anxiety, Covid-19, mental health, opinion, travel, work

Blacks

Today, I wore blacks.
Not uncommon attire for theatre professionals to wear, that is our uniform after all. We wear black shoes, black socks, black bottoms, and a black shirt-meant to be unseen or draw little to no attention.

Today, I wore blacks.
Not uncommon attire for someone in mourning. This is to show respect for what has been lost. It could be a person, it could be an entire industry.

Today, I wore blacks.
I feel grief. I feel loss. I feel empty.

This may not last forever, but it has lasted long enough and will continue too long for many to survive it.

Today, I wore blacks.
“Broadway is closed until 2021, Cirque is filing for bankruptcy, Feld laid off 90% of its workforce permanently, cruise ship performers are out of work, theme park performers have no idea when they will be recalled. Performing arts organizations of all kinds…choirs, theaters, orchestras, dance companies are all trying to figure out on a daily basis how to keep going and employ anyone they can in the field.”

Something I have seen floating around various social media platforms… these are words to the majority that very shallowly outline the catastrophic events that are unfolding before the eyes of people who call the arts home. Watching livelihoods, years of hard work and sacrifices, and a sea of your closest friends, family, and colleagues bear the loss you too carry.

Today, I wore blacks.
A lot of people will never understand the gravity of the transpired events. Often arts are cast-aside and seen as not being part of the “real world”. It is seldom regarded as a genuine profession, and that societal disbelief in the value of arts is what is causing such a massive industry to collapse and the corresponding lives to be impacted. Some may even get “told-you-so”s as if there was anything we could have done to prevent the mass-downfall from happening.

Today, I wore blacks.
The passion that drives the force of the art outlives anything a pandemic, parental nay-sayers, and doubtful on-lookers can say. This passion, however, can no longer put food on the table, savings in your pocket, and the joy and fulfillment of living one’s dream.

Today, I wore blacks.
A lot of people grieve today to find no sympathy or solidarity in anyone outside of those who are also falling. We look around to see masks not donned, illegal gatherings, and general contempt for the very rules that are the confines of the industry of joy, of love, of the food in the mouths of our family and friends. Under the guise of impatience, boredom, and general apathy, people sentence an entire industry to die.

Today, I wore blacks.
“This mask is cumbersome” So too are the ramifications of an entire field of workers losing their jobs and their hope to regain their positions, their lifestyles, their livelihoods.

Today, I wore blacks dreaming for a better tomorrow.
This all may sound dramatic, but it is the unrecognized reality of many around the world. As the Earth revolves and time ticks on we must carry on with it without the stability of employment, income, and general support of others outside of the sink-hole of the situation.

Today, I wore blacks.
The show must go on.


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