As the clock turned midnight on New Year’s Eve last year I remember the joy and elation in the room as we ventured into the roaring twenties. I would never in a million years have believed you if you’d said that 3 months into the year we would be dealing with a global pandemic, instructed to stay indoors and unable to socialise with others. Things really can change in a heartbeat can’t they?
The onslaught of coronavirus has brought such devastation to the world with the loss of so many innocent victims. We have seen the collapse of many large businesses and the untimely fall of many smaller independent ones too. We have seen the devastation for couples as their wedding days have been postponed. We have witnessed the sheer panic and anxiety that being unable to work brings to those that are self employed and those who have large families. We have also seen people lose their jobs altogether. The struggle is real, we all know that – but we are all in this together.
Everything right now is extremely uncertain, and yes, it’s worrying not knowing what lies ahead and how long it will take the world and our country to recover. However, we do know this – we will recover. It may seem daunting now, but when this is all over people will pull together to do everything they can to get the world back on it’s feet and businesses up and running again. We know that theatres will reopen and holidays abroad will be had – it will just take a little time. This is not forever, this is just for now.
The human race is a wonderful thing. When people pull together, we really pull together. As human beings we can create joy – and that’s just what we’ve been doing during this terrible time, and what we will continue to do after this is all over. (Let’s not mention the small margin of individuals who haven’t been listening to the rules however…)
First of all, I need to highlight the absolute superhuman power of the NHS. They are official superheroes in my eyes. For people to put their own lives at risk in order to save others is the most heroic thing I can possibly think of. In all honesty, these people haven’t had a choice and they’ve not turned their backs on the country, they have ploughed on with determination and vigor. These people deserve everything and more. (Make sure that you’re joining in with the Thursday 8pm clap from your windows and front doors too!) Thank you doesn’t even cover what we should be saying to the NHS and it’s workers. You are utterly incredible. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The generosity and bravery of human beings that I have seen throughout lockdown has been absolutely overwhelming.
- Volunteers working for the NHS to phone the vulnerable, collect shopping and deliver food.
- Supermarket workers absolutely working their socks off to make sure that shops are continually stocked.
- Industry professionals (this is relevant to my industry) holding live Q&A sessions and online workshops for performers for free.
- Performers holding online dance classes and workouts for free.
- Volunteers making scrubs, wash bags and face masks for NHS workers.
- School teachers and staff members keeping schools open so key worker’s children can still attend.
- Nearly 100 year old Captain Tom Moore raising over £26 million by walking laps of his garden for the NHS.
- Youtube channels doing 24 hour live streams to raise money for the NHS.
The list goes on and there are so many to mention. Thank you to everyone for their spirit, love and generosity during this time. You have no idea how these acts of bravery and kindness effect the rest of the country. These are the beacons of light that we need during this time.
What have I been doing during lockdown?
You may ask. Well, I am using this time to try and work on various things for myself. Yes, I have lost the majority of my work because I am self employed, so I am now relying on Universal Credit payments, of which I receive my first one at the end of this month. I am also very lucky that my fiancé is working from home and being paid his normal wage (for now).
Working From Home
As I said above, I am 100% self employed so have lost the majority of my work. I am very lucky to have found work that I can do from home to help keep afloat financially. I am teaching English to (mostly Chinese) students online through a company called iTutor. It’s not the most money in the world and there are certain times of the day I can’t tutor due to the time difference, but something is better than nothing! You need a degree to be able to do it and there is lots of training involved but it’s well worth it! If anyone wants to know more about iTutor, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I have also been lucky enough to continue to teach private singing lessons, but via Skype. Both jobs are helping me to keep focused and feel like I can still be productive and engage with others.
I have been taking this time to look into various ways that I can stay active in the industry whilst I am at home. I have been working on selftapes, my Spotlight CV, research into the industry and joining lots of live chats with Casting Directors to try and get some hints and tips for improving my castability during this time. I am also hoping to put out some more singing videos to try and get myself “out there” too. (Ironically, as I was in the middle of writing this blog, Bobby surprised me with a professional microphone! I am so shocked because I wasn’t expecting anything! Can’t wait to try it out! Eek!) I’m sure I’m not alone in doing this! I personally feel that this is the prime time to utilise this isolation period for the better. I know some people are using this time to take the pressure off themselves and to have some downtime, and that’s is absolutely fine. Each to their own. You need to use this time in the way it suits you best.
I am making sure that I am exercising every day and leaving the house for my once a day allocated exercise outside too. I find that doing exercise makes me feel 100% better and getting outside for fresh air really does help to lift my spirit. The last thing I want is to feel like I’ve got cabin fever from being trapped inside my (not so big) flat everyday. As I’m sure you’re all aware, Joe Wicks has been doing “PE With Joe” Monday – Friday and it’s great! It’s not just for kids and if you haven’t tried it yet, definitely give it a go! You don’t have to do it live with him at 9am if you’re not able to, because they’re all available on his Youtube channel. I have so many friends in the industry who are doing live dance classes online too. I’m yet to get involved with taking any of these classes, but I definitely will be getting on it soon! Get active people!
More than ever I’m sure everyone is all over the video call button on Whatsapp! I have never in my life videoed people more! Zoom and Skype are great ways to video numerous people at once too. Having a video chat is the best way to check in with friends and family too, just to see each others faces is a definite mood booster. The best we’re going to get when we can’t physically hug them! It’s important that you check in with friends and family generally, because you don’t know who might be struggling and who needs to talk to a friendly face. We have also been doing lots of quizzes with family and friends and playing games online. We have found that playingcards.io has a version of Cards Against Humanity. It comes under a slightly different name (probably due to copyright reasons) but it’s an excellent way to socialise with friends. I have also become a massive TikTok addict… I never in my life thought this would happen. After hearing the kids I teach every weekend going on and on about TikTok I thought it was just for kids, but I have found myself watching the videos constantly and even recreating some of my own. It is giving me life! It is absurdly addictive and a lot of fun.
I’m sure the whole country can relate when I say I’ve been watching a lot of programmes! We’re definitely making use of Netflix and Disney+ (which if you haven’t got, it’s absolutely worth the investment!). I get a very weird sense of satisfaction when I finish a series because I can tick it off my list. I’m sure most people feel like they’ve actually completed Netflix at this point! I have also been playing The Sims 4, which to me, is a timeless/ageless game. I know I’m 29 years old, but I LOVE IT. You can wile away hours (unintentionally) on The Sims and you can socialise vicariously through them too haha! Reading is also a great way to spend some time away from the screen if you feel you’ve been doing too much of that. I’m in the process of working my way through a very long book that I’ve been trying to finish for a while, so there’s a little goal for myself.
Doing jobs around the house
Not the most desirable for everyone, but my flat is gleaming! We have completely stayed on top of all of our jobs in the flat. I’ve even made time to do things like defrost the freezer, which I’m so glad I did! We can fit so much more in there now. Bobby has even cleaned the oven today, which has been in desperate need of doing for a while. It does feel good to get jobs done that have needed to be done for ages!
What have I learned during lockdown?
For me personally, lockdown hasn’t been as bad as it could have been. I have spent time reflecting on what’s important and I’ve found that really valuable. As much as you know how much your family and friends mean to you, knowing that you’re not allowed to see them really puts it into perspective how much you need them in your life. Relationships are so important and spending time videoing everyone has been so wholesome and lovely. I have also learned that I can always find something to do. Things that don’t involve watching Netflix or being on Instagram. There’s always something lovely to do that I may have taken for granted before, like colouring and going for a walk around my local area. One good thing that lockdown has brought to Bobby and I, is that we’ve taken it upon ourselves to explore our local area on our walks. We have found so many beautiful places close by that we didn’t know existed. I’m staying positive and everything that I’ve been doing has helped contribute to that. I can only keep moving forwards as I am and take each day at a time. I was very sad at the beginning because I’ve had to cancel wedding related appointments such as, trying on wedding dresses for the first time. However, I have to remember that they can be rescheduled and everything will be ok in the end. Life still goes on.
The last thing I want to mention is I saw a very poignant quote the other day which I’m going to leave with you. Interpret it as you will…
Stay safe, stay at home and protect the NHS ♥