I’ve been tasked with writing my “letter from an artist,” a new initiative from The Wayward Artist. The ironic aspect to this, is that I’ve never felt less like an ‘artist’.
In the past I’d spend my weeks covered in paint or sawdust; getting a set ready for opening day. If not that, I could be found sketching, drafting and model building my way towards a design pitch. Between The Wayward Artist and my freelance design work, I’d have 20 shows open in the span of 12 months. Now, I haven’t had a show open for 7 months.
So what’s a lady to do? Well I’m pleased to report that this lady has been busier than ever. We’re in a new world of digital creation and content. I’ve launched myself into video editing and animation work. Something I now have the time to explore more fully. Although I miss the collaboration with the wonderful artists that surrounded a production, there is a joy in exploring new possibilities and skills. I’m particularly grateful to Go Button Productions, and owner Matt Scarpino, for hiring me as a video editor for Go Button’s new YouTube series. Please check it out.
I’ve been well aware of my fortunate circumstances since the beginning of this pandemic. It’s not hard to look around and notice that the entertainment industry has been a service industry hit particularly hard. I’ve seen friends, colleagues and students lose their jobs. I’ve seen organizations in Orange County consolidate and lose their stages. It’s hard for me to see the loss of others and not want to do something about it. Luckily, I was already in a position to help.
In addition to serving as the Managing Director for The Wayward Artist, I am also the Vice President of the OC Theatre Guild. Prior to the pandemic, I was working on a committee to establish an Orange County Theatre Awards program. An event that would support theatre and theatre audiences in the greater Orange County area. When we had to shut down the program in February, that committee pivoted our efforts towards establishing the OCTG Theatre Artist Relief Fund. A program that takes donations from our community and redistributes them towards theater artists in need of financial aid. It’s been extremely rewarding work. Also, and more importantly, it is still actively accepting donations and applications. Please help us spread the word by visiting the relief fund page.
Despite keeping busy, there remains a persistent and nagging sense of isolation. If you feel similarly, I would humbly recommend the following:
Volunteer for a cause your passionate about. We’re in difficult times, and there are so many opportunities to help, no matter your time commitment. Start by finding an organization you’d love to support.
Watch some theatre! This article from Playbill will point you towards some resources.
Invest in a candle (or two). I’ve been working my way through a candle from Apothika, a Los Angeles candle-maker on Etsy, who just launched his Halloween line.
If you have some suggestions for combating isolation in this time of social distancing, please let us know! Send a message to email@example.com
With much love,
The Wayward Artist