This World Theatre Day we look back at our Throwback Thursday interviewees to look at what they have been doing during lockdown to stay creative.
BLAKE PATRICK ANDERSON
I’ve tried not to be too hard on myself when it comes to being creative. I found at first I was forcing myself to write music or find ways to be creative but I found quickly that my best work comes naturally and it’s important not to force it. For most of us, being creative is a natural instinct so it seems to just happen by itself if you let it.
It’s definitely been difficult. There’s a lot of pressure when you have so much time available to be creative but don’t always have the motivation or inspiration – and that can lead to quite a strong sense of guilt. I think though it’s got a lot better with time and really learning to manage and focus myself when acting work isn’t readily available. On the other hand, I’ve watched more, read more and we’ve seen such an important push for social change and real equality it’s comforting that this period doesn’t feel ‘wasted’.
During the lockdown, I have just tried to find as many projects and online classes as I can to throw myself into. I’ve been part of a dance piece choreographed by Stuart Winter, called “Tracing Movement Together”, I was part of a visual EP for a new musical called “Snowflake”, I’ve done the English National Ballet’s series of ballet barres, led by Tamara Rojo, as well as online classes by many other choreographers. I was also part of The Grad Fest – a fantastic company set up by a friend, providing an online platform for 2020 graduates to perform, meet others, and collaborate during the lockdown. I performed a solo cabaret on Instagram, was part of a zoom performance of Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘House and Garden’, as well as arranged and filmed a jazz trio with two other friends. It’s safe to say technology this time has been a blessing!
I’ve been singing a lot in lockdown. Having lessons, watching things. We have so many amazing resources that are FREE and I honestly think we learn as much from watching as we do actually doing. I’ve been reaching out to people, writers I admire, collaborating on work. Singing with people, singing other people’s music. Some days I don’t feel as creative but that’s okay, it’s a strange time and it’s equally okay to stay in bed some days and binge Netflix (something I’ve never really done before and I bloomin’ love a Netflix binge!)
It’s been really difficult. I like making videos and creating funny things for people, but I just didn’t think it was appropriate. I found myself writing loads of things down for potential videos and never executing them. I had to find another way of being creative. So out came the puzzles, out came the colouring pencils and out came the boardgames. This was a moment for me to be creative for me. I’m so glad I took that time.
I haven’t done very well in regards to keeping creative. I have only resorted to singing around the house and taking dance/fitness classes through instagram live.
When lockdown began I was part of a group that would do play reading over zoom meetings. I would recommend this to everyone.
During lockdown, I have been learning how to play guitar, which has been really challenging! Also I have been getting involved with tiktoks and creating content for that! I also do my best to do a physical and vocal warm up everyday like you would do before a show!
In lockdown, I’ve been working with Pitlochry Festival Theatre, making you tutorials, dancing around, singing, workshopping new writing, reading poetry, reading short stories. It’s really kept me going. I’ve also been teaching my dance class, Dance for Actor/Singers online which has been really nice because I love connecting with the community. Playreads with friends have also been a new way for me to stay creative.
I do a weekly stand up comedy show called ‘The Weekly Stand Up’ Which means I’m writing every week to a schedule and the show goes out live on a Thursday night. That’s been great fun
I’ve been lucky enough to be part of some ‘virtual’ theatre and cabaret, and they have been raising money for our wonderful industry. I have been teaching a lot too so that has helped me to feel I’m being useful.
At home, we’re so grateful to have a lovely garden and I’ve enjoyed working out there. We’ve grown loads of veg this year and just now starting to see the fruits (well, veg!) of our labours! I also really enjoy sewing and I’ve been making a few things.
Lockdown has been a very creative time in my life, I have turned my hand to producing. I started a new company called Ginger Quiff Media along with Producer Thomas Hopkins.
We have already produced The Godspell 50th Anniversary Online Concert and a beautiful play by Martin Sherman called Rose starring Maureen Lipman. We also have around 5 other projects that we are working on that will hopefully lead on to great success in this crazy time we are all experiencing in the world of theatre that is The New normal
I’m the co-host of a new online chat show called WonderBirds on which goes out four-time a week on YouTube and Facebook, alongside Sherrie Hewson, Debbie Arnold and Dee Anderson plus lots of celebrity guests; I’ve done three comedy pilots; quite a few virtual charity performances including Acting For Others (of which I’m an Ambassador); and I’m very lucky to be opening in previews of Sleepless, the musical adaptation of Sleepless in Seattle, at the Troubadour Theatre this week. Hopefully, we’ll be a template for other theatres to follow as we all try to come back after this hiatus.
I’ve been reading a lot, I’ve been absolutely hammering TED talks and of course, tiger king.
I’m not a writer myself, so haven’t jumped into that side of things yet, but I know a lot of creatives have been turning to the pen in these times.
I’ve actually really enjoyed lockdown, it’s given time, which is a rare thing, we’ve all been in the same boat, something nice about that.
I have (although I have missed going to the gym!) I’ve been getting back into dancing, most of the work I’ve been doing lately has been Acting based so I used this time to get back into moving again, a lot of my friends have been doing online classes which has been amazing to do, hard at first I’m not gonna lie! Also, it’s given me a chance to get back into choreography. A friend of mine called Kayi Ushi asked me to choreograph a piece to him singing “Stand By Me” as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, which was an absolute honour to do.
I’ve been watching a lot of great new series and films whilst in lockdown, learning by the example of some brilliant actors. I’m also working out at home, and of course, singing as much as possible. It’s been an opportunity to reflect on my first year out of drama school and prepare to move forward into 2021.