Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The Corona Diaries: Caitlin Tipping

These recent times have been some of the hardest challenges we've faced and as a community, it hit us pretty hard. However during these difficult times, here at Pocket Size Theatre, we wanted to spread a little positivity and share some peoples experiences because we are all in this together. Each day we'll be speaking to our friends in the industry to share their experiences with you all so take a read and see how people are getting through these hard times.

Let's stick together, share the love and get through this as a community! 

*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation. Please keep that in mind when reading*

Caitlin Tipping has most recently finished in the Bliss Cruise Line production of SIX the Musical, playing Jane Seymour. Her other credits include Best of Musical Starnights (European Tour) and Cathy in The Last Five Years (Edinburgh Fringe).

On Monday 17th March 2020, The Society of London Theatre announced the closure of all Theatres in London. This followed suit with regional venues. Where were you when you found out and what was your initial reaction? 

I was in my living room watching the news and scrolling through social media trying to understand the weight of everything that was happening. I honestly was so close to tears. Trying to wrap my head around what this meant for myself and my industry. I was heartbroken, knowing at that moment every single one of my friends and colleagues had just lost their jobs. Every project that people were rooting for or had worked hard to create was now cancelled and out of all of our control. It made me feel so helpless and dispensable but at the same time, I understood exactly why it had to happen. 

Can you tell us anything productive you’ve been doing?

Well luckily enough I have my boyfriend in lockdown with me. He runs his own talent agency and although I might not be creating any new skills it has actually been a huge eye-opener getting to help him with work. Seeing the effects this has all had on a different aspect of the industry. And I’ve loved watching the floods of self-tapes that are being sent at the moment. Geeez you guys are talented! I’m very excited to be doing a Q&A this Friday (3rd) on the MGA Academy Instagram, talking all things Six and the industry and also singing a few songs!

Whenever you log onto social media there is so much negativity circulating. How have you been trying to keep a positive mental attitude during these times? 

Social media literally feels more chaotic and alive than ever before and recently I’ve found it a little overwhelming. So aside for the odd scroll and checking to see what I’ve been tagged in or keeping up to date with news. I have been really enjoying finding a break in social media and taking advantage of the positives this weird limbo time is offering us. Like dusting off old board games, sitting down to dinner each night, going for long walks. I think staying level headed and informed about what is going on is definitely necessary but enjoying the time we have now is important too. 

With the Arts temporarily shut down, how would you advise people to continue to support the Arts industries? 

This is hard because it might feel to some that in these times there is no arts industry. But over the past week it has been mind-blowing how quickly we have all adapted to this new crazy lifestyle, all coming together with endless online classes, workshops and live streaming concerts. It seems like we’ve entered a new age of theatre online. Which is so cool! Therefore I would urge anyone who is willing to put themselves out there to showcase their talents online to do just that. Or show support to someone else who is steaming a dance class for the first time. Everyone just needs to keep their creative minds flowing and take advantage of this time to connect to as many people as possible. It seems easier now more than ever. 

Have you discovered anything that you’d like to recommend to our viewers? 

Yeah, I would definitely recommend the Instagram page @livestreamdancefitness, they upload a timetable every day telling you a huge range of pages that hold love stream workouts and dance classes and what time they are on. I’ve also managed to make my way through all of The Hunger Games films, whilst consuming my body weight in chocolate! 

In these times of Social Distancing and isolation, how have you been trying to connect with Friends and Family? Any fun quizzes or games?! 

Before lockdown happened I was lucky enough to have just finished my last contract and in the middle of visiting my family in Edinburgh before moving back down to London. It’s always such a short visit after a contract because I’ll usually want to get straight back into auditions. So this time has meant that I can spend way more quality time at home, at least. We recently bought the Villainous board game which is super fun, the card game Coup is a personal favourite and I must admit it gets pretty heated! 

And finally, looking to the future, what are you most looking forward to when all of this is over? 

Oh, sweet sweet freedom! The first thing I’m going to need is a haircut. But honestly I’m just most excited to see the industry get back on its feet. There’s a lot of theatre that has opened since I have been out of the country and I'm desperate to see. Also, I have so many goals I was looking forward to achieving and I can’t wait to get back to that. A solid income again would be nice too. But for the meantime I’ll hibernate and wait it out. 

We'd like to thank Caitlin and all the other performers who have given up their time to contribute to this feature. 

For more information please visit GOV.UK and NHS.co.uk

Other useful links for anyone needing further help: 

Acting For Others - Charity that provides financial & emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need. 
Help Musicians - An independent Charity that helps all forms of Musicians through times of need. 
Industry Minds - Mental Health Support for the creative arts. 
Theatre Helpline - a free, independent and confidential phone and email service that provides support to people working in the theatre industry.
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