Thursday, 18 June 2020

The Corona Diaries: Richard Carson



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!

Richard Carson is currently appearing in the London production of Les Miserables at the Sondheim Theatre. His other credits include Reuben/cover Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London Palladium); Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls (The Mill, Sonning); Sky in Mamma Mia! (Novello); ensemble/cover Chris in Miss Saigon (Prince Edward); ensemble/cover Fiyero in Wicked (UK and Ireland tour); Strephon in Sasha Regan’s All-Male Iolanthe (UK tour), Jason in Myth (The Other Palace); ensemble/Farmer in Oklahoma! (Royal Albert Hall, BBC Proms); Man One in Closer Than Ever (The Pheasantry) and John in The Hired Man (Bernie Grant Centre).

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 my dressing room, it was so odd. We were told ‘no warm-up but meet on stage’ so we knew something was up. When we were called off, our dressing room stayed and had a few drinks knowing we might not be back for some time. Such a weird feeling!

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

I’ve been live-streaming some fitness classes on my Instagram (1pm Fridays, join me!), and also been hosting workouts and quizzes for our Les Mis cast. It’s a nice way to keep in touch with everyone and keep my brain active.

There's so much important information and messages being spread on social media but sometimes it can be quite mentally draining and consume a lot of your time, how have you been trying to look after your mental state whilst using these platforms?

I think it’s got a lot better recently though, or maybe I’ve just blocked the negative?! Seeing people posting songs and funny videos is always nice. I read a great book recently that really helped me check out of everything that simply doesn’t matter, so that helps me stay focused on the rest.

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

It’s so important now more than ever. Anytime you see someone raising money for the arts or an arts charity, help them! I believe the entertainment industry has been majorly overlooked by this government, and we simply need the arts to pick everyone back up once this is all over.

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

So much! Last Dance on Netflix, Schitts Creek on Netflix, Unorthodox on Netflix, Friends all the time, everything on Disney+, NT streams on YouTube, Myth the musical on YouTube (cheeky plug!). As for books, Mark Manson’s books are great. I won’t say the titles because they’re quite rude, but really great for now.

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 family have been having zoom quizzes once a week, where we all make up 10 questions, so that’s always fun. Plus face timing friends a lot. It’s an awful situation we are in, but it’s allowed time to focus on ourselves and do some work there.

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

Going back to work! I miss it. Then, hugging my family. Then, the luxury of travel. Any chance I get is a chance to see somewhere new! 

We'd like to thank Richard 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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