How Wearing a Mask Could Help the Theatre Industry and Your Local Economy


The following was posted on facebook by film and theatre actress Kitty Swink, who is a member of the Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles. With her permission I'm reposting for all to read and share.

Kitty copied and slightly edited this and shared from multiple of her dear and fabulously talented colleagues.


Please read this...this is personal!!!

Our industry is gone, and it will be a very long time before it recovers. Hope you all are enjoying the beach and theme parks while we just sit home and hope our jobs come back. Stop being selfish. Stay home. Wear a mask.

Yesterday, Broadway formally announced the rest of the year is canceled and Cirque du Soleil has filed for bankruptcy protection. Lincoln Center is closed. Multiple orchestras and opera companies have cancelled seasons. Smaller regional companies , venues and organizations are in jeopardy. Even community theatres , bands, orchestras, free lance gigs have gone away. So when you see your entertainment friends begging you to wear masks and stay home, understand that we are helplessly watching our industry crumble before our eyes because the country is doing so poorly at reducing the spread. This IS personal for us.

If you plan on watching ‘Hamilton’ today... or if you loved the ‘Chicago’ movie... or if ‘Sound of Music’ or Nutcracker is a holiday tradition for you. THEY ALL started on a stage.

Now Broadway is shut down till Jan 2021. Major performing arts presenters are closed for the next season.

ALL of the following people are out work.

It’s not just the actors or musicians.

For those of you not in the theatre or music community, please understand the scope of Broadway/Off-Broadway being shut down. Frankly, this affects all theatre and music anywhere. It travels much further than the stage boards where you see the brilliant performers giving you an amazing show. You also have:

- Tour managers
- Production managers
- Tour accountants
- Stage managers
- Company managers
- House managers
- General managers
- Stage Techs
- House crew
- Runners
- Truck and Bus drivers
- Promoter reps
- Caterers
- Production Assistants
- Dressers / Wardrobe
- Hair/Makeup
- Carpenters
- Electrics
- FOH Sound Engineers, Monitor Engineers & techs
- Lighting Designers and Techs
- Props
- Musicians
- Ushers
- Bartenders
- Box office treasurers
- Porters
- Cleaners
- Matrons
- Merchandise
- Security
- Marketing
- Producers
- Directors
- Choreographers
- Authors
- Orchestrators/Arrangers
- Interns
- Press Agents
- Casting Directors
- Set Designers
- Costume Designers
- Hair/Makeup Designers
- Lighting Designers
- Sound Designers
- Prop Designers
- All the design assistants
- Vocal/dialect coaches
- Child wranglers
- Doormen

Now go out of the theatre district and see the jobs this shutdown also affects:

- All the costume shops where the costumes are made
- The millinery shops where the hats/headpieces are made
- The cobblers where all the custom shoes are made
- The wigmakers
- The fabric/bead/feather shops- while these may reopen they will suffer huge losses with no shows requiring anything for this entire year.
- Scenic shops where the sets are built
- Prop shops where the props are made
- Sound and Lighting shops where the lights & mics are rented from
- Design studios where the sets, costumes, props, etc are dreamed up to make the directors vision a reality
- Rehearsal spaces for the show to be worked out before it appears for your pleasure
- Merchandise vendors, concessions
- Advertising agencies & press agencies
- Talent agencies and managers
- Union offices
- Producer & general management offices

Now venture even deeper into the shutdown and see the business that is lost in the theatre district from just the people in the industry not working on a show (then on top of that the loss of audience members buying stuff at)

- Delis
- Restaurants
- Post-show bars
- Coffee shops
- Hotels
- Garages
- Gyms
- Physical therapists

If that list seems long - it is! And that’s just New York. That’s not even taking into account all the theatre around this country. For most of us - this is our whole life!!
Wear a damn mask!


Jessica-Lynn-Johnson-Soaring-Solo

ISOLATE.MEDITATE.CREATE WITH JESSICA LYNN JOHNSON - STAY AT HOME DAYS 43 - 49

Everyday of the Stay at Home mandate of the COVID-19 crisis, Jessica Lynn Johnson, BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST WINNER, invites you to create your one person play through her guided meditation and visualization. She encourages you to isolate, meditate, and create as an artistic community EVERY DAY as we are in the STAY AT HOME mode.

Day 43: Recalling a time when our mental, physical, spiritual or emotional health was compromised.

Day 44: Recalling our rock bottom as well our peak time in our lives.

Day 45: Recalling a meaningful moment of celebration in our lives.

Day 46: Calling to mind our biggest fan and supporter.

Day 47: Calling to mind our Fathers or Father Figures.

Day 48: Calling to mind our Mothers, Mother Figures or Mother Nature.

Day 49: Calling to mind our "Chosen Family".

Jessica Lynn Johnson, recipient of BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST AWARD, is the Founder & CEO of Soaring Solo LLC, a company dedicated solely to the Direction & Development of one person plays. Jessica is passionate about the transformational power of solo theatre and has aided in the creation of over 100 solo shows (and still going strong)! Visit www.JessicaLynnJohnson.com for more information on Jessica's work Directing and Developing 1 Person Plays.


 


Ashton's Audio Interview: Anthony Rutowicz


Actor, Anthony Rutowicz is best known for his work in Snowfall (2017), How to Fake it in America (2011), and WRNG in Studio City (2013). This interview discusses the characters he played in “The Serpent" at the Odyssey Theatre and the character's internal struggles and challenges as they relate to this work of experimental theater that explores the biblical Book of Genesis while comparing it to the modern experience.

Enjoy this interview!



Ashton's Audio Interview: Avery Dresel-Kurtz


Actor, Avery Dresel-Kurtz is best known for her work in Betrayed (2016), Mia (2014), and The Hierarchy (2012). This interview discusses the characters she played in “The Serpent" at the Odyssey Theatre and the character's internal struggles and challenges as they relate to this work of experimental theater that explores the biblical Book of Genesis while comparing it to the modern experience.

Enjoy this interview!


 

Jessica-Lynn-Johnson-Soaring-Solo

ISOLATE.MEDITATE.CREATE WITH JESSICA LYNN JOHNSON - STAY AT HOME DAYS 36 - 42

Everyday of the Stay at Home mandate of the COVID-19 crisis, Jessica Lynn Johnson, BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST WINNER, invites you to create your one person play through her guided meditation and visualization. She encourages you to isolate, meditate, and create as an artistic community EVERY DAY as we are in the STAY AT HOME mode.

Day 36: Recalling a betrayal we suffered.

Day 37: Recalling a crowded event or gathering we attended in the past.

Day 38: Exploring our sexuality.

Day 39: Exploring our resentments.

Day 40: Revisiting our childhood home in our minds.

Day 41: Exploring our understanding of God.

Day 42: Recalling a time when we acted as a leader.

Jessica Lynn Johnson, recipient of BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST AWARD, is the Founder & CEO of Soaring Solo LLC, a company dedicated solely to the Direction & Development of one person plays. Jessica is passionate about the transformational power of solo theatre and has aided in the creation of over 100 solo shows (and still going strong)! Visit www.JessicaLynnJohnson.com for more information on Jessica's work Directing and Developing 1 Person Plays.


Jessica-Lynn-Johnson-Soaring-Solo

ISOLATE.MEDITATE.CREATE WITH JESSICA LYNN JOHNSON - STAY AT HOME DAYS 29 - 35

Everyday of the Stay at Home mandate of the COVID-19 crisis, Jessica Lynn Johnson, BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST WINNER, invites you to create your one person play through her guided meditation and visualization. She encourages you to isolate, meditate, and create as an artistic community EVERY DAY as we are in the STAY AT HOME mode.

Day 29: Recalling a Best Friend.

Day 30: Recalling our proudest accomplishment.

Day 31: Letting our imaginations carry us into a fantasy.

Day 32: Processing a conflict in our lives.

Day 33: Exploring our purpose.

Day 34: Exploring a leap of faith that we took.

Day 35: Recalling an act of generosity.

Jessica Lynn Johnson, recipient of BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST AWARD, is the Founder & CEO of Soaring Solo LLC, a company dedicated solely to the Direction & Development of one person plays. Jessica is passionate about the transformational power of solo theatre and has aided in the creation of over 100 solo shows (and still going strong)! Visit www.JessicaLynnJohnson.com for more information on Jessica's work Directing and Developing 1 Person Plays.



Ashton's Audio Interview: Riley Rose Critchlow and Terry Woodberry


Actress and Producer, Riley Rose Critchlow, is best known for her work in Anime Crimes Division (2017), Timeless (2016), and S.W.A.T. (2017). Actor, Terry Woodberry, is best known for his work in Dexter (2006), Medium (2005), and Numb3rs (2005). These interviews discuss the characters they played in “The Serpent" at the Odyssey Theatre and the character's internal struggles and challenges as they relate to this work of experimental theater that explores the biblical Book of Genesis while comparing it to the modern experience.

Enjoy this interview!


Jessica-Lynn-Johnson-Soaring-Solo

ISOLATE.MEDITATE.CREATE WITH JESSICA LYNN JOHNSON - STAY AT HOME DAYS 22 - 28

Everyday of the Stay at Home mandate of the COVID-19 crisis, Jessica Lynn Johnson, BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST WINNER, invites you to create your one person play through her guided meditation and visualization. She encourages you to isolate, meditate, and create as an artistic community EVERY DAY as we are in the STAY AT HOME mode.

Day 22 - Identifying an Influencer in our lives.

Day 23 - Recalling a moment of Recognition in our lives.

Day 24 - Getting in touch with our feelings of jealousy and envy.

Day 25 - Exploring Coronavirus Covid-19 as a metaphor.

Day 26 - Exploring a coming of age memory.

Day 27 - Identifying an enemy in our lives.

Day 28 - Recalling a time of exploration in our lives.

Jessica Lynn Johnson, recipient of BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST AWARD, is the Founder & CEO of Soaring Solo LLC, a company dedicated solely to the Direction & Development of one person plays. Jessica is passionate about the transformational power of solo theatre and has aided in the creation of over 100 solo shows (and still going strong)! Visit www.JessicaLynnJohnson.com for more information on Jessica's work Directing and Developing 1 Person Plays.


 


Ashton's Audio Interview: Matt Kirkwood


Actor and Director, Matt Kirkwood, is best known for his work in Quantum Leap (1989), What's Love Got to Do with It (1993) , and Happy Birthday Little Grace (2008). This interview discusses the characters he played in “Human Interest Story" at the Fountain Theatre and the character's internal struggles and challenges as they relate to politics and local homelessness, in cities like Los Angeles and nationally.

Enjoy this interview!


Jessica-Lynn-Johnson-Soaring-Solo

Isolate.Meditate.Create with Jessica Lynn Johnson - Stay at Home Days 16 - 21

Everyday of the Stay at Home mandate of the COVID-19 crisis, Jessica Lynn Johnson, BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST WINNER, invites you to create your one person play through her guided meditation and visualization. She encourages you to isolate, meditate, and create as an artistic community EVERY DAY as we are in the STAY AT HOME mode.

Day 15 - Recalling a great Love story from our lives.

Day 16 - Get in touch with a shameful secret, an embarrassing story, or the thing we thought we would never share with anyone.

Day 17 - Imagining climbing a mountain to reach our dreams and removing weights that hold us back.

Day 18 - Examining a life lesson that continues to circle back around and around again in our lives. 

Day 19 - Recalling a piece of Art that was meaningful to us.

Day 20 - Recalling a crossroad moment in our lives.

Day 21 - Recalling a holiday tradition.

Jessica Lynn Johnson, recipient of BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST AWARD, is the Founder & CEO of Soaring Solo LLC, a company dedicated solely to the Direction & Development of one person plays. Jessica is passionate about the transformational power of solo theatre and has aided in the creation of over 100 solo shows (and still going strong)! Visit www.JessicaLynnJohnson.com for more information on Jessica's work Directing and Developing 1 Person Plays.



Spotlight Series: Paul and Alicia Luoma - Two Actors, Who Met in NYC and Moved to LA to Pursue Their Mutual Passion for the Performing Arts


This Spotlight focuses on married couple and soon-to-be-parents Paul Luoma and Alicia Luoma who met in NYC and moved to L.A. together to pursue their mutual passion for the Performing Arts.


Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your own theatrical background?

Paul Luoma (Paul): I’ve been doing theatre since I was a kid, around six or seven, growing up in Metro Detroit. I performed all throughout childhood and into high school. I went to college at Western Michigan University for Musical Theatre Performance and, right after graduation, I moved to NYC. I was performing professionally in town, and also regionally. I actually met my wife Alicia at our day job during that time. She was the hostess at a restaurant that I was waiting tables at. And here we are together, in all, going on ten years. We moved out to LA in late 2012 and have been involved performing in the local theatre scene. We’ve had some amazing opportunities to perform together on stage in some great roles, and also apart. We’ve made the greatest of friends because of this theatre community. We’re extremely fortunate. So lucky.

Alicia Luoma (Alicia): I was bitten by the theater bug "waaay" back in elementary school when I went to see a production of “Annie” at what is now the Maltz Jupiter Theater. My mom bought me the cassette tape, and we played the soundtrack in the car non-stop, as I sang along to all of Annie's songs! I slowly began to come out of my shy shell in high school, when I became a theatre student at the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. I was fortunate enough to venture on to Elon University, where I earned a BFA degree in Music Theatre. After graduating, I performed professionally in different parts of the country and even around the world on a cruise ship. I moved to NYC and did the "actor thing" for a couple [of] years, which is when I met my wonderful husband Paul—who just happened to share the same passion for the performing art as me. We then moved to Los Angeles, where I had the pleasure of performing in several amazing productions locally, some of them alongside my husband. We made an incredible group of talented friends doing theater out here.

(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?

(Paul): At the time of this crisis, Alicia and I weren’t part of any productions. We’re actually expecting our first child, a girl, in July. That’s a whole other bag of tricks in this current climate, trying to figure it out and manage. But we were really looking forward to seeing productions Downtown this summer, but more importantly, to seeing so many friends in productions that sadly are now postponed or have been canceled. My fingers are crossed for their entire creative team and cast, that their productions get to see the light of day that they so deserve.

(Alicia): I was not involved with any current productions, as my husband and I currently expecting our first child, a daughter, which is the only current and future production on our schedules at the moment. However, I have many, many artistic friends who were in productions that had to be postponed due to COVID-19. I felt terrible and heartbroken for them. As actors, we put our blood, sweat, and tears into these projects. There is no greater feeling/reward than transporting an audience to a different world with your work. We were also looking forward to attending several touring productions coming to LA, which also had to be canceled/postponed.

(SB): How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

(Paul): I read the theatre and Broadway trades numerous times a day, keeping an eye on things and looking out for friends. And, just the other day Alicia and I watched the entirety of “The Rosie Show” revival and donated to The Actors Fund. It’s so important to support the arts and artists at this time.

(Alicia): Many people I know have been sharing their talents via social media, whether it be singing a well-known tune a-Capella, teaching a dance class from their living room, or playing an original song on piano or guitar. I think it's wonderful. Just the other day, my husband and I watched all 3.5 hours of “The Rosie O'Donnell Show,” which streamed live for the Actor's Fund. Artists supporting artists is crucial, as we're all in this together.

(SB): What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the ghost light on and promising to return back to the stage soon?

(Paul): Alicia and I both cannot wait until we can see so many friends back on the stage, and also have a chance to get back up there too. It’ll be a hot minute as we’ll have a newborn baby girl on our hands come mid-July, but I know I can’t wait. I’m definitely itching to get back on stage. Hopefully, in something Sondheim.

(Alicia): Things will get better. Paul and I are looking forward to seeing all our talented friends back onstage in the productions they worked so hard on!

(Paul and Alicia): Local theaters need help now more than ever. We both encourage everyone, who is able, to donate if they can.


This article first appeared on Broadway World.