Friday, 19 June 2020

The Corona Diaries: Sian Nathaniel-James



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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Sian Nathaniel-James was most recently seen in Motown the Musical at the Shaftsbury Theatre and on the UK tour. Her other credits include Swing, Ensemble and cover Michelle in Dreamgirls (Savoy Theatre); ensemble in Loservile (Union Theatre); Michelle Morris in Dreamgirls (Stage Entertainment Charity Gala) and ensemble in The Lion King (Hamburg, Germany). 

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 home when I heard the news. My friend texted me their show was cancelled and had to go home. I cannot imagine the internal panic this must of caused. My heart goes out to all my fellow artists during this time.

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

I’ve taken this time to get deeper into my meditation practice as it helps my inner peace. I’ve been keeping up my skills as a beautician and offering treatments to my family ( which they can’t get enough of!) I’ve also taught a few workshops which have been really fun!

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’ve begun to unfollow accounts that don’t support my happiness, education and growth. When we consume a lot of meaningless junk, that’s what fills up our minds. Somedays, I just simply log out. I think it’s important to always check in with yourself and know your limit. I believe it's healthy to give yourself a time. Say from 8pm, No social media, or whatever works for you. 

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

Don’t stop creating! Whatever it is, sing, write, dance, paint - Don’t let this time put out that fire - you never know who could be watching or listening. Get together (virtually) with your friends and use your gifts to spend a message to the world. The world NEEDS art.

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

Hollywood on Netflix- Phenomenal! If you haven't watched it already please do not hesitate. And Disney +, Need I say anymore?!

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

Loads of quizzes, Houseparty sessions and family time in front of the TV has been my favourite. For my birthday a 2 weeks ago I did an online mediation on my Instagram live dedicated to BLM Movement. That was magical to have everyone tune in to send love to the world.

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

TGI Fridays! I love that restaurant. Seeing my friends and hugging my loved ones again. I’m excited about the future, I hope this moment will create a ripple of positive change, for everyone.


We'd like to thank Sian 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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