Saturday, 11 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Danny Becker



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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Danny Becker is currently in The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre, in the ensemble and covering the roles of Moses and Aaron. His other credits include Don Lockwood in Singin’ In The Rain (Gaiety Theatre); understudy Fabrizio in The Light In The Piazza (Royal Festival Hall and LA Opera); understudy Aladdin in Disney’s Aladdin (Prince Edward Theatre); Follies (Royal Albert Hall); The Who’s Tommy (Greenwich Theatre); The Little Mermaid (UK Tour); Niki in Out Of This World (Rose & Crown) and The Twelve Tenors (Asian Tour & Monte-Carlo).


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 happened to be preparing to do a performance of the Prince of Egypt, standing on the Dominion stage in the West End. We had just finished physical and vocal warmup. When all of a sudden every department of the theatre started coming onto the stage followed by our producer. He announced to us that the show would have to be suspended for the evening until further notice. My reaction was one of shock as I had never been in a show before where they have had to stop the production for an uncertain amount of time.

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

At first I used some time to chill, as we have been pretty non-stop since opening the show very recently. After that I decided that I needed to prioritise my physical and mental health, therefore decided to start working out a little bit every day. A few of us from my show work out together every morning which has been a fantastic way to start my day, seeing my friends and getting a bit of a sweat on. I also run a weekly drop-in dance class at pineapple dance studios called ‘Dance For Actor/Singers’ (@danceforactorsingers). We are currently running an online BootCamp for our students, this has been lovely to organise and makes me feel very fulfilled that I can continue helping my students develop.

I’ve also had time to revisit my Estill singing course that I took part in last year. I’m currently studying for my Estill voice exam. Which is been a lot of fun to learn something new and keep my brain and voice going.

I do have to say if people aren’t feeling the urge to do anything, that’s also absolutely fine I believe we all have very individual journeys through this and we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others during this time.

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? 

In regards to social media, it can sometimes be quite overwhelming, if I’m feeling this I simply don’t look. However, the people I follow are mostly my friends or people that inspire me so it’s often a positive experience. Getting my body moving every day whether that be a HIIT workout, some yoga or a ballet bar, I found it really helps me. Also connecting with friends over FaceTime has helped me so much over this time. But also I’m really trying to listen to my body and mind, so if one day all I wanna do is chill and watch some Disney+ I will allow myself to. 

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

I think a great way to support the arts and something that I’ve seen a lot of produces asking for, is to hold onto tickets even if the show has been cancelled. This will mean the producers can save some money on ticket refunds, which will hopefully keep the West End going for longer. Also a lot of artists, performers and stage managers may have lost their jobs, so organisations like ‘acting for others’ would be an amazing place to donate to.

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

For online free classes: ‘Magnetic Movement’ and ‘Live Stream Updates’, both on Instagram and are good places to start if you’re looking for some inspiration. Also, I’ve been watching some shows on ‘Broadway HD’ which has been really fun.

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

It’s actually been a really lovely opportunity to connect with friends especially big groups of friends who are normally all over the world working. So I’ve had some lovely evening party’s. No quizzes yet, but I’m sure they’ll be coming.

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

Being able to see my friends and family and not be worried to hug them. To go outside and not have to look over my shoulder to see if someone is too close to me. To get back into London and my theatre to connect with audiences every night. 

We'd like to thank Danny 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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