I have had been involved with various online projects with various artists and companies.
I’ve been involved in making a music video with a musician called Jonathan Kitching along with other musicians, singers, actors, cabaret artist and west end performers . We worked on a song called Just Stay at Home which is about trying to be positive, productive and creative during the Covid 19 lockdown. The song was written my Jonathan Kitching. Each artist had individual lyrics to sing. I have been involved in creating 2 films with Access All Areas Theatre. One of films involved working with my peers from Access All Areas to create a short film saying ‘even though we are on lockdown, we are still here for you, working from home and online.’ The other film involved working with Take Part participants. We chose a game called ‘Honey I Love You.’ Then we filmed some participants, volunteers and staff members playing the game.
As I am the Co Director of Access All Areas Take Part programmes, I have been involved in creating easy read support packages and compliment sheets for all Take Part participants. I have also been involved in making a film in Blue Sky Actors about our experiences of being a Blue Sky Actor. We also made an online recording called Radio Blue, which consists of a series of short radio plays. Furthermore, I have been doing some tramtastic dance party sessions with Tramshed Theatre in order to keep fit and healthy. Finally, I have been working with Emergency Exit Arts to create a dance video consisting of a dance routine that was part of the Mind The Gap Theatre production of ZARA.
I completely understand that we need to stay safe, follow the rules about social distancing and stay at home. However, there are times when I feel low because of not being able to use public transport to get to venues where I work. It’s a shame that I cannot see my friends and colleagues in person. Also, it’s a shame that I cannot carry on with my job as Co Director of Take Part or even perform live to audiences.
When I watch the news, I sometimes get a bit overwhelmed with all the detailed information the presented. I know that they are doing their jobs and I know that we need to know what’s going on. But it can be a bit much sometimes.
Some of the positive things that have come out of this are that I have learnt how to use Zoom in order to speak to friends, colleagues and various different drama and music companies online. I have been doing a lot of online projects as mentioned above. I have also been keeping myself busy with writing songs, drawing pictures as we as doing creative things with my family. All of these things have helped me to think positively about myself.
There is also a possibility of me carrying on with my Co Director job for Take Part and do some facilitating with some participants online on Zoom. With regards to the news, I have found that it is best to reduce the amount of times I watch the news in order to prevent myself getting overwhelmed.
I miss the weekly check ins with friends and colleagues. I also miss playing games, participating in exercises, working as a team to devise and improvise new performance material, Co Directing, facilitating, composing music for shows and well as singing as part of a group.
I’m really looking forward to being able to travel on public transport and see my friends, colleagues and family again. I am also looking forward to being able to go out for the day to see Theatre Shows and explore new places. Furthermore, I cannot wait to travel to different venues to perform live, Co Direct, facilitate games and activities and compose music.
I was 11 when I started at Face Front all the way back in 2000, before it was even called Face Front! There were percussion workshops going on which I took part in . At first I was very shy but I felt very welcome right away. I built up my confidence with inclusive drama sessions and since then I have gone from strength to strength. I have recently been employed by Face Front as a Supported Artist, the responsibilities of which have further increased my confidence. I lead workshops, escort members to and from sessions, assist with office duties and much more.
Outside of Face Front, I have completed a course in dance and am currently on a diploma course in creative writing. I love being a part of an inclusive theatre company and what I have taken away from my experiences at Face Front I use in other places, and will continue to use.