Saturday, 9 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Sammy Kelly


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!

Sammy Kelly most recently played Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain at the Mill at Sonning. Her other credits include Ensemble, Cover Miss Honey & Mrs Wormwood in Matilda (Cambridge Theatre); Ensemble & cover Elizabeth in Young Frankenstein (Garrick Theatre); Emma & Mimsey in Funny Gir (Savoy Theatre & Menier Chocolate Factory); Cover Tracy Lord in High Society (The Old Vic); Patty Simco & Cover Rizzo in Grease (UK Tour); Mrs Potiphar in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour) and Ensemble, Cover Ali and Lisa in Mamma Mai (International Tour). 

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 the fitness studio in London that I work from. My heart went out to all my friends in shows who this was going to affect. I then quickly realised the show that I’m supposed to be opening this summer would more than likely be suspended. I called my agent (as you do) where he told me to hold tight and wait for any news. I then had root canal treatment! Joy! 

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

I’ve been staying out in the country at my dad's house so feel really lucky to have the use of his garden. Which means I’ve been weeding and getting green-fingered again. I’ve also been filming some online workouts for the fitness company (1Rebel) I work for, as well as putting out free workouts from my Instagram page. I’ve decided to test my basic yoga skills with a 30 day free trial with ‘yoga with Adriene’ on her YouTube page which I’m really enjoying. I’ve also had a few singing lessons with Jessie May Vocals (who I can’t recommend enough), and enjoyed a number of theatre productions shown on TV or streamed online. Running, jogging or walking is also I highlight of my day. Especially if I listen to an audiobook. I’m finally listening to ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari!

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 can’t lie, when we first went into lockdown I found it really hard to go on social media. I’d been ill myself and felt like all I was seeing was workout after workout, making me feel bad for not getting involved! Which of course wasn’t the intention. I reminded myself to listen to my body and only join in when I’m feeling back to normal. Sometimes taking a break from social media is the best thing you can do. Clear your head, remember what and who’s important to you, remind yourself you’re not missing out on anything and only go back on when you're mentally ready. 

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

We’ve started watching ‘Ozark’ on Netflix which is great. ‘Disney +’ is my guilty pleasure (I don’t think my husband is too keen though!), I love following Sam Pauly on Instagram and listening to her song a day, I also LOVE Gok Wan and his Instagram live DJ sets! If you close your eyes and grab a drink it’s like you’re in a beach party in Ibiza! 

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

Thank god for Face Time! I’ve had a few Zoom calls with different show company’s I’ve been part of which Is really fun. It reminds you that everyone is in the same situation. I’ve started a Saturday morning zoom workout with friends and family. My friends also love a quiz but I always seem to lose! 

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

Getting back to work! I don’t think I’ll ever take another performance/days work for granted again. I will also be hugging all of my friends and never letting go! :) 

We'd like to thank Sammy 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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