Wednesday, 1 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Jade Johnson


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! 



Jade Johnson has most recently finished in the London production of The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Her other credits include The Pirate Queen (London Coliseum); The Colour Purple (Cadogan Hall); Tina in Mad On Her (Arts Theatre); Summer in The Midnight Beast: All Killer (Pleasance Dome) and Mel in Club Mex: Immersive Club Musical (Hope Mill Theatre). 

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, watching the press conference and my partner was at work in the west end. As soon as I heard what Boris had to say I knew it was going to be bad news for theatre so my initial reaction was to contact my partner and let him know. It was a really hard night for us, worrying about what was going to happen.

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

I have been learning guitar (slowly but surely!) with YouTube lessons. I have been doing a lot of the performing work I had scheduled but it’s been moved online so lots of recording and self-tapes.

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 have had to mute a few words on twitter such as coronavirus, COVID-19 so that it’s not all I think about. I’ve used my one walk a day to get some fresh air and enjoy a park close to my home. I think adding structure and goals for each day can really help, but also allowing yourself a day of nothing. I think a lot of people feel pressured to make a big change (exercising loads or trying to learn new things) but I think that sometimes it’s okay to just stay in your jammies and watch some Netflix! 

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

Don’t ask for refunds on shows you were planning to see- this way you are helping the theatres keep afloat at this hard time. Also, donate if you are able, there are lots of initiatives and funds being set up to help people!

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

I fell in love with Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist- it’s a really cheesy, musical tv show that is really feel good and easy to watch.

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

Lots of group video calls, online pub quizzes and group nights. Next week I am doing an online cocktail class with my friends (via FaceTime) and we will all make our cocktails and get very merry together even if we can’t actually be together! 

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

Just everyone being able to appreciate what we do even more and that first time when all the shows come back- it’s going to be a long road getting back on track but I am excited about how we will all band together.

We'd like to thank Jade 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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