It sounds incredible to think, and quite scary also: it’s been a year since we got into the first lockdown. A whole year of cancelled plans, missed jobs, stillness and solitude. As artists, our lives can be quite lonely as they are, we definitely did not need a lockdown to make us even more isolated. And on top of that, as we now have witnessed many times, the world demonstrated how little help there is for us and how ‘non essential’ our services are considered.
But all we have is creativity, and all we have is each other. At the end of a whole year of pandemic, creatives and artists are actually the ones who managed to reinvent themselves the most. Why? Because we are used to falling and failing.
We heard so much talk about mental health, lack of exercise, ‘quarantine weight’. I am not sure about you guys, but from where I stand, I see people who did not lose their corporate jobs, who work from home, who did not have a salary cut, who managed to buy all the latest home gym gadgets, and still they fell into deep depression. This year has been hard and I am not dismissing anyone’s feelings, of course we are going through an event that is having a massive impact on everyone’s lives and we need to have great love and compassion for ourselves.
However as I write this, I cannot help but think about all my creative friends and the people in my circle. There's someone who started a cold reading club on Zoom, someone else who took the time to write her own songs and is now ready to start a new journey as songwriter. There's who created interactive online theatre games to play and keep the mind going and there's who wrote a show (which may never be performed, but that’s a different story). Yes, there’s also who struggled amongst us artists, but the resilience that we build in all the years of struggle in the industry, all the various jobs, the many rejections, the countless falls and subsequent getting back on our feet, that strength is within us, it’s there and nobody can take it away from us.
A year after the beginning of this all, we artists and creatives demonstrated that we are capable of looking after ourselves, reinventing ourselves, we are flexible beings, we are generous and we are ready for literally anything. The strength that lies within working in the creative industry is almost a paradox, because we spend years learning how to be vulnerable and honest, and as a result we actually get incredible toughness and resilience. Kudos to you for getting this far. Kudos to all of us. We are at the end now and we are ready, like never before, to pick up our beaten up industry and to help it flourish again.
See you in class. Not long now.