Like all of the artists I know, I too lost all of my work in 2020. Steel Magnolias which has eluded me my entire career, was snatched away once again. This time I was set to direct and had assembled a kick-ass cast. I also lost out on the opportunity to work with Anita Montgomery, director extraodinaire, on the play The Children. Watching the theatre industry collapse in a matter of months was deeply shocking and heartbreaking. Thousands were suddenly without work.
Artists are resilient. People began reinventing themselves and/or moving to more hospitable environs. So many have been creating fantastic art. I'm always astounded by the creativity of my fellow artists. Fortunately for me, I had started teaching acting for SUNY Plattsburgh in 2019, so I have had a creative outlet the entire time. Of course, I've been teaching remotely and that has posed many many challenges. However, it has been very rewarding. Many of my students are deeply depressed. College brings its own form of depression. Coupled with the pandemic, depression worsens. My class (and arts class all over the country) provide a safe space for students to act silly, forget what's troubling them (for an hour or so), delve into characters, act out stories, etc. When I see a student "get it," my heart lights up and I can see the rest of the class get energized. One after the other has a breakthrough and it becomes exciting to watch. Inspiring and joyful for me and my students.
Now that we are all getting vaccinated little by little, I'm very hopeful for the future and the future of the arts. Hopefully we will be back in the dark entertaining and being entertained before 2021 is out. Take good care of yourself and continue to stay safe.