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Keep the Spark Alive! Essential Survival Tips for Creativity-Starved Actors in Lockdown

Creative professionals throughout the country have been voicing their fears about the Coronavirus and its effect on the theater industry, and grappling with the realization that we may not be comfortable spending an evening in a windowless room packed with strangers any time soon. Some have taken their creative fire to Zoom classes and readings, while others have used this unprecedented time to step away from the industry or leave it altogether. 

How do you realize your dream of becoming a performer when all the live performance venues are closed? How can you write stories with the power to change hearts and minds, knowing there is no place to stage them? How do you grow your skills in a collaborative profession when you can’t be in the same room as your collaborators? 

Let’s discuss a few ideas about how to spark creativity in these unprecedented times by collaborating with other creatives, sharpening your skills from home, or creating simply for the joy of it. 

Start A Theater Company

How, in a creative capital like NYC where people are taking steps to get licensed as a contractor and are renovating skyscrapers across the city skyline every day, can it feel so impossible to create a designated space to share your creativity? 

First of all, there’s the cost. The price can be astronomical to renovate an existing building to fit the specifications needed for a theater, and you can just forget finding the money and space to build something new. 

The good news is that creatives are endlessly resilient, and when there is a story that needs to be told, we will always find a way to share it. You don’t need a fancy building to flex your creative muscles and start something beautiful… Consider starting a virtual theater company to connect with creative colleagues and keep in touch with industry friends scattered around the country. You can present virtual performances or concerts over zoom, coach each other on new audition material, or simply read a play aloud once a week to get the creative juices flowing. 

Whether it’s for a virtual audience or just for each other, collaborating with other creatives is one of the best things you can do for your craft and your soul. While it won’t take the place of live theater, it could turn into something wonderful that carries on in-person post-pandemic!

Sharpen Your Skills From Home

It can feel jarring to transition from a big, loud life filled with classes, auditions, and rehearsals to a life of quiet self-isolation in your apartment. One of the blessings of the pandemic is the plethora of classes and workshops that are now available online to access anywhere in the nation! There have never been more options to take affordable, accessible dance classes, acting workshops, voice lessons, and more from the best industry professionals on Broadway and beyond. 

You don’t have to live in a major city or pay a hefty price to sharpen your skills online while you wait for live classes to return! Create a home studio and invest in some quality equipment (a ring light, tripod, microphone or air pods, and a blank wall is a great start) to make your life easier when tuning in to a live class or creating a self-tape for an online audition.

Rediscover Your Joy

This unprecedented time allows you to step back from the hustle, the politics of the industry, and the drama, and rediscover the joy of being creative. While not being able to do what you love is frustrating, view this time away as a gift and an opportunity to remember why you chose this career in the first place. 

Create for the sake of creating. Write because you’re inspired. Dance because it feels good. Sing because it brings you joy. Then, when we are all able to collaborate in the same room again, you can feel renewed in your sense of purpose and find the joy you may have not experienced in years. 

Conclusion

The amazing thing about theater is it doesn’t have to be done in a building outfitted in the latest technology, or even on a stage at all. We can share our stories in a park, on Instagram, from our living room, or on a live television broadcast. The sky is the limit when you have the drive to create and share impactful stories with the power to change hearts and minds.