Tuesday, 7 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Adam Bailey

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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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*

Adam Bailey is currently a swing and understudy to Elder Price in The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre. His other credits include Morgan in the world premiere of Dusty (UK Tour), Munkustrap in Cats (South Korean Tour), Felicia/ Adam in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (UK Tour), Espresso and cover Rusty, Greaseball and Electra in Starlight Express (Bochum, Germany), Mary Sunshine in Chicago (Leicester Curve), Alan in Bare the Musical (Greenwich Theatre), Johnny Casino in Grease (Ljubjana Festival, Slovenia) and Marilyn in the revival of Taboo (Brixton Club House). 

On Monday 13th 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? 

When I found out about the closing I was actually at warmup for The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre. I’d been rehearsing in the bar for about an hour because we had our first Mormon cut show as so many people had gone off sick. I had just been teaching our Standby Cunningham the blocking and choreo to perform as Elder Brown in the first two numbers of the show “Hello” and “Two by Two”. We came down to physical warm-up and there was no music playing which was odd and I remember thinking to myself “I don’t think there’s going to be a show tonight”. My initial reaction wasn’t one of surprise because I think with the week leading up to it we had come to expect that the show may close at some point, we just had no idea it would be so soon.

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

To be completely honest I’ve taken the first couple of weeks to rest and recuperate from the show! On top of that, I have also just bought my first flat and I’m attempting to keep that process moving along as I have not yet exchanged but I am so close! 

One thing I have started doing is offering one on one sessions with the current 3rd years at my old stomping ground Laine Theatre Arts. I can imagine this is a very stressful time for them and I remember before graduating feeling so unprepared and apprehensive about what the big wide world would bring, but on top of that, they’re having their training cut short and possibly won’t get to do there agent showcases. As a fairly recent graduate who has been very lucky to work consistently within the business, I thought it was the least I could do you to offer any advice or knowledge that I may have picked up over the years. There are a lot of things I know now which I wish I had known back then!

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? 

I tend to try and avoid negativity on social media. I’m lucky that I have a lot of friends with a great sense of humour who are able to keep my spirits high even if it’s just with the odd meme sent via Instagram or a stupid thread on twitter - every little helps in a time like this. I’ve also found it useful to do a bit of yoga and going for long walks always helps too (as long as your social distancing!). 

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

There are so many ways that people can continue to support the arts right now. This pandemic has affected every single one of us, some much more than others. The smallest gesture can help keep someone ticking along. Whether it be watching your favourite performer having a sing on platforms like Leave a Light On, or even asking them to do a silly Cameo, it may just be the pocket money they need to do a food shop that week. In terms of the industry as a whole, we need the government’s help right now. So many shows are announcing their closure and without any help from the government, this could very easily become all shows. So send an email to your MP or sign that petition you saw circling on Facebook. Theatre brings huge amounts of money to the UK and the West End is responsible for billions of pounds of tourism. In these times of struggle, we turn to the arts for escapism and joy. We will need theatre when all of this is over. 

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

Disney+ is saving my life. Anyone else?

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

I have never spoken to my family so much! It’s actually one of the main positives that have come out of this for me. I always speak with my friends a lot but very rarely have time to FaceTime them as much as I am now. We also had a Mormon company Quiz night last week which was a massive success. Think it’s going to become a weekly thing now!

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

I am looking forward to the realization of how much we have taken for granted every day. I think it will bring us closer together and it will make us appreciate how lucky we are. Personally, I’m looking forward to sitting it a coffee shop with my best friends, eating cake, putting the world to rights and being able to hug and kiss them goodbye, laughing and playing cards with my swing boys in our dressing room, and hopefully moving into my very own flat. 

We'd like to thank Adam 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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