Monday, 22 June 2020

The Corona Diaries: Livvy Evans




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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Livvy Evans is currently in the London production of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical at the Aldwych Theatre. Her other credits include Swing/cover Tina/Michelle in Sister Act (UK and Ireland tour), Swing/cover Sisters in Ghost The Musical(UK tour), Swing/cover sisters in Ghost The Musical (Asian Tour), Crystal Gordon in Bad Girls (Union Theatre), Swing/Assistant Dance Captain in Motown The Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre) and Velcro in Soho Cinders (Charing Cross 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 in tech for Tina! We were just about to do our first dress/tech ready to open the next day. I was actually in a wig cap about to go and get my wig on for the first time when we were called for a meeting. We had started to hear about all the other theatres closing throughout the evening, so although I felt it was coming, it was still a bit surreal. There was a lot of confusion and speculation because we weren’t due to have an audience that night, so we weren’t sure about was going to happen, however, it was decided that going home was the safest option. 

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

I haven’t actually learnt anything specific during the lockdown, I had a go at baking (like the whole of the UK did) but I discovered that I don’t find it particularly enjoyable, so that lasted about two days. I’m a real workaholic though and It’s very rare for me to have proper time off. So I guess you could say that I’ve learnt the skill of actually relaxing and taking some real downtime. I’ve been keeping on top of my fitness by doing circuits in the garden, walking/running and being outside as much as possible. I haven’t really done many online classes, mainly because I find it a bit claustrophobic doing them in my living room. 

I have been doing online BodyArt classes though as one of my close friends teaches it, it kind of makes me feel like she’s in the room with me which is comforting and the classes are just great for the soul.

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 looking after your mental state whilst using these platforms?

I have tried to be away from social media as much as possible and I have found that very helpful. I found social media very overwhelming for the first month or so, it’s so easy to compare yourself and fall into the mindset of thinking that you’re not being productive enough, to the point that I’d feel guilty for watching a bit of Netflix. I stopped, mindlessly scrolling throughout the day and limited myself to a few times a week and immediately felt a lot calmer and ironically, more productive. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and my new favourite thing is going on a really long walk listening to a really good podcast! 

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

I think it’s really important that people keep pushing for financial help for the arts. All the petitions have been quite successful, so I think it’s vital that we keep sharing and signing and pushing the issue to the forefront. I would also strongly advise writing to your local MP where possible, I think it’s important that the government are seriously aware of the impact the pandemic is having on the arts. 

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

So many! We’d be here all day if I listed all my recommendations. I’ve read six books in lockdown so far - a lot of Zadie Smith! 

I’m working my way through Netflix and I’ve also gone back to a lot of the ITV/BBC dramas that I missed over the years. Podcasts - heavily into food podcasts, which will be no surprise to anyone who knows me! Right now I’m listening to the ‘Off Menu’ Podcast with Ed Gamble and James Acaster, easy listening and very funny! 

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’ve actually been quite anti-social but caught up with close family and friends. Lots of zoom quizzes though, I’ve discovered that I’m actually quite good at quizzes - turns out I know a lot of random information! I’ve been doing a weekly quiz since the second week of lockdown with a group of friends that I did a show with and that is probably one of the most consistent things in my life right now! The funny thing is that ordinarily, we would only meet up a few times a year, so it’s been lovely catching up so regularly. 

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

Everything! I can’t wait to see my friends and family, get back to work, go to the gym, go out for dinner, go for a night out. I’m even looking forward to bankrupting myself buying three coffees a day from Pret again! 

We'd like to thank Livvy 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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