Name: Kirin Hilliar
Hometown: Lake Macquarie, Australia
Living: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Qualifications: Master of (Forensic) Psychology and PhD Psychology (University of New South Wales)
Experience: 11 years in psychology practice, 4 years in academia and 6 years in theatre
Endorsed by: Lauren Noble
Proudest moment in your career?
I'm living it as I write this: directing my full-length theatrical debut with an amazing script and two uber-talented actresses!
Quote to live by in your industry?
“The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast” ~ Oscar Wilde.
Five things we need to know about you?
I grew up with three brothers and was one of the middle children. My eldest brother had Down Syndrome. Growing up with a brother with special needs definitely had an impact on my empathy levels, and is a major motivator in my efforts to enhance inclusiveness in the work I do. He passed away when I was 12 years old. Grief is like the ocean - it is constantly shifting.
I chose to study at UNSW because (a) it was the only university in Sydney that offers a Masters program in Forensic Psychology and (b) it was across the street from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts. My plan was to do NIDA short courses whilst studying psychology... but I got so caught up in my degrees that I never even crossed the street.
I did competitive Latin dancing when living in Sydney. Once I moved to Dubai, I started tango - and that's how I met my husband. A man who can dance is very attractive!
I've interviewed murderers, arsonists, people who have done horrible things. But I am fascinated by the "why". Why did a person make the choice they did? Why did they interpret a situation in a particular way? Understanding a person's psychology can help you make sense of their actions. This makes psychology and theatre incredibly compatible.
I truly believe in the mantra of "treat others how you would want to be treated". It doesn't take extra effort to be kind - certainly, it's far more mentally draining to be angry and resentful. At the same time, treating others respectfully includes treating yourself with respect, and setting appropriate boundaries (including saying no!)