I’m a very adventurous person so I’m definitely missing that part of my life right now. But I am finding little ways to still keep having adventures.
We may not be able to travel, or take part in activities or escape rooms right now... But I’m grateful for the little things that I can still do, like finding new walking routes for my daily exercise.
Film and TV is definitely helping me to keep feeling adventurous as I’ve mainly been watching fantasy, sci-fi and occasionally action themed things at the moment. I’ve re-visited middle earth, been to space to visit new planets and even dimensions, plus I’ve been time travelling as I experience all of these different stories and worlds.
Magic has been found in reading again, not just because I now have more time to lose myself in a book and literally read all day, but also because I’m re-reading Harry Potter.
There are lots of little ways that we can keep doing the things we love, if we just shift our perspective a a little bit. I’m also making plans for bigger adventurous once the world is open for business again, and I’m going to be trying out my first ever online escape room very soon!
information about it or how to get involved in it then click Minute Monologue in my website menu bar at the top!
I'm really happy because yesterday we had our first live Q&A on Instagram with the awesome platform that is WeAudition! We talked all things casting and discussed what things might be like and how the casting process may change after lockdown because of Covid19. We also chatted about what each of our platforms do to help actors. It was fantastic to engage with both of our communities and to be able to answer some of their questions. I'm grateful to Darren for joining me to talk. The video is on the IGTV section of the @MinuteMonologue Instagram proflie if you'd like to watch it later.
I'm hoping that we will be able to do lots more live chats on Instagram and keep growing a friendly and pro-active acting community on there, as well as sharing advice, opportunities, casting calls and workshops! It's so awesome to see casting directors, agents and directors starting to join in and follow the feed, I really do hope that the initiative will help people to achieve their goals and get work in this industry.
Despite filming, and production all coming to a stop. Despite theatres closing and everyone being stuck at home on lockdown. Despite a drastic reduction in casting calls and all of us self employed people freaking out about our finances.... The acting world has never been more open. Never before have we had the combination of agents and casting director having extra time on their hands, combined with the beauty that is the internet! We can communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world from a device in our hand. And people are really communicating right now.
The acting world can often seem like an industry with closed doors, with the constant frustration of needing to be known to get roles/but needing the roles to become known. Granted this had been changing with casting directors and directors much more open and excited about finding new talent, but there's still a massive over saturation of actors and not enough roles for us all. I myself have spent years working hard to gain film and theatre credits through networking and getting recommended to others by word of mouth, but still to date have never been in an audition room with a casting director. But this could all change after lockdown...
Lots of amazing and generous casting directors and agents are taking the time to reach out to actors, or let actors reach out to them, while we all have this spare time. And it's absolutely invaluable. We would never normally have the opportunity to speak with these people, especially in a casual chat or Q&A session, as normally the first time you would meet them would be at an audition (or possibly a workshop). There are livestream chats and live Q&A's happening multiple times a day over on Instagram, more on Zoom too. We have Spotlight offering 1-2-1 chats with agents and casting directors in 15 minute slots (you can only book one of these mind, but it's still definitely something that actors should be trying to do). We also have lots of casting directors and agents doing general chats on WeAudition.com which was an initiative started by Sophie Holland Casting (The Witcher) with the hashtag #CastingCrushesCorona. And it's all for free. Yes FREE.
So why is this so important? Well for casting directors it gives them a chance to find new talent and meet people that they otherwise would not have met, plus they can get to know us a bit and find out what we're like as people. It's important to be easy to get along with if they may potentially cast you in a series that could run for years! For agents it gives them the chance to take on new clients, especially if they currently have spaces in their books. And for us actors...there are so many benefits!
Firstly it is really nice to be able to get to know the people behind the names. We all know the names of casting directors and agents, we all know who they are. But at the same time we actually don't. We don't know them as people, at least not yet. This is something that I'm really enjoying as everyone that I've spoken to has been so friendly and really helpful with their advice. They're also super encouraging which is lovely. Secondly for someone like me who has never auditioned for a casting director, it gives me a great chance to meet and get to know some of them! And also for them to get to know me a little, which will hopefully increase my chances of being called in to audition later if I suit a part that they're casting. It will also be nicer if and when I do get called in to audition for them as we will already know each other a little, so will be more relaxed in the casting room.
Also I have really liked the people that I've spoken to, so I will look forward to getting to meet them again one day, and not just because they could give me a job but because I'd like to talk to them more. Don't forget that we're all people who share a love of this industry! The last benefit that I'm going to write about is that this also gives us a chance to be productive, and proactive with our careers. I fully intend to come out of this lockdown with my career in a better place than it was in when it all started. Just because we're all stuck at home, doesn't mean that we can't do anything, learn anything, meet anyone new, or even just get more ready to get going again.
I want to take this moment to say a huge thank you to all of the people who are giving up their time to meet, help, encourage, educate and connect with actors during this time. I personally could not appreciate it more (and I know the same can be said of many other actors out there) that you are giving up your time to do this. Thank you!
If any actors reading would like to keep up to date with everything that's going on then head over to instagram and follow @MinuteMonologue (or click here) as they are sharing everything they can find in their story highlights. Any why not join in and do a monologue while you're there!
Hey all! I hope that everyone has been staying safe during the Covid19 lockdown so far, and if you are unwell then I wish you health and recovery. I need to start this post by just saying a huge thank you to our NHS staff and key workers during this hard time, your efforts are truly amazing and appreciated!
Apologies that I haven't written in a while, as you can imagine life has been pretty crazy of late! At the start of March I has a fabulous birthday celebration with family and friends, and then pretty soon after that I went into self isolation. Now I know that may seem a little early, but I live with a key worker so wanted to stay home for them to reduce the chances of passing on the virus to them and their colleagues. Ironically he ended up giving it to me! And thus began the two week quarantine...
I was lucky to only get a mild case of Coronavirus, but I definitely got a nastier mild case. This virus is not fun. I thought I'd write this blog post to talk about my experience of it and what kind of symptoms I had, just in case it helps anyone else out there.
It did start with a cough, but it wasn't persistent at the start, it was more like a tickle at the back of my throat and dry coughing. I didn't cough all the time either, just every now and then in little clusters. The cough did get worse as it went on but at no point was I coughing all the time. Next came the headache, and it was kind of different to normal headaches (and as a migraine sufferer believe me I know!) because it was in my forehead and behind my eyes and the bridge of my nose...and it just wouldn't go, but paracetamol did really help.
Next up came the aches; literally my muscles just ached for no reason. For me it began with my calf muscles, and then was mostly in my upper and mid back, as well as my shoulders. These were pretty horrible as it hurt to move, it hurt not to move, and the weirdest thing was that my skin became sore to the touch, almost as if it had been sunburnt. At this point I was also really exhausted, sleeping a lot and spending pretty much the whole time on the sofa, I also lost my sense of taste for a few days. I didn't have the energy to cook meals or do any housework and had to take advantage of any more energised moments to shower, but luckily I had someone to look after me while I was unwell.
I added another pillow while sleeping to help raise me up a bit, which helped a lot with the coughing fits I'd get when I'd lay down, and allowed me to get a decent nights sleep and recover more quickly. (I also kept doing this for about 2 weeks after I started feeling better as I'd still be coughing up some sputum as my lungs recovered.) Another little life hack that I used was to apply lip balm before going to sleep which really helped to stop my mouth and throat drying out as I slept, I figured this out a few years back when I had a killer cold.
Along with the muscle aches came the fever. Mine wasn't actually too high but again it wasn't great and it also went on for a good 5 days. It seemed to run along with the headaches as both were either better or worse at the same time, and paracetamol definitely helped me to control my temperature too. A huge thank you to my neighbour who saw the sign we put on our door and posted us some paracetamol, the supermarkets had all been sold out before due to people panic buying so I am SO grateful to their generosity as it helped me as I fought through it. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!
Once the fever faded the headaches also went away and it honestly felt like the first time I'd been able to fully open my eyes in about a week.I got my sense of taste back too but then completely lost my sense of smell. I functioned so much better without the headaches and felt like I had more energy again. Although I couldn't use any of this energy because the next stage for me was breathlessness. I would get out of breath doing little things and at my worst I was pretty much panting while just sitting still on the sofa. My coughing also turned nasty at this point, it was still dry but the cough came from a deeper place, would come in fits and I couldn't suppress it at all, and my chest and windpipe started to hurt. It hurt when I took anything more than a shallow breath in, yawning was horrible and coughing was just plain painful. It was a weird pain as it felt like the inside of my windpipe and the tubes of my lungs were sore, right from the back of my throat down to my sternum, and then spreading out across my chest. As I kept on coughing it got worse and I began to get a sharp pain in my chest, pinpoint and just above where my heart is, whenever I coughed and this was agonising. I was also at my most breathless now too so I called the NHS on 111 (this was for the second time, the first was at the start to confirm my initial symptoms and find out if I needed to quarantine) and they had me run through symptoms and do a breathing test. They were really wonderful and kind, especially as they were so rushed off their feet with waiting times of over 30 minutes for people to get through to the service. Luckily I was not bad enough to need to go to hospital but was told to call back if I got worse.
I didn't get tested at any point for the virus because I didn't get bad enough to need to go into hospital, it was all confirmed via the 111 service. I urge anyone with mild symptoms not to go to the hospitals if you can fight it off at home, there are so many people with severe cases or people who are at great risk from the virus that need to be there and receive special treatment in order to survive. This virus is horrible, even a mild case can knock you off your feet and I wish more people would take it seriously, listen to and follow the government advice about social distancing. I'm still seeing people out on picnics where I live on an almost daily basis and it's so frustrating because the longer this goes on, the longer the virus will keep spreading, people will keep dying from it, and we will all remain on lockdown. I applaud and am grateful to everone who is staying at home, whether for their safety of the safety of others, it is hard not being able to see loved ones, but thank goodness for technology and video calls! I myself won't be able to see my Mum for most of this year because she is at risk from this and so I would be worried about passing the virus on to her.
The breathlessness that I had lasted for about a week and then gradually all of the symptoms disappeared until one day I just felt normal again. And it was absolutely wonderful!!! I am still coughing occasionally, but I think this is just my lungs clearing themselves and recovering. I also found that although I'm breathing normally again, I do still get breathless when exercising so I wasn't able to do this for a while after. I started with just going for walks once a day, and once I was able to do that without getting breathless then I added in the worlds most basic 15 minute exercise routine. So this is where I am now, I'd say that I mostly recovered and I came out of my 14 day quarantine a week and a half ago, but I'm still not 100% better yet and I think that it will probably be at least another month before my body is back to normal again. It wasn't all bad, I got to watch a lot of amazing TV series' and the amount of people who wished me well was absolutely astounding and deeply touching, there are so many kind and supportive people out there, plus there was also an extremely funny moment involving a broken intercom, a suitcase, some rope, and winching a pizza delivery up to the second floor and through a window! I'll keep walking and exercising, each week gradually increasing the difficulty of the workout until I'm no longer noticing any breathlessness , and then I'll consider myself fully recovered. I look forward to that day!
Hey all and welcome to my blog! Here is where I'll be sharing my musings and talking about things that I love.
If you want to watch more then you can also watch my vlog #TheReelRoad by clicking here!
© Lydia Kay 2020. All Rights Reserved.