Saturday, 4 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Kellie Gnauck

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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Kellie Gnauck is appearing in Bat Out of Hell on the UK Tour as Valkyrie, her other credits include Ensemble/ 1st cover Patty in School of Rock (Asian Tour); Tinkerbell in Peter Pan (Qdos Pantomimes); Ensemble/ cover and playing Eva in Evita (West End & UK and International Tour); Lead Vocalist/Dancer for Pop Factor (UK Tour); Lead Vocalist/Vocal Captain in Vegas! The Show (Norwegian Cruise Lines) and Hip Swing and Bride of Frankenstein in Universal Live Monsters Rock and Roll Show (Universal Studios Japan).

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? 

This actually affected me a couple of days prior as I was in rehearsals for the new production of Bat Out Of Hell. We were in rehearsals on the Friday evening learning choreography to the final number "I'd Do Anything For Love" (What a tune) and we could see the swings/crew etc filming us from the sides, laughing and all talking in groups. They'd seen the announcement on Twitter and were finding the comedy in us all still working our butts off at 6pm on a Friday without yet knowing the show had been affected. In hindsight, I can absolutely see the comedy in it! I was absolutely devastated as we were set to fly out the following Wednesday to start the tour in the US. The one thing we did as a production that was amazing and I'm truly grateful for though, is we all came in the next day and did a run, start to finish (however thrown together it may have been)... Almost as a celebration of the hard work everyone had put in over those 2 weeks of rehearsal. It was so so lovely to see everyone's work and to get to do the show as a team for what at the time felt like our only chance of doing so.

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

I've been trying to fill my days as much as I can, I work better when I feel like I'm achieving something. Lots of exercise; yoga in the morning, my boyfriend and I built a jungle gym in a nearby forest so we go there daily to workout with logs as weights and a makeshift pull up bar! I'm also taking part in the lockdownlivelondon workouts on Instagram which are a great way of staying in touch with industry people and also getting a good workout in. 

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 think I'm quite lucky in this sense, I haven't noticed too many negative posts on my feed as of yet. I've always been quite selective in who I follow on social media so it doesn't start to affect me and I think I'm very lucky that my friends are all really positive and passionate people which has been really noticeable during this time, seeing how everyone is coming together and trying to support each other. Since being in lockdown I've gotten a lot better with meditation though, I've been adding it on to the end of my morning yoga routine and I've found that just a simple 5-10 minutes each day has really helped to calm my mind in the sense of, being as present as possible. Not feeling like I'm completely static (even though we are all currently, quite static).

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

I know there are a lot of ways going round to be supportive. Creative people are exactly that, creative! There's a lot of online concerts happening, online classes etc, all of those kinds of things are great. Support them as much as you can. We are all in the same boat which is the difficult part but I just like to try and remember. All the forms of entertainment people are using in lockdown? Netflix, Spotlight etc... They were ALL created by people in the Arts.

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

I've started using the Downdog yoga app which has made its classes free for a few weeks during this lockdown. All of the boutique fitness spaces have been posting online classes you can sign up to. And if you haven't seen JoJo Rabbit, do it immediately! It's genius. 

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

Again, I'm quite used to the ole FaceTime with family as they all live in Australia.
So not a lot has changed there. I've been staying with my boyfriend for the lockdown so the company is good and then I try to stay in contact with people every day and a FaceTime (or I guess Houseparty these days) with a friend or group of friends every other day.

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

Going for a nice coffee! I didn't realise how much I'd miss it. The gym! Getting back into rehearsals for the show. We are hoping to still be able to come back to it for the UK section in September and not having to watch my bank account so intensely every day!

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

For more information please visit GOV.UK and

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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