Monday, 27 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Charlotte Gooch


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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Charlotte Gooch was most recently seen playing Alex Owens in the South Korea tour of Flashdance the musical. Her other credits include Tina Sparkle in Strictly Ballroom (Piccadilly Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse & The Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto); The Golden Age of Dance (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane); Margot in Legally Blonde (Daegu Opera); Lets Dance Again (Royal Festival Hall); Dale Tremont in Top Hat (Aldwych Theatre & UK Tour); Penny in Dirty Dancing (Piccadilly Theatre & UK Tour); Patty & Cover Sandy in Grease (UK Tour) and Tantomile, understudy Bombalurina and Demeter in CATS (German Tour).

On Monday 16th 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 at home that evening, I started to get messages come through from friends that were in shows and on what’s app groups as they started to hear the news and how it was affecting their show. It was all at about warm up time. I couldn’t really believe it and my heart broke for them. Arriving at the theatre is always one of my favourite parts of the day as everyone is always happy to see each other, sharing news from their day and getting excited/ready to perform, so imagining arriving at theatre to be greeted with that news really hit me. It really made the enormity of the current crisis hit home.

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

On day 1, I made myself the ultimate to-do list and I’ve been making sure I tick at least one thing off of it every day. I’ve found that feeling you’re still being productive during this is key! So I’ve been brushing off the DIY skills and painting walls, upscaling garden furniture, clearing out cupboards and cleaning, so much cleaning! Don’t think my flat has ever looked so clean and organised. I’m also trying to learn the piano - Current status: hopeless!

Fitness-wise, I’m making sure I am working out for 1-2 hours every morning so that I don’t come out for his looking like a couch potato!! I find it's a brilliant way to start the day too, it gets me motivated.

I teach at quite a few colleges when I’m not working in a show so have been doing some online classes for them. Last week I filmed a one-hour ballet class for them only to discover my phone had stopped filming after 9 minutes!! That wasn’t such a successful day!

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 actually deleted the twitter app from my phone very early on into this, before the lockdown started, because the negativity was too much. I have only very recently started looking at it again but I limit myself. I've found myself calling friends, or messaging or Facetiming in the moments when I’d usually reach for my phone and aimlessly scroll through Instagram and I’m loving that, I never have so much time to talk with my friends and family as my schedule is always so hectic so that has been a real positive for me.

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

There are so many shows being streamed online at the moment for free or for a small fee. So I say watch them! When would you ever get the opportunity to watch such quality theatre for so little!

I would also really urge people to rebook for the performances they missed out on when theatres re-open. I know most theatres have given direct refunds (which is wonderful) but I really hope the public use that money to rebook when we’re all backup and running. You know the energy onstage is going to be electric as the casts will be so thrilled to be performing again!

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

My absolute top tip would be to keep yourself busy and being productive, It's all about the little wins every day. Even if it's just clearing out a cupboard! Find a workout that you enjoy (my two favourites are @victoriamaria_k and @charlieruhrmundfitness on insta, and commit yourself to doing this daily if you can at the start of the day. It's all about the feel-good factor in the morning to get you going and keep positive all day.

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’m completely hopeless at quizzes and keep being invited to join so many!! I come last nearly every time but it's all about the taking part right?!

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

A hug! Never again will I take for granted a hug. I’ve been isolating home alone for four weeks now and I think I’ll be hugging every human I see when I can. (Watch out postman!) I’m also going to go see my sister who lives in Barcelona as soon as its allowed, she has been in lockdown there for a lot longer than we have and their rules are a lot tougher. She’s getting the biggest hug of them all!

We'd like to thank Charlotte 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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