Monday, 4 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Jacob McIntosh


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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Jacob McIntosh was most recently seen in the ensemble UK touring production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. His other credits include Swing/Cover Lola in Kinky Boots (UK Tour); Swing in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (UK Tour); Seaweed in Hairspray (Crewe Lyceum); Ensemble & understudy Peter Pan in Peter Pan (Stag Theatre); Dance Captain & understudy Wishee Washee in Aladdin (Grove Theatre) and Ensemble in Sleeping Beauty (Churchill 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?

I was actually on my day off from Beautiful and on my way to watch a friend who was going on for his cover debut in &Juliet! A friend and I were just stepping off the train in London when I saw on social media/received messages saying shows weren’t happening that night. I hoped at that point that theatres would just be closed for maybe a few weeks or so, which I realise now was a little naive!

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

I’ve actually quite enjoyed spending time being creative and filming videos for various different projects and concerts that are happening at the moment. I also managed to film a Kinky Boots dance workshop which means although I’m not able to be at a college teaching the routines, I’m able to send over the video so students can still be creative and learn choreography from the show!

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?

To be honest, I’ve not been overly active on all my social media channels in the last few weeks. I think sometimes it’s healthy to take a break if you feel like there is too much negativity. That being said, when I have been on social media it’s been great to see a lot of positive and happy ideas coming from not only performers, but fans of shows. So many people are coming up with different ideas of how to keep the magic of theatre alive from our own homes. Also, it’s really encouraging to see cast lists for upcoming shows being announced on social media. I think that reminds everyone that they need to stay positive and remember that this scary time will pass!

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

There are so many different ways to still watch shows and concerts online. Broadway HD is a great way to still watch musicals, plays and documentaries. You pay a monthly subscription and you’re able to watch them from the comfort of your own home!

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

I actually watched all 4 seasons of Money Heist on Netflix in a week! I was absolutely hooked! Also, musical theatre wise, I’ve learnt so much just from watching videos on YouTube. I’ve been watching a lot of videos about vocal exercises and vocal technique. There are loads of great videos out there and it’s been interesting to research and find what works for me.

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 usually try to FaceTime or voice note my friends at least every few days, just to check-in and see how they’re doing. I love a zoom quiz and they’ve been very popular between me and some of my castmates from different shows, but I’ve realised I’m not actually as clever as I thought I was!

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

I’m mostly looking forward to being able to go and see shows. I think going to support fellow performers and friends is key! I also can’t wait to meet up with friends and family and go back to doing normal everyday things!

We'd like to thank Jacob 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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