First Monday Article
The clock strikes twelve and we ring into the new year of 2020! My very first single is released! My friends blast it on the speaker as we hug and dance the night away. I think to myself, the roaring twenties are back and this is my year. That now seems all but a dream...
I wake up to the stomping of feet and clanking of pots and pans at 5:45am. My head is pounding from the reckless night of drinking at my first official Zoom party. I open my eyes and I’m back in my childhood bedroom. Great, another day alone with my thoughts. I slug myself downstairs to do a workout, attempting to stay in some sort of shape. I take a deep breath and tell myself how beautiful this pause is and to enjoy this time with my family. I strive to stay on some sort of a routine to keep my sanity. So, I fill my time with online dance, singing, and acting classes. Should I order a paint-by-number? Maybe I should take an online class in accounting. How amazing is this? I can take this time to train and be ready for when we are back to normal life. But when will that be, and will it ever be the same?
My livelihood, what I have been training for ever since I can remember, is to work with humans. There’s something so beautiful about performing for a live audience. That experience can only happen in a room filled with people. Every single night is different. And what of it now? Broadway has gone dark. My new scene partner is someone who makes eye contact with me by accident while I’m rehearsing my monologue looking out the window.
I remind myself that I adore other aspects of my job. I love teaching. But then my FaceTime freezes when my student is in the middle of a breakthrough and I miss that moment; another student drops me as a teacher because they can’t afford it anymore; or your boss calls to tell you that you’re losing all of your classes because parents don’t want their kids to have too much screen time. Slowly, the things that made me get out of bed each morning and put on something other than pyjamas are being stripped away.
I miss my independent life. I miss my friends. I miss dating, or at least the idea of it. I miss looking at guys who aren’t the Quaker Oats man.
And yet there are the beautiful moments that make my difficulties fade, even if they are just for that: moments. I walk downstairs as my ears are filled with joyous honking. I look outside to see a plethora of vehicles with balloons and streamers, listening to the passengers scream Happy Birthday to my kid neighbour. A wave of emotion comes over me and I realize I’m weeping. It’s times like this, when what would have seemed so small means so much.
In these moments, I’m beyond thankful that I can share my art in other ways like musical covers, play writing, and just dancing in my living room. I chose this life because there’s nothing else I’d rather do. But I also chose this profession to inspire people, challenge their minds, and to share a human experience. I miss the warm hug of a stage light. What is the future of theatre? Are we to sit 6 rows apart from one another? Is a big Broadway musical going to consist of only 5 people? I hope individuals remember, when this is all over, that they turned to art to help themselves cope through this troublesome time. Theatre has always prevailed throughout history, and theatre will prevail again, but what will that look like?