Friday, 15 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Adam Crossley


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!

Adam Crossley was most recently seen in Rags the Musical at the Park Theatre. His other credits include Elliot & Cover Jimmy in Nice Work if You Can Get it (Upstairs at the Gatehouse); Swing & Dance Captain in Summer Holiday (UK Tour); ensemble in Thoroughly Modern Millie (International Tour); Ensemble in Grease (Royal Caribbean); ensemble in Legally Blonde (Upstairs at the Gatehouse) and Rolf in The Sound of Music (Gala Theatre, Durham). 

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? 

When I’m not performing, I work Front of House for one of the big London theatres. On a Monday, we don’t have shows so I was actually at home that night with my housemates. It wasn’t a particularly exciting night for me. I was just waiting to hear whether I would be in at work on the Wednesday. It was really upsetting to hear. Initially, we were told it was just the week but I could feel deep down that it was, sadly, going to be longer than that.

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

I like to keep myself busy so I’ve been trying to find multiple ways to do so. I moved back home to be with my Mum once we went into Lockdown. Whilst at home, I found my old trumpet that I used to play whilst at school. I thought it may come in useful if ever required to play it on a contract. Safe to say, the novelty kind of wore off and my Mum certainly wasn’t impressed by my playing. However, I choose to do the things I enjoy like; reading, taking dance class, riding my bike, a bit of gardening. And some things I don’t enjoy like working out but I know it’s something I need to continue doing.

I’ve been asked to teach a few workshops via zoom for my local theatre and some schools across the country and even one in Cyprus. I clear the space in my lounge and set up my phone in the window. The looks I get from the people passing by do make me chuckle. But I love how accessible teaching can be. Also, as my Mum is a big fan of The Phantom of the Opera, we’ve made a thing of watching Andrew Lloyd Webber’s streaming of his shows and concerts on a Saturday night.

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? 

It’s certainly very difficult not to use social media, and the likes, to keep in touch with our loved ones. However, you are correct in saying that there’s a lot of negativity amongst it all. I try not to pay attention to it. If I find something is particularly getting to me, I will temporarily mute or even block it. I understand that this is a coping mechanism for some people so I try not to respond and entertain it, myself. I think it's very important to remain positive during this time but it’s ok to have those blips. We’ve all had them. We all know what I’m talking about. And we are in this together.

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

Art will always be there. At this time we may not be able to get to theatres but there are so many online classes, streaming of past productions and creation of new work. People may not have the income to support us right now and that's understandable, but when we are able to be together again, I hope the love for the Arts is not lost, and people are right there behind us. We can feel the love from afar already, it’s not just a business, its a community and we are doing all we can to help one another.

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

Other than theatre, I am loving Disney+ at the minute. All the classic movies I know and love and those I’ve never seen. Killing Eve is something I look forward to on a Monday and every weeknight I like to watch Richard Osman’s House of Games to keep the brain ticking over. There’s so much out there right now that I want to see, including Hollywood and Normal People.

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

I have a few close friends that I speak to every day but during the lockdown, I’ve been making sure to keep in touch with those that had perhaps grown a little distant. I do a quiz on a Friday night with some of the Rags company and when I hosted, we played a round of Supermarket Sweep around their houses. I also attended a friend’s Birthday party via zoom and we were online for about 7 hours! It was honestly, such a fun night; getting to see so many friends from the comfort of my home.

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

I’m really looking forward to being out and about again; having the freedom to go out whenever I want. Most importantly, getting back to the theatre will be special. Those performances will be something special that everyone involved will be a part of, from Front of House and the audience, right through to the Back of House and beyond to casting/producers/agents etc. That love of theatre will radiate throughout and there will be nothing quite like it!

We'd like to thank Adam 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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