These recent times have been some of the hardest challenges we’ve faced and as a community, it hit us pretty hard. However during these difficult times, here at Pocket Size Theatre, we wanted to spread a little positivity and share some peoples experiences because we are all in this together. Each day we’ll be speaking to our friends in the industry to share their experiences with you all so take a read and see how people are getting through these hard times.
Let’s stick together, share the love and get through this as a community!
Jessica Paul‘s Theatre credits include Ensemble and 1st Cover Betty in Sunset Boulevard (UK Tour); Vivienne in Legally Blonde (Leicester Curve); Kate Murphy in Titanic the Musical (Charing Cross Theatre) and Sandy in Grease (Leicester Curve).
On Monday 16th March 2020, The Society of London Theatre announced the closure of all Theatres in London. This followed suit with regional venues. Where were you when you found out and what was your initial reaction?
I was heartbroken when theatres were forced to close around the UK due to Covid-19 but I’ve always been confident we can thrive again. The Creative industry is booming and people will not forget how live theatre and entertainment makes them feel. There is an unequivocal energy there that cannot be replaced.
Can you tell us anything productive you’ve been doing?
My time in lockdown has been incredibly productive – and busy – as unconventional as that may sound! I run a business in Mindset Coaching for creatively driven people – including actors, freelancers and creative entrepreneurs – helping them manifest their goals and achieve a life of notability and abundance. This has been thriving during lockdown. Your mindset is paramount, especially in times of unease. My clients have needed myself and my service more than ever and it has been a joy to find myself helping so many through this. Not to mention achieving personal goals in this time too, despite financial hardships across the country, and earning nearly 5k last month. I place a lot of importance on money mindset for creatives and I’m here to show you how to achieve income like this – even through times of hardship.
There’s so much important information and messages being spread on social media but sometimes it can be quite mentally draining and consume a lot of your time, how have you been looking after your mental state whilst using these platforms?
Your mental state is so important, especially in unprecedented times, which is why I teach. That being said, I am only human and even coaches need coaches! To stay on top of my self-care I’ve been practising what I preach and have been making sure to surrender and let go as much as possible. In a time where we ultimately feel a lack of control, this is important to remember.
With the Arts temporarily shut down, how would you advise people to continue to support the Arts industries?
To continue to support the arts industry we must donate and raise awareness! I have been lucky enough to be involved and sing in various virtual online concerts/ projects which have raised money for charities such as Acting for Others and financing theatre for kids. But if you cannot donate to our wonderful industry, just share the love online – this always makes a difference!
Have you discovered anything that you’d like to recommend to our viewers?
It is less that I have discovered a book and more that I strongly feel a book should be read. Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life will help those wanting to learn the basics of self-love.
In these times of Social Distancing and isolation, how have you been trying to connect with Friends and Family? Any fun quizzes or games?!
I have been very lucky to have stayed with my family during lockdown so socially I cannot complain! (Although sometimes you find yourself throwing a tantrum at the lack of personal space) but I wouldn’t change it! I’ve been able to spend quality time with my sister, my brother and my parents and it’s been bloomin’ lovely.
And finally, looking to the future, what are you most looking forward to when all of this is over?
Looking to the future, I’m excited about the performing industry finding its feet again. Even though I’ve been productive with maintaining my craft, I would love to start being regularly seen for new projects soon!
We’d like to thank Jessica and all other performers who have given up their time to contribute to this feature.
Other useful links for anyone needing further help:
Acting For Others – Charity that provides financial & emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need.
Help Musicians – An independent Charity that helps all forms of Musicians through times of need.
Industry Minds – Mental Health Support for the creative arts.
Theatre Helpline – a free, independent and confidential phone and email service that provides support to people working in the theatre industry.