If you asked me 4 months ago what I wanted most in the world, I would tell you I wanted more time.
And all I have to say about that is “be careful what you wish for”. Genies always tell you to be specific! Because if you’re not specific, you get isolation for upwards of 6 weeks. Technically you DO have more time. But unfortunately, not in the way you wanted it, because now you have no job. Lesson learned.
Inevitably, it was difficult at first. It’s still not all sunshine and rainbows, but all in all, it’s not the worst thing that could have happened.
The coronavirus quarantine nudged me on a path to face my career choices and either change or be changed.
The time in quarantine made me realise that while most people wake up during the week at around the same time, get ready and go to work, have a meeting in the morning, a client at 12 and a lunch break at 2, I don’t have that.
My work doesn’t rely on numbers. It doesn’t rely on others. It relies on me. Just me. I am my work.
And while this concept might be super depressing, existential and emotionally taxing, its incredibly empowering for the most part.
I’m now on day 22 of a 33-day journey by acting coach Jo Kelly, to “reset my instrument” and find instinct in my work. To let go of resistance and thought. And again, while it hasn’t been all hunky dory, I’m slowly getting the hang of it.
It won’t happen overnight. 18 years of conditioning and patterns are going to take much longer than that to release, but I’ve started, which is what’s important.
And I have every intention of finishing. Some days have been hard, but I need to do it. For myself and for my work.
In an industry where we rely on teamwork and fellow artists to make things happen, the bans have definitely made it hard. It has halted university student films, major productions, commercials and even auditioning (we can’t even help each other self-tape!).
But over the last few weeks, I’ve been reaching out to photographers and artists I’ve met on past productions to get a few small shoots and projects up and running, and I feel that it is really helping me keep going. It’s keeping me on track and, most importantly, it’s exciting me.
The excitement always reminds me why I do what I do. And it makes me forget about the times I doubted it.
I feel like at the least, quarantine has brought my family closer. We sit and eat together, we clean together, we fold laundry together. And on Friday’s, when my 3-year-old niece comes over, we paint, take walks to the park, run around the kitchen table for hours, play bad hide-and-seek and have fashion shows, hosted by my older brother, with background music from the demo button of our Yamaha piano.
Life is good. Worry and fear just sometimes takes over. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to feel frustrated. It’s okay to just let it out. But just always remember to keep an eye on that glowing spot, that thing that keeps you on track. That thing that makes you do what you do even when you’re not sure why because it’s hard. THAT. Keep it, and let it guide you.
Hope everyone is safe and healthy, eventually it will pass. My mum even thinks it might be a good thing!