General Theatre

Life is Hard. Please be Gentle With Yourself.

At this point, not only has it been over two months since I’ve published anything on this blog, this post has been sitting in my drafts for a month to the day. Writing is my favorite thing to do, and for two months now, I couldn’t do it. Why? Because as you are all aware, everything is garbage. The pandemic is getting worse. The environment is being destroyed. Fascism is looming, still. And of course, live theatre still is not safe.

I know I am far from being the only one whose life was disrupted by the pandemic, and it almost feels selfish to complain considering how lucky I am. I graduated from college in May, and my job search has been fruitless, as I want to work in theatre. But I still have a job. It’s just working at the local grocery store, but I am lucky that I have it, as well as an internship doing editorial things for TheatreArtLife.com, plus this blog when the pandemic blues fade away enough for me to write.

I’m prone to worrying and anxiety. I’ve been struggling to keep my head up this entire time, ever since March. I’m trying to be hopeful, but recently I have been having so many days where everything feels horrible and that I will never find success and my dreams will never come true. I originally tried to take a week off from this blog to find myself again and generate new ideas and come back stronger than ever. That week turned into a month. Then another month.

How can I write about theatre when there’s nothing to write about, and what there is is just more bad news?

However, I recently started journaling, as a way to get more in touch with my emotions and to help regulate them. (BTW, not a shill, but I do recommend the Calm app, it’s super helpful!) My biggest mantra lately as a result is to be gentle with myself. Life is hard. And yes, every day is a struggle. But at least I have survived to the next day. Every single one of us is going through a terribly difficult time. We are living through a global pandemic! I know I am not alone in having a tendency to beat myself up about small things. So I urge you: please be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Take things one step at a time. You don’t need to take this time to become a master at something, or create something every day, or constantly be working at something. It’s okay to slow down and relax – sometimes all you can do in a day is survive to the next one.

I miss theatre. I miss art! We all do. I can’t wait until theatre can return SAFELY, and we can all get back to our lives. But there are a few things we need to do first. How do we get there?

I’m not going to pretend I am an expert, because I am very far from that. The world is terrible, yes, but here are some things we can all do just to try to make it a little better.

  • Support the Be an #ArtsHero Campaign
  • Donate to the Actors Fund
  • Donate to your local venues
  • Contact your elected representatives and demand they support relief for arts workers
  • Be kind to yourself. Take a break from your own mind every once in a while
  • Please, wear a mask (over the nose!!)

Everything is awful, but we have the ability to fight to make it better. And we need to fight to protect our fellow arts workers until our world can safely return to normal. Hopefully soon we can fight off this virus for good. But until then, please remember to just be kind to yourself. It’s not easy being a person right now. Just do what you can.

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