Sunday, 10 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Tanisha Spring


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!

Tanisha Spring is currently in the London company of The Prince of Egpyt, playing the role of Nefertari and covering the role of Tzipporah. Her other credits include Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors (Storyhouse); Linda in Making Porn (Above the Stag); Radio and understudy Emmie Thibodeaux in Caroline, or Change (Playhouse Theatre); Story Jenny in Big Fish (The Other Palace); One Love – The Bob Marley Musical (Birmingham Rep); Beautiful: The Carol King Musical (Aldwych Theatre); Hairspray (Bronowski Productions/ Macau); Seussical (Selladoor); Thriller Live (West End, UK & European 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? 

We had just finished our warm-up when it was announced. I was due to go on for my cover track (Tzipporah) for the second time that evening, so I was in a corner somewhere going over notes. I hadn’t noticed that the whole team, crew, dressers, everyone, had congregated at the side of the stage. We knew it would eventually happen but it was announced so suddenly. I didn’t really know what to do with myself at first. Then I just wanted to make sure I said a proper goodbye, because I wasn’t sure when we’d be together again.

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

I’ve kind of delved in with the plan to enter back into society better then I left it. Excluding the days I didn’t leave the sofa, eating packets of cookies for breakfast, I've tried to stay busy and have been grateful for the time. I already mentor with a charity called Girls Network and now holding sessions virtually (check them out, they’re wonderful). I’ve been able to dedicate time to practising Japanese and the Piano and finished sewing some half-finished outfits I stated pre-Corona. I’ve also been running a bit. I didn’t really enjoy running until they told me I could only leave the house once a day.

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 only really follow people I genuinely want to hear from but at the start of this, I was constantly on social media in a poor attempt to stay connected. Obviously constantly scrolling, I was going to find a lot of negativity. It was draining & a little boring, to be honest, but I think the use of the mute is a healthy one. People are within their rights to express their opinion on social media, it's not always helpful so knowing your limits with the amount you consume is important. Saying that, I’ve been able to see people all over the world doing wonderful things to support their communities.

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

The shut down has meant most of the industry has completely lost their income. There are some amazing charities who have been able to provide financial support for creatives, while others offer guidance and emotional support. Helping them, supports the individuals who fuel this industry and only encourages a strong workforce when everyone is able to return to work. 

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

Three Identical Strangers and After Life on Netflix are good but maybe don’t watch it if you’re feeling sad. SkillShare.com if you're wanting to learn something new & I’m a fan of a YouTuber called Matt D'Avella, great advice if like me you're trying to organise and build better habits. 
OneCommune.com if you want to try out new yoga, breathing or spiritual practices with people like Deepak Chopra & Russel Brand (there is paid membership but you can also sign up for free courses). 

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 am just extremely thankful this happened now and not in the 90s, thank you camera phones! I FaceTime with my family and friends a lot. We have lunch together and me and the fam have meditations mornings over Zoom. While on Prince of Egypt, we started an Insanity exercise club that we've carried over to the House Party app, it's mostly just lovely to see their faces.

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

Eating out & many hugs!

We'd like to thank Tanisha 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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