2020 marks our 10 year anniversary as a Theatre Company. Needless to say, we did not expect to be spending it rescheduling tour dates and video calling each other from our respective living rooms.
According to our diaries, right now we should be currently be working with community groups in Gloucester and Gosport to create two new shows for under 4’s. We should be touring. We should be writing a big old funding application to support us to present three different Christmas shows this year. Instead we are staying at home, drinking a heck of a lot of tea and experiencing all the emotions - from surprising calm to panic to tearful sadness.
Today (27th March) is World Theatre Day and we have a message for our wonderful artists, audiences and venues – WE MISS YOU!
It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 10 days since things got very real and we were forced to postpone all projects. In that time the response from artists, venues and communities has been overwhelming. Funds have been opened up encouraging artists to develop projects that can happen amidst the pandemic and we are spoiled for choice when it comes to live streamed classes and filmed productions becoming available for free.
We haven’t done any of these things!
It’s easy to feel unproductive, especially as we are inevitably all spending more and more time on social media comparing ourselves to each other. There is an overwhelming amount of content being created. To be honest, right now, we just miss the real deal; playing with a group of artists in a rehearsal space, engaging with a group of rowdy toddlers, making babies giggle just by playing with a lightbulb.
The digital world is full of possibilities and don’t get us wrong we have embraced the new Zoom culture like the rest of you. We’ve launched our ‘Tea and Chat with Filskit’ free scheduled video calls to mull over any creative ideas that people are brewing. We have reposted craft videos that accompany our shows. We’re catching up with contacts and carrying on with our research, but we can do more and we will - we just need a little time to work out how we embrace the new normal.
To anyone else who might be feeling a bit overwhelmed, uncreative, unproductive or any other negative phrase, be kind to yourself. This situation is unlike anything the arts industry has ever experienced. Many of us thrive on live interaction and direct contact and we think it’s ok to mourn that for a bit.
Spend time outside (safely), watch documentaries, stream theatre shows, read, play.
Ok it doesn’t pay the bills (that’s another blog) but keep doing these things and inspiration will come. No need to force it or feel bad for not composing a symphony, knitting a poncho or penning a captivating one act play. Your brain will be trying to recalibrate to try and make sense of the new state of the world each day.
In the meantime, if you do need a sound board for your ideas, worries or questions, we are here, and we will try to help even it’s just by drinking tea and offering some solidarity.
Or solidariTEA. Yeah, we went there.
Speak soon - we’re off to put the kettle on!
Love from the Filskit Ladies, Sarah, Katy & Vic x