Well as you know, COVID-19 has spread across the world and many places are on Lockdown of some sort. Here in the UK, we are on lockdown. Advised to stay home and only go out for exercise once a day, shopping for essentials and for work, if you can’t work from home.
So many people have been furloughed or put out of a job. Actors are one of those groups of people without work. Despite what some people think, actors are not all “loaded”. Many just make enough to survive and pay the bills. And I’m not talking about theatre actors. Many of television, even faces you might recognise only earn an average wage and if they go more than a few weeks or a month without work they have to find an alternative job. One such case was Katie Jarvis, who last year was job shamed by some for working in B&M.
Some people even think that all I do is acting because of that small role in Sherlock. Unfortunately, the industry doesn’t work like that. I too have a day job as an administrator.
I am one of the lucky ones, my day job allows me to work from home and keep paying the bills, even though the 3 acting jobs I had lined up were cancelled or postponed. And there is no guarantee that I will be selected again for those roles.
The same is true across the industry and many will not have jobs to go back too. The same applies to those who work behind the scenes on film, television and stage. Some have taken to social media to share their art in these difficult times.
I hope when this is over that people will return to the theatres to help support those who will like many in hospitality (and often these go hand in hand, people eat then go to the theatre and hospitality is often a second job for many actors) are living on a measly £80 a week from the government.
I also hope that after this crisis has passed people will take note that actors should not be expected to work for free, that an end needs to be brought to jobs that say, no pay but great exposure, or you get fed. Fair pay for work.
A huge thank you to our NHS, police, fire service as well as carers, shop workers, cleaners, council workers, transport workers and the volunteers for everything you are doing.