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!
Paige Miller is currently in the London company of The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Her other credits include Shirelle/Lucille in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (UK Tour) and Chiffon and Dance Captain in Little Shop of Horrors (Theatre Clwyd).
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 found out that they had announced this when I went down to the stage at the Prince of Wales theatre for warm-up. We were due to have a cut show that day so I was looking forward to seeing people doing slightly different things but once I hit stage level and I saw everyone who worked backstage there I knew straight away that this meant we were closing. Initially I was really shocked and upset (I did shed a little tear) because our cast had only been doing the show for 6 weeks and we were having so much fun and still really getting into the show and their audiences. I think at first I was thinking it was only going to be 2 weeks but as the night went on and I said bye to other people in the building I realised that this was going to be a long term thing.
Can you tell us anything productive you’ve been doing?
I have been using the time to get a lot of things done that I haven’t had time to do. I moved into my flat in September last year so I just wanted to finish decorating it and getting things organised that I seriously had been putting off for too long. I have really been trying to stay super active by taking part in some of the Instagram classes that people do too because I can’t be going back super unfit. Other than that I have dropped off creatively just because I needed that space for my head but I have recently started getting creative again.
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?
Yes, I have definitely had to take some time out on social media sometimes as it can be so overpowering. It is a super-powerful platform and many amazing messages can be spread worldwide and it can be super effective and positive but obviously, it can have negative effects so for me taking time out and spending time working on myself was what was needed. I used the time to go out and explore where I live by going on long walks. It’s amazing how much nature and fresh air makes you feel so much better.
With the Arts temporarily shut down, how would you advise people to continue to support the Arts industries?
I would say you can support the arts industry by looking at all the charities that are supplying funds for people with financial difficulty and those petitions that can be signed so that we can get the government to recognise the attention the arts industry needs so that it can come back and provide the entertainment, happiness and also financial income it was previously.
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 keeping connected with all my friends through regular facetime conversations and the houseparty app has become an amazing app for my family and I to all stay connected and talk at the same time. There have been many quizzes at the start too of the lockdown which was a great way to keep you busy and connecting with friends and people from work.
And finally, looking to the future, what are you most looking forward to when all of this is over?
I just can’t wait for that first show back to a full audience. I know that is going to be one of the best feelings and really quite emotional because it has been so long since we have seen a live audience reaction of an amazing show that I love being a part of every day.
We’d like to thank Paige 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.