Wednesday, 20 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Alex Louize Bird


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!

Alex Louize Bird is currently a swing in the London production of Matilda. Her other credits include Ensemble & cover children in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK tour); Swing & Cover Children in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane); Ensemble in Wicked (Apollo Victoria); Dance Captain & Ensemble in Tommy (Blackpool); Ensemble in High School Musical 2 (UK tour); Jemima in Cats (Larnaca, Cyprus); Ensemble/Cover Eponine in Les Misérables In Concert (Jersey/Guernsey); Princess Jasmine in Aladdin (Peterborough); Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden (Aldwych); Brat in Whistle Down the Wind (Aldwych); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (The London Palladium); Young Cosette in Les Misérables (Palace Theatre) and Young Tommy in Tommy (Shaftesbury 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? 

Monday’s are our day off at Matilda so we actually saw on social media what was going on before we officially heard anything. I had just had a weeks holiday so I was already missing work. My initial reaction was that we knew this was coming, but thought it would be maybe a couple of weeks if that. I knew I was going to feel anxious about not knowing when we were going to get back to work but I tried to think about the fact that this was what was going to help people stay healthy. I tried to get a routine going as soon as possible at home so it didn’t feel like so much of a change. But I knew how much I was going to miss being at work. 

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

I’ve been trying to stay productive by following lots of online workouts and classes. The industry has been amazing at coming together and putting themselves out there to help others. Having a little one it’s hard to fit in as much as I would like but it’s motivating just seeing it being put out there. And I love seeing all my talented friends be so amazing!

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 has been hard. But for me having a son means I take the positives of being able to get all this time with him. I’m so lucky as I never get evenings with him. It’s hard as my go to would be looking at my phone but I find working out is a massive help for my mental health. I totally get people want to be realistic about the situation but I think everyone needs a bit of hope at times like this so it’s best to try and avoid the negativity as much as possible. I’ve also been trying to read as much as I can and make sure I have nice long walks with the family. 

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

I think it’s important to be making sure we’re supporting our friends and colleagues and small businesses, that at this point can use our help. Sharing anything that is going to keep it alive. Still talking and posting about the shows we love, the shows we want to see etc. If people can donate to the classes they are doing, even better. 

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

The Magnetic Movement has been amazing for live classes and I make sure I have a Disney film with my son each day! What better way to feel good! 

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

FaceTime and Zoom have been amazing at this time I don’t know what I would have done without it. It’s family quiz every Friday for us! I try and make sure I speak to as many people as I can. Days that pass when I haven’t I can really feel the difference, so it’s important to put the effort in. 

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

When this is all over I can’t wait to get back to work. Get my mind engaged and get back in front of an audience, doing what I love. Oh and get to the pub with all my friends!

We'd like to thank Alex 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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