Saturday, 23 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Jay Perry




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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Jay Perry is currently in the London production of Hamilton at the Victoria Palace. His other credits include Bill Calhoun in Kiss Me, Kate (The Watermill Theatre); Berry Gordy in the final London cast of Motown: The Musical (Shaftesbury); Drifter in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre); Duane in Hairspray (Gordan Craig Theatre); understudy and played Curtis in Save The Last Dance For Me (UK tour); Marlow in She Stoops to Conquer (London Contemporary); Sword and The Dope (King's Head) and Whistle Down the Wind (Aldwych 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 at the Victoria Palace Theatre that evening, due to play Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton that night. I was so shocked I really didn’t think that shows would be closed even though Broadway had closed the previous week, I just didn’t see it coming. 

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

I have been using this time to train as a mentor and have joined Creative Mentor Network, I'm loving helping my mentee explore and grow within the creative sector. Its been a great use of my free time.

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? 

I invest a lot of time into my mental well being, I have therapy every week and use my sessions to really express myself authentically and I channel positivity through reaching out to friends and family when I’m feeling low.

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

There are so many great charities and funds that people can financially support but more importantly supporting people in the arts who are putting out content whether that’s fitness programmes or funny TikToks. Sharing, liking and being positive will really help us through this period.

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

I'm loving watching the National Theatre Lives that are up weekly. And I read an incredible book 'A Little Life', for any book lovers it's an essential read.

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

My friendship circle and I do a weekly quiz on zoom each week, taking turns to be quizmaster, we have an absolute scream! I FaceTime my boyfriend every night without fail, we’re so lucky that technology allows you to feel close to your loved ones.

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

I cannot wait to get back on the stage, its where I feel most comfortable and alive!

We'd like to thank Jay 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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