Before The Show Can Go On
Well, I saw Hamilton for the first time last night. I enjoyed myself but by the end of the show, I was a blubbering mess. The source of my tears stemmed from a bitter realization that this is how we get to “experience theatre” for the foreseeable future. When things go back to “normal”, well who knows when that will be for the theatre community? What will that even look like? I personally started to finally acknowledge what my current reality was because for the past few months, denial fueled my avoidance to truly look at the state that my performance career was in.
Like so many of my colleagues, I have been blessed with the ability to pursue my passion and make a living out of what I love. It is not a hobby, or a side hustle. Performing is my career, and livelihood. Myself and fellow creatives get to play a part in creating beautiful work for the world to see, hear and benefit from. Our work floods your days on a regular basis. From streaming your 132nd episode, to turning on your favorite playlist, to attending live concerts...that is all brought into your world by creative professionals. Professionals like myself, that are now unexpectedly jobless, with no “reopening” for our places of work in the near future. The conversations I have had with my fellow musicians have been so disheartening because we realize how out of control we are. We are scrambling to find solutions, trying to piece together a career that is unexpectedly in shambles, during a time that is unforgiving. Our futures are all one big, fat question mark and the way to move forward is still so unclear.
For those moments during quarantine when we find it harder to cope, we cling to things like music and tv to entertain, distract or to bring hope. We will always need the arts. When we finally move into a new season, the arts will figure out how to adapt because we in the arts community are resilient and innovative. But it doesn’t make the road any less difficult. We have a tough climb ahead of us, but there are some things that you can do to lighten the load.
Our community is hurting so much right now. Part of how we survive and come back strong, depends on you making supporting the arts a priority, and not an afterthought. Take action now! Contact your local senator to extend the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, sign those petitions you see us posting like crazy, become a season ticket holder at your favorite local theatre company, donate to various national and local artist funds and theaters. From a health perspective, please wear a mask (for those that are able), wash your hands and social distance. We in the arts community have shown up time and time again for you, to lift your spirits. Please do what you can to help pay that forward for our community.
I love my arts community colleagues so much. The unique camaraderie the arts environment creates translates into one heck of a family. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you are working together to help create and tell a story. The emotions you experience while being a part of something bigger than yourself. Knowing that you helped awaken new feelings and perspectives through that storytelling in the hearts and minds of audiences. The arts are revolutionary and life changing. Doing everything possible to ensure that everyone can see those beautiful curtains rise again is crucial. We miss those moments, we miss each other, and we miss you.