Saturday, 25 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Waylon Jacobs


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!

Waylon Jacobs was most recently seen in the original cast of Hamilton at the Victoria Palace. His other credits include Sarge/Scarlett in Yank! (Charing Cross Theatre); Ensemble in Chicago (UK Tour); Ensemble and cover Gator, Delray and Bobby in Memphis (Shaftsbury Theatre); Ensemble and cover Brit and Rebel Leader in We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre & Arena Tour); Benny in RENT (Tabard Theatre); A Midsummer Nights Dream & Ragtime (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park); Japeth in Children of Eden (Prince of Wales Theatre) and Cover Simba/Swing in The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre).

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

Well in order to stop myself from just sitting on my PS4 and entering a gaming hole, thus turning my brain to mush. I created myself a timetable in which I am studying Spanish, BSL and the Piano, all thing I've wanted to do before tried starting and failed but now I have the time I've scheduled these in, as well as continuing my singing practice, script work, and keeping fit. It sounds like a lot but I have also set aside a chunk of time for lunch each day and have mini-breaks too. My weekends and evenings are completely free though, which is when I tend to wind down and take a moment for myself to switch off, It's important to be active but also finding the balance and listening to the body when it says enough has been key for me through this time as well.

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? 

As part of my timetable I meditate every morning to clear the head for what the day has in store, it seems to me there are both negative and positives on social media at the moment, if I sense that something is going negative that really doesn't affect me and I don't need to know I just switch to something else, but the easiest way to do this is to just pop the phone down for a bit, set yourself some screen time and stick to it. Find the fun and beauty in experimenting with cooking, doing a puzzle, adult colouring books are great and for me, my games consoles!

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

Tune in to peoples live concerts, see what charities like acting for others are doing, support people teaching, doing workshops but most importantly, save you ticket money and go to all the shows when they return because they will!

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

Disney+ has been lovely just popping on and watching a classic Disney or new Marvel film with the momma bear has been fun, All the DC programs now they are back. My books are mainly interesting for me, but I'm always gonna shout out 'The subtle art of not giving a f**k' as for insta that seems to be generally filled with joyous things atm. So pop on there for some joy.

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

As pretty much most of the world have already discovered, Zoom and Houseparty are brilliant. I actually hosted a BSL practice session this week with some fellow artists in the industry who are also learning for us to have a little hub to practice and apply what we've been working on. But yes Quizzes hosted by friends popping in and out of Houseparty chats to check in and make sure everyone is doing ok. I've been introduced to jackbox as well which is another fun quiz type thing to do with multiple friends also there's a cards against humanity online which never ceases to provide fun.

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

I cannot wait to hug my friends!

We'd like to thank Waylon and all 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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