Sunday, 10 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Fabian Aloise


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!

Fabian Aloise is a choreographer who most recently worked on Evita at Regent's Park, Open Air Theatre. His other credits include The View UpStairs (Soho Theatre), The Rink (Southwark Playhouse), Madagascar The Musical (UK Tour); Our House (UK Tour); Working (Southwark Playhouse); On The Town (BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall); The 24 Hour Musical At The Old Vic; Bright Lights, Big City (UK premiere Hoxton Hall) and The Drowsy Chaperone (Upstairs At The Gatehouse Theatre). Fabian has worked alongside Peter Darling as Associate Choreographer on the UK National tour of Matilda, as Resident Choreographer on Matilda (West End) and Associate choreographer for Matilda (Australian Premiere Company).

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 actually on my way home from a meeting about a new project. I had been distancing myself for a couple of days already and I was actually surprised that it had taken as long as it had for theatres to close. With everything we were being told about infection rates, it made sense to me that those steps were taken. About three days later I started to have symptoms! It was also obviously a massive blow to then find out Evita at the Barbican was cancelled. Not so much for myself but for the incredible cast we had put together! Such amazing talent! Here’s hoping it happens soon. 

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

Apart from cutting my own hair and grooming my dog myself, I’ve been baking! Cheesecakes to be precise and I’m finding new recipes every week to try! This week is tiramisu flavoured! We’ll see how it turns out! I’ve also been keeping in touch with the Bring it On cast and organising some fun videos we’ve been using for the promotion of the show. They’re an amazing bunch of people! My fitness has gotten better and easier as I’ve recovered, so I do some exercising and long daily walks with my dog. 

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? 

Turn the tv off and learn to scroll past it all for starters! I keep myself informed but as soon as I got sick I had a friend text me or call me with the important stuff I needed to know regarding the government’s decisions but I couldn’t face watching the statistics or death rates as it was too scary and I needed to stay positive for my own recovery. Since then, I’ve avoided anything on social media with regards to “new information” as for the most part it’s opinion based and irrelevant. I like facts and I know where to source that information when I need it. It’s the fiction based opinions that can really get me down so I scroll past all that. 

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

If you can, donate or buy tickets for future productions. I think places like the Old Vic are encouraging people to buy tickets which they can use for future shows and it keeps some money coming in. Also certain productions are being streamed regularly on YouTube and a small donation can be made. It’s tricky as I know a lot of people are being quite frugal right now and rightly so, but if you can, it can help. 

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

I’ve recently discovered CLAWS (TV series) and it has become a guilty pleasure. Hollywood on Netflix I think I watched in a day! I’m also a sucker for anything Neil Gaiman has written so I’m rereading Neverwhere. It’s fun to imagine London has a secret subculture!

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 use the Houseparty app sometimes but with so much of my family spread out across the globe I find times throughout the day to FaceTime them. It keeps me sane! I like to make a coffee and sit down and chat like we would in a cafe!

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

EVERYTHING! I think I even miss tube journeys! Eating a meal in a restaurant or a pub! But mostly I miss being in the studio with dancers. I can’t wait to get back to that!

We'd like to thank Fabian 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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