an engaging and insightful interviewee is that she has thought about her relationship to acting. Hard. She had processed it and she understands it. Hers has been a journey that was once about acceptance, fitting in and ‘existing’, but that has matured as she has.

I know that this will be one of those interviews that listeners will take different things from – there is a lot in there – and fully expect to see some of Justine’s wit and wisdom quoted back to us on Twitter. For me, the notion of not “index linking happiness” with acting is a corker; I also love her explanation of what we do being simply “pretending really well”. As for “Be the cordial” – that feels like it should have it’s own range of stationery, clothing and accessories at the National Theatre bookshop.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this one. Oh, and that very first intro is included below. Until next time, “Get confident, stoopid”.

A huge announcement is coming later today about the future of the podcast. Don’t miss it: join the mailing list to get the news first. 

UPDATE: You can read the announcement and find out how to help #savehonestactors here.

Recordings copyright Jonathan Harden, 2016. Music by Deci Gallen.

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Jonathan Harden
Actor. VO. Director. Former barman, waiter, cook, labourer, 'tugger', security guard, dish washer, removals man, bouncer, office manager, Wendy's 'Crew Member', Costa 'barista', snooker table maintenance guy, shop assistant, usher, boom op, golf buggy driver, and one-time pretend bank robber. Started this thing thinking nobody would listen.