Monday, 18 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Asmeret Ghebremichael


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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Asmeret Ghebremichael was most recently seen in the London company of Dreamgirls playing Lorell Robinson at the Savoy Theatre. Her other credits include Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre & Broadway); Nicki in Sweet Charity (Off-Broadway); The Wiz Live (NBC); Shawanda in Elf (Broadway); Pilar in Legally Blonde (Broadway); Understudy Lady of the Lake in Spamalot (Broadway); Ensemble in Wicked (Broadway); Cover Rusty in Footloose (Broadway); Nehebka in Aida (US Tour) and Cover Vanessa & Carla in In The Heights (Off-Broadway). 

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 was In New York and on my first day of isolation. Broadway made their announcement a few days prior on the 12th, so I was not surprised by SOLT’s announcement. It definitely signalled to me that this was something to take very seriously. We theatre folk are tough, and if something is getting in the way of us performing, then attention must be paid. 

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

I’ve been writing quite a bit! It’s something that I don’t always dedicate enough time to when I’m busy, so having the time and space to create this way has been both rewarding and fun. In light of isolating, I’ve also had the opportunity to some fun virtual things like our Legally Blonde Live Reunion, and now I’m on Cameo. It’s been so much fun connecting with fans from all over the world. I’ve sung, answered questions, and just said hello and sent some love. I workout when it feels right, and I also appreciate the value of rest.

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? 

Before all of this started, I was starting to notice how my mood would change after viewing certain things on social media, and I’ve only been more vigilant now. What I’ve done is edit my timeline so that I’m seeing things that make me happy and/or feel good. Every day is different and you know what you can handle. No need adding any more stress!

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

I’ve loved seeing friends and colleagues who are doing live-streamed concerts. That’s a fantastic way to support the arts. I’m a patron for Mousetrap Theatre Projects, and I know they are working some great stuff right now, so give them a follow!! @MousetrapTP

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

I’ve just started doing Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. She has hundreds of videos online for free. Also, I have it on good authority that you can stream the MTV broadcast of Legally Blonde there as well! 

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’m lucky enough to live near close friends, so as the weather has gotten nicer I’ve started doing social distance walks with a mask and a friend. Otherwise, good old FaceTime and Zoom have become second nature. No quizzes, just a lot of laughs! 

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’m looking forward to hugging my friends and loved ones. And a full day of beauty and pampering!

We'd like to thank Asmeret 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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