Sunday, 26 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Sharon Rose

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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Sharon Rose is currently playing the role of Eliza in the London company of Hamilton, she was previously the standby to all three female roles in the show. Before Hamilton, she appeared in Beautiful: The Carol King Musical at the Aldwych Theatre; covering the role of Diana Ross in Motown the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre and played a Radio in Caroline, Or Change at the Hampstead 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 think when the announcement was made official I was at home, it was a really big surprise when I saw they'd made that decision.

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

I've tried to have as much rest as possible which I think is also being production because, as you know, when you're a performer in general on the West End, outside, on tour, whatever it is you might be doing, you are pretty much working full out every single day. Thats why I respect every single performer, no matter what you're doing especially if you're self-employed because you're going out there trying to find work for yourself. So this situation is kind of a blessing in disguise, even though there are a lot of unfortunate things that have come from it which we're all experaincing but I decided to rest and take some time for myself when I'm not doing 8 shows a week to just give myself a break, giving my body and mind a break and I think that's as important as being additionally creative and working out. Having said that, I have been working with an incredible PT. Her name is Thalia Burt you can find her on Instagram. I've also been writing which is something I've always wanted to do so that exciting! I've not discovered any hidden talents yet, I think I'm going to save that for month two!

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? 

When I log onto social media there is definitely a lot of negative opinions and ideas swirling around and one of the things I've been trying to do to steer clear of that negativity is reading books, spending time speaking to my friends over the phone, chatting to my family and encouraging each other because, especially at this time, we are learning that we are all that we have and the friends I have around me are some of the most incredible people I know so I'm just grateful that I get to drop them a message, give them a call or just speak to someone. 

I've also been doing a lot of reading, I've got a little bookcase with loads of books, some I've already read that I re-read and some books I haven't read yet so I'm really excited to read those. That keeps me away from social media. Having said that, I do spend too much time on social media but I try and steer clear!

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

To continue your support for the Arts Industry I would say keep contact your favourite actors, your favourite musicians, whoever it is reaching out to them because this is a dark time for everyone. Especially in times like this we lean on our artists a lot more. You have so many people performing live on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, youtube, whatever it may be and they're pouring out their hearts for the entertainment of other people but we don't know how much that's affecting them so reach out to them and tell them how much you appreciate what they're doing. 

Also, reach out to the government. What's happening is a lot of performers are falling through the cracks of these government schemes, so reach out to them and let them know that your favourite actor or whoever it may be could be falling through the cracks. And like I said, the people we lean on during these times are artists. Once I've done this interview I will be heading over to Netflix and the people who have provided that sense for me are artists. So reach out to the Government and let them know that we need their help. 

There are also lots of charities you can reach out to; theres MadTrust who do incredible work and Acting for Others who also do incredible work so please continue to reach out to those who need it. 

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

Yes I have! These live performances that have been put on by the National Theatre are really exciting at the moment but the other day I discovered that Amazon Prime had put out a live performance of Fleabag my absolutle favourite TV show! I absultey love Phoebe Waller-Bridge, I think shes one of the best writers of our time. So please go and watch that! 

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

One way I've been trying to keep in contact with my friends and famly are through all these new apps, I tried houseparty for a while but I'm not very tech savvy so that wasnt great for me! But I am doing lots of videos calls on Zoom and a lot of my friends have been doing Bingo nights and quiz nights, follow Lisa Darnell she does a great pub quiz! A lot of people are getting together and chatting which is so wonderful, even our company at Hamilton have been doing a Zoom. The company and creatives have all been reaching out to us and sending us love on Zoom so its been really nice to keep contact with everyone. 

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

A cheeky Nandos! I know thats not the best of things but I'm looking forward that! Taking my family out for a nice dinner, taking my mum and sisters to get a massage! So many things, everytime I think of one thing I think of the net thing! 

We'd like to thank Sharon 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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