New York City has certainly come a long way since its couple months as the ultimate ghost town in March through May of 2020, but there’s still a major part of the city missing: the live arts.
Broadway alone generated over $1.7 billion revenue for the city, with millions of tourists and arts-lovers jamming into the orchestra seats and rushing to get same-day discounted tickets. Broadway supported approximately 87,000 jobs for performers, tech, stage crew, costuming and lighting teams, directors and choreographers, and more.
With most performers abruptly sent out of work, many have had to adjust from life on the stage and studio to life in an apartment, including myself. Here are the things that remained helpful since a year (wow!) ago to manage and navigate being a passionate performing artist with the challenges of the shutdown.
1. You are not limited to: being a dancer. You are a multi-faceted artist, and it is important to utilize other skills or passions of yours. Life is all about re-routing your picture, and it is completely justifiable to take up a new class, activity, or simply a fresh look at yourself and your identify as an artist.
2. If you are tired of virtual classes, don’t do them. I’ve found that the more I push or guilt myself to take a curated class (through Steps on Broadway or Broadway Dance Center), the less I feel naturally happy doing it. If you are burnt out from staring at Zoom rather than being outside or practicing movement presently without a video platform, don’t feel bad about it.
3. Remember to breathe. Every day.
4. Join Facebook’s NYC Dancers group and become a regular member of scrolling through Dance/NYC to find auditions.
5. Lean on your friends: try to make genuine effort to connect with friends who have been going through the same or similar process as you. There is a lot of value in resonating specific challenges with another artist.
6. Move once a day. Even if it is a 15-minute walk.
7. Find music artists who inspire you and inspire you to choreograph or improvise to their work.
8. Update every material you have: your dance resume, theatre resume, dance reel, and/or CV.
9. Continue to treat your body with respect and wellness. Hydrate every day!
10. Keep putting yourself out there. Utilize social media platforms to display your work and who you are, and continue to seize opportunities through research, perseverance, and connections.