What can performing artists lean on in these Covid-19 times?

by Alexandra Lopez
What can performing artists lean on in these Covid-19 times - Photo courtesy of Dayne Topkin.

For performing artists this pandemic has changed the game. In the blink of an eye we have found ourselves in unfamiliar territory. A place where our work has dried up overnight for the foreseeable future. And like the rest of the world’s population, lockdown has presented itself with the challenge of being socially isolated. Throw in a government who I’m certain doesn’t realise we exist/ doesn’t value our worth and things have quickly become dire. So if the work that nourishes us and pays our bills has vanished, our freedom to collaborate in person has gone and we don’t even qualify for some of the packages on offer to financially hold us for now, how do we stay afloat and remember who we are and what we offer to society at large?

Blog in 30 seconds

* Even though this pandemic has been so challenging for artists, we can lean on our creativity, flexibility and grit to help us on our way again.
* We must not forget the important role we play in society and how much people have looked to artists in this pandemic, to provide solace through our work.
* We will rise from this again, maybe not tomorrow, but we will find another way. We always have.

I believe there are three things that this pandemic can’t have and that’s my creativity, flexibility and grit. Let’s look at each a little closer and how they can push and inspire us in what has otherwise been a very trying time.


Our flexibility as artists is always important and helps keep us fresh, engaged and alive but right now we need to be able to call on different skill sets, in the hope of gaining employment. Move over jack of all trades, master of none. This pandemic is forcing us to tap into ALL our skills.


The very nature of our work as artists is creative but with so many restrictions on our daily life, creativity has taken on a new meaning. We can still be creative in our PJ’s, with nowhere to go and no audience in sight. I would emphasise that this is the ultimate test of our creativity. Being creative with our time and our pursuits also offers us the opportunity to sit back and reflect whether our pre Covid ways were serving us or not and perhaps making the decision to shake things up when the doors open again.


So if we acknowledge that flexibility and creativity are key players for performing artists to tap into at this time, what’s the final piece of the puzzle that will ensure your new way of working is sustainable?


Performing Artists, by nature have grit. These industries are tough and to survive the many setbacks we develop ways, early in our careers, to keep getting up and trying again. Sometimes against all the odds. So I promise you, dear artist that once you take stock of where you are, grieve what would have been and now can’t be, you will dry those tears and take the next baby step forward. It’s what we’ve always done and always will.

The truth is, the world has turned to artists during this pandemic. We offer solace through our work. We offer entertainment and escapism. When this time gets too much for you, please remember that statement. Through a writer’s script, the words offer comfort. Through an actor’s work, we see ourselves. And perhaps my favourite of all, through beautiful song writing we can be transcended. So please never forget how important your work is to society and especially to a society who right now are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and stress.

My hope is that you begin to see this time as a necessary pause. A chance to check in. A chance to try new things and challenge yourself in ways you maybe never would have without this pandemic. This is not to take away from the reality of how dire it is for many performing artists across the globe right now. It is merely an invitation to look at the gifts for a second and use them to your advantage.

Standing alongside you always,

Alexandra xxx

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