A LOVE of music and dance led German Lara Huber, aged 23, to Cork to study musical theatre at the Cork School of Music, where she is enjoying the diverse and cosmopolitan lifestyle that the city offers.
Lara describes Cork as a thriving, lively place that suits a young person’s energetic and academic lifestyle.
“I think that Cork is a great city to be a student in. I previously studied in a very small town that did not have much to offer to young people. Cork never gets boring, there are tons of people my age and there’s always something new to see or do.”
Lara said almost every evening after classes she and her friends try out a new coffee shop and explore a different part of the city.
But while Lara has a lot of love for the city of Cork, she said the housing crisis is a big negative for anyone thinking of moving here.
“The one thing I dislike about Cork, and I am pretty confident that most people would agree with me here, is the housing situation. It was super stressful to find accommodation, and being foreign made it even harder. I believe that everyone should be entitled to affordable housing, even international students.”
One of Lara’s favourite things to do in Cork is get to college early and watch the sunrise from the top floor.
“My college is in the city centre right by the Lee, and so our dance studios have the most beautiful view of Cork. There is no better way to start my day than going there for a little practice and stretch while enjoying the view.”
Lara said for her, singing, dancing and acting are her main ways of enjoying herself and even when she is not in college, she is thinking or practicing her moves and songs.
“Even outside of class I spend most of my time working on my singing and dancing.”
In Cork just five months, Lara said one of her best memories is one of the earliest.
“My best memory is probably last year’s Jazz Festival. It was the first time in forever that I got to enjoy live music. As a performer, this is something I had missed dearly. I loved seeing the entire city buzzing with excitement and the energy of the people is something I will never forget.”
Fond of music and lyrics, it is no surprise that Lara is a fan of the Cork lilting accent.
“The accent. It sounds lovely to me and I am getting better at understanding it, but there are still plenty of times I just smile and nod and hope I wasn’t just asked a question.”
In terms of learning from Cork people, Lara said living in Ireland has allowed her to relax a little more and go with the flow.
“I don’t think of my nationality as part of my personality, but I am a bit of a stress-head, which I admit you could argue is very German about me.
“I think Irish society is a little more laid-back and forgiving to what I am used to, so in situations I would have usually started stressing out, I now just tell myself “it’s grand”. I think being a little less German and a little more Irish can go a long way sometimes.”
The 23-year-old has travelled substantially since she was eighteen.
“I moved abroad when I was eighteen, so I do not ever really miss home anymore. I have lived in the USA, in France, in Spain, and on board of a cruise ship since. At this point, I actually think I could feel at home anywhere in the world.
“I got to go home over Christmas, which I did not take for granted since I have spent plenty of holidays abroad. I am not sure when I will visit home next though, and I am actually much more keen on having my friends and family visit me here in Cork.”
Lara said she is happy and content in Cork for now, although there are likely to be more moves in her future.
“As I am pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, moving around is inevitable for me. If I happen to land a contract here in Cork, I would be happy to stay of course, but realistically I will move wherever I get cast. Cork may not become my forever home, but I am happy and thankful that it is my home for now.”
Close to completing her first year at the Cork School of Music, Lara is currently preparing for her very first musical theatre performance in Clonmel.
Lara Huber is part of the MTU CSM Musical Theatre Ensemble who will be performing at Finding a Voice in Clonmel in Old St Mary’s Church at 7.30 on Friday, March 4, www.findingavoice.ie