The lockdown and SA entertainers

The lockdown and SA entertainers

It’s safe to say that Covid-19 and South Africa’s almost immediate lockdown (though probably government’s only choice in the face of the pandemic) hit the economy like a freight train. But it’s as if some industries were standing on the line closer to the train than the rest of us, and were completely decimated, while some of us had the good fortune of hearing the brakes, seeing the devastation and taking evasive action.

One of the industries completely decimated was the arts. An industry already embattled in the South African economy. Crime, poverty and lack of government funding or interest had already led to dwindling theatre goers.

I spoke to some well-known entertainers about how the lockdown has affected them.

Godfrey Johnson – Singer, pianist, composer, actor, writer, director.

Here he is doing an improv during lockdown

How have you been affected by the lockdown?

The lockdown has been horribly sobering, realizing that something that elusive can effect every aspect of ones life. Plans cancelled within seconds and with no time for analysis.

Have you done anything to try to earn money during the lockdown and how have you found it?

I have considered online teaching and performing and have been creatively involved in a few wonderful group projects so that has kept my spirits up. I have friends who have lost jobs and are really struggling and it has been truly heartbreaking.

What have you found to be helpful in this situation?

I cope by breathing and dreaming about what is possible post- lockdown.

Do you have any tips for others in the same position?

I think it is important to try and remain optimistic and stay in communication with people who feed your soul and make you smile. A little bit of support goes a very long way.

Where can we follow what you’re doing?

FB: @godfreyperformer and @godfreyjohnson

Instagram; @godfreyperformer

Email: godfreyjohnson@outlook.com

Tracy Li Classical Ballet Coach and Mentor at JPSB

Click to see Tracy in the title role of Camille

How have you been affected by the lockdown?

Weirdly enough my thoughts and anticipation of the lockdown was almost exactly the same as the evening I boarded the flight to SA when I was 19. I was strangely excited about the challenges that the lockdown would present to me, I was excited to meet all the challenges and beat them…

Have you done anything to try to earn money during the lockdown and how have you found it?

This is what I quoted in the first week of the lock down “I was doubtful about doing virtual coaching in my humble cottage, using the back of my couch as the barre…

BUT how wonderful to see the girls’ dedication and willingness to make the best of this unsettling time…balcony…kitchen…no complaints and just tuned in and worked hard…no compromising either…totally open minded and positive energy…I look forward to working with the others.

I am very thankful that I am able to do all my coaching and mentoring online. Certainly not ideal for ballet training at all and obviously hugely limited. No solid barres, no Marley floor, no mirrors, no space to move nor to expand our movements…endless list of ‘no this and no that’…However I had made up my mind from the very beginning that I am going to use this time to work intensely with each dancer and tackle all individual’s weaknesses, also take this time to refresh and secure all the basic foundation and I am glad we are doing just so. I am massively impressed with all the young aspiring dancers, they are so patient and so focused and they just persevere everyday!

Do you have any tips for others in the same position?

I guess maybe first let yourself panic a little…but then at some point we’ve got to manage our panic and mustn’t think that the world is crashing down or it is going to stand still. There is always a way, a difficult way perhaps but be adaptable and have the courage to face necessary changes, may it be a temporary change to get you through a rough time, or it could lead to a surprising new beginning of a good path!? Life is very unpredictable, we might as well be brave and courageous.

What have you found to be helpful in this situation?

Deep breath and think out of the box…don’t get stuck in your thoughts, bend a bit…turn a little right or little left…accept that this kind of extreme situation has a greater force and we can’t change this. However we can be pro-active in any given situation if we are willing to take that step…it might not be ideal but it could be the best thing/decision in the worst situation…you’ll always come out ten folds stronger and wealthier

Where can we follow what you’re doing?

Facebook

Emile Minnie – Songwriter, Artist, Musician and Entertainer

Click to see Emil performing Dink Aan Jou

How have you been affected by the lockdown?

I am a touring musician, so I have not been able to tour since the beginning of the lockdown. 

Have you done anything to try to earn money during the lockdown and how have you found it?

I have started streaming online shows. It has been surprisingly lucrative.

Do you have any tips for others in the same position?

Build your brand online.

What have you found to be helpful in this situation?

Alone time in nature helps me centre myself. In the quiet space many ideas bubble to the surface. 

Where can we follow what you’re doing?

facebook.com/emileminnie  Where can people make donations?

SnapScan https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/zjJYuWkY

Busqr https://busqr.co.za/streamer/emile-minnie/

South African born, London based Aletia Upstairs is a doctor of archival performance, cabaretist, singer-songwriter and vintage songstress.

Click to see Aletia perform Catch Me When I Fall

As an interdisciplinary artist-researcher with a practice situated in the performing archives, autobiographical, verbatim, postdramatic and participatory-immersive performance frameworks, she investigates the subjective archives of performers and audience-participants and responds in intercultural, interlingual, sculptural performances imbued with original music, poetry and puppetry.

How have you been affected by the lockdown?

I lost quite a few gigs and some money. 

Have you done anything to try to earn money during the lockdown and how have you found it?

I’ve done some projects online and have some others in the pipeline. My day job is in education, so that moved online. I’ve learnt some valuable skills in terms of online education. 

Do you have any tips for others in the same position?

A lot of artists have moved their gigs online. It’s a golden opportunity for collaborative projects with people from anywhere in the world. We really have no other choice but to keep our art going by doing it online. 

What have you found to be helpful in this situation?
Mediation. I practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day and sometime also do other forms of meditation. For me, songwriting really helps as a form of expression, so if I have something I want to say, I write a song. 


Where can we follow what you’re doing?
https://www.facebook.com/aletiaupstairspage/

https://twitter.com/AletiaUpstairs

https://www.instagram.com/aletiaupstairs/

Where can people make donations?
People can best support me by buying my music (available on all major platforms) or they can go to: paypal.me/aletiaupstairs 

@AletiaUpstairs

https://www.linkedin.com/in/aletia-m-badenhorst

Gaynor

Writer, transcriber, proofreader, editor, lover of the arts.

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