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This blog comes from local playwright, actress, and our Soloshoe account manager (our marketing firm), Nicole Neely.

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A blog for a pandemic… what could I write that hasn’t already been written?

 

I considered writing a blog about the difficulty of creating during this time of isolation or perhaps about the fear of regression in the theatre. Maybe a sentence or two about the difficulties theatres are facing.

If that’s the blog you’re looking for, please read one of the most-produced playwrights in the US, Kate Hamill’s blog here. I think she speaks to this subject perfectly.

Perhaps you came here to seek permission to grieve.

All good things that have become lost warrant a grieving period, and I grant you permission to grieve. Here’s an article that gave me pause about grieving during a pandemic.

Did you come here seeking a blog that discourages those who share their art through live streams and videos? You won’t find that here. I’ll direct you to the statement above and will remind you that grief is not linear and that coping is varied.

You’ll find a definition of “empathy” here.

The truth is, I don’t know that I have anything for you.

I imagine you to be an artist or a lover of an artist and in both of these ways, we are connected. I wish that I had answers. I wish that I could share poems or passages and know that they would be helpful. I’m not finding comfort in words at the moment.

“Blasphemy!” I hear you say. “Didn’t you write a play or something?”

Yes, or something! But currently, I only find comfort in action.

I’d like to share with you my list of 10 actions I’m doing to combat the badness:

  1. Remembering to Laugh: I call my cats my interns now. Whenever I stress about money, I now say to Clint, “BUT HOW WILL I PAY MY INTERNS?”
  2. Taking Care of Others: Soup and bread are my new love language. As long as I’m able to find yeast or old chicken bones for a hearty 12-hour broth, I’ll happily feed you.
  3. Keeping my Hands Busy: I’ve been crocheting the same blob for weeks now. It looks awful and I’ll never stop.
  4. Staying Connected: You get unlimited minutes on your first and second Zoom. Perfect for reconnecting with the people in your life that ooze sunshine.
  5. Feeding my Soul: There are days I need to re-watch the entirety of The Office for the sixth time and then there are days that I delight in taking advantage of all of the theatre being shared online. I just watched a free live stream of “Jane Eyre” at the National Theatre in London that has sparked a love and intrigue for devised work. I also watched “The Bippy Bobby Boo Show” when it was available and felt SUCH JOY and escape. I can’t wait to go to the theatre again, but for now… what a gift.
  6. Moving my Body: I’m mega lazy. I won’t lie to you and tell you that I’ve been exercising every day or doing yoga. But I have made an effort to stretch.
  7. Finding Pleasure in Wasting Time: Stardew Valley is my drug of choice, but Animal Crossing is acceptable as well. Oh, and The Sims 4!
  8. Pretending Everything is a Puppet: The joy in realizing common household things can become puppets is a joy that can only be felt upon your own discovery.
  9. Cleaning Sometimes: Wiping down the counters feels like a win. I hope you’ll join me in the wiping down of counters.
  10. Monitoring Brain Spirals: Our world and our comforts are built entirely vulnerable to chaos. I have a habit of trying to predict every bad thing that could happen so that I’m not surprised by stressful situations. I tell you what, this pandemic has thrown me for a loop. I have medication for panic attacks and have been working through different ways to handle spiraled thinking.

My list of 10 probably doesn’t look like yours. I would love to hear your lists about how you are combating badness right now, artist/lover of an artist! I hope you are being gentle with yourself despite the circumstances. Theatre and stories will prevail and so will you.

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