Today is a day I usually look forward to, the spring equinox. A day that signifies the start of spring, the return of lighter evenings and the journey towards sunshine. If I wasn’t already sure that the world was trolling us, I’d say organising a three month isolation period at this point of the year would certainly convince me. This is usually the point in the year when I begin to emerge from my own version of isolation. I’ve never been one for the winter months and I’m a big fan of hibernating as often as possible during them. Spring is usually the time when I shake off that sloth and embrace the fresh start it signifies.
This is year is obviously very different. The nights are getting lighter, the sun is shining for longer and the daffodils are in full bloom. Whilst nature is welcoming spring with open arms, the rest of my life has been put on pause. This is normally the point when I’m finalising listings for fringe shows, liaising with poster designers and picking up extra gigs to pay for it all. Whilst at the moment the Edinburgh Fringe Society are saying the festival will go ahead, most of the industry know that is highly unlikely.
I should be in London right now. I had a lovely weekend planned. On Thursday I was booked to MC a corporate gig in the capital, then I had shows at VAULT Festival all weekend. One of my oldest friends was coming with me, for a long overdue weekend away from the kids. We had a big Best In Class show that would’ve helped raise some funds and I was doing my solo show over three nights with plenty of time to tweak and tighten my work. Obviously everything has been cancelled.
It feels like the world as I know it is in limbo. But with new challenges come new opportunities and I’ve been trying to keep myself going by working on a few different projects. One of my cancelled gigs has asked me to submit some video content instead of performing so I’ve been working on some sketches for that. I’m also working collaboratively with some other comedians, pooling our skills to make some online content. The comedy industry is in a state of flux at the moment. Most people have seen their entire income disappear overnight. Lots of comedians will be making videos or streaming content, not just as a creative outlet, but as a way of hopefully paying their rent. Don’t get me wrong, there will be a lot of terrible content that comes out of this crisis. But if you see something that makes you life, give it a share on your socials, send it to a pal, or reach out the creator and tell them. It costs you nothing and it could really help. With that in mind the wonderful Sooz Kempner has created a mini EastEnders spoof after hearing that filming has been shut down. Sooz is no stranger to going viral, after a twitter thread about her time as a Christina Aguilera impersonator hit the big time last year. If you’re missing your soap fix you can check out EastEnders: Lockdown here, and if you enjoy it – you know what you need to do!