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A co-operative in the time of Covid-19

Updated: Apr 26, 2020

It’s an uncertain time for everybody, but particularly those engaged in the performing arts industry. Our industry went quiet overnight, all future or current employments disappeared in an instant and financial stability became questionable. So how are we, at Circuit Personal Management, coping?

Luckily, as a co-operative it means we can rely on a network of people who understand exactly how we’re feeling, promote any creative opportunities with each other, and not feel like the industry is quite so ‘quiet’. We bolster and encourage each other, using our new sociable WhatsApp thread, and provide a supportive sounding board for any concerns or creative ideas. Here’s a little highlight of what some of the gang are doing with their lockdown time:

  • Leo Atkin was cat in ‘The Show Must Go Online’ play-reading of The Taming of the Shrew which you can listen to on YouTube here and you can hear him from ten minutes in.

Leo Atkin in Taming of the Shrew
  • Melissa Williams is a trained psychology-based success coach and led a on-off workshop on Productivity & Wellbeing as a creative in collaboration with 53two theatre and Manchester Actors Platform. You can keep an eye out for any future workshops on her twitter here.

Melissa Williams Productivity and Wellbeing
  • Charlotte Ashton has been taking advantage of the time and space to perform more of her singing talent - viewable on her Instagram or YouTube. Equally, our lovely Nik Grundison has been self-isolating for several weeks due to being pregnant and so has been posting a daily song throughout lockdown.

Katherine Lunney has dabbled in writing monologues under pressure as part of Rapid Reel who are encouraging creativity in lockdown.

Katherine Lunneu Actor and Writer
  • Julie Root has been selected to perform ‘The Bird Trap’ by Darren Donohue as part of the Popelei seed commission 2020: Women in Lockdown. A very exciting opportunity!

Julie Root Actor Manchester

And in general, we’re also busy surviving: caring for family members, children, home-schooling, baking, cleaning, working, self-caring, exercising, shopping etc. And trying to find time to engage with some of these other wonderful opportunities being made available to us all ‘at home’:

  • Nick Hern books Playgroup - they’ve been releasing a play text to be read for free each week, encouraging virtual get-togethers to discuss the plays, and then conducting a Q&A with the playwright available on SoundCloud. More info here.

  • National Theatre Live at Home - streaming at 7pm on Thursdays on YouTube a different NT:Live production which is then available online for a week afterwards. So far, we’ve enjoyed One Man, Two Guvnors, Jane Eyre and Treasure Island!

  • SpyMonkey have released an ‘Emergency Physical Comedy Aid Package’ providing online streamings of their clowning classics.

  • Theatre Alibi have put their two most recent children's productions online for free viewing. They are 'I Believe in Unicorns' and 'Table Mates'. You can watch them here.

But mainly, don’t beat yourself up if you’re not engaging with any of the myriad opportunities out there. It’s also an achievement just to get up and make breakfast each day and, no matter what, as a co-operative, we’ll get through this together.

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