Friday, 12 June 2020

The Corona Diaries: Zara MacIntosh


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!

Zara MacIntosh is currently the Alternate Catherine of Aragon & Katherine Howard in the London production of SIX at the Arts Theatre. Her other credits include Rattie in Wind In The Willows (UK Tour), Lead Vocalist / Princess Tiana at Hong Kong Disneyland, Vocalist for Collaborative Orchestra and Singers (Britain’s Got Talent / SYCO), H2O in Pandemonium (Water and Steam Museum), Maria in Twelfth Night (Shakespeare Festival / Royal Court Theatre) as well as appearing in the music video of She Said as a Judo Artist and the short film Boom Boom A Bang as Wendy.

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? 

Wow, it’s really crazy to think I’ve been away from the theatre for this long. Well, Monday’s are our official days off at SIX, so I was in my rented room in West London awaiting the official call from our SM to say that the West End was going dark. I really had mix feelings about the whole thing, I really love my job and work family and didn’t want to stop doing shows but at the same time, I really wanted to get home to my family. Safety was key and one of my top concerns so once I received the message saying the theatres were closing I instantly packed my suitcase and any bag I could carry and booked myself on a train back to Cambridgeshire, home sweet home!

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

Pre lockdown I felt like my life was very busy and I never really allowed myself any ‘me time’ so on my list of things to do while in lockdown I made sure that I had plenty of time to just stop, breath and take every day as it comes. I’ve set myself time restrictions on my phone making sure that I have time to enjoy daily walks and reading my book with a clear mind away from social media, I would definitely recommend this to others. An activity I’ve picked up is completing jigsaw puzzles, as a child I could never focus long enough to complete a full puzzle so I’m spending this time completing as many puzzles as I possibly can, making up for lost time.

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? 

The beauty of time restrictions on my apps through my phone has helped so much with this, it’s really important not to let social negativity darken your mind and most importantly your soul. I really try to be mindful about what I post and promote on my socials as it’s a very powerful platform. I would recommend time away, posting about something you love or are passionate about and sending uplifting messages to others is the best way to try and stay positive on social media during these times. 

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

There’s so many incredible charity's and organisations out there still working hard to provide and help us in these times. I would spend some time researching who’s out there. Acting for Others is a fab charity and I had to pleasure and honour of being able to attend their Golden Bucket Awards earlier on this year which was a beautiful eye-opener to myself and my fellow Queens about the amazing work they do for all theatre workers and the industry in general. Most importantly don’t stop your love for theatre and the arts during this time, read plays, watch musicals and turn the volume up on your favourite soundtracks!

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

I’m not going to lie, apart from scripts and the occasional blogs I never really delve into the world of books but having this time to myself I really have enjoyed getting stuck into a couple. I’m a huge fan of Harlan Coben, he’s a great writer! His work is also on Netflix, you might of heard of Safe, The Stranger, The Five and many more; well that’s him. I’m also a big fan of crime documentaries, it’s something that’s always interested me, so if that’s your thing too you’ll get lost in Netflix for hours!

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

One word, Zoom! Even the older members of the family are on it. Luckily I’ve been locked up with my FiancĂ© so we’ve spent many hours playing all sorts of board games that we could find around the house. There's been a couple driveway chats with family members and friends, making sure I’m checking in on as many of my loved ones as possible. I’ve dropped my mum and a few care packages as she’s a Key Worker and is doing an amazing job caring and looking after our older generation! She’s my hero. 

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

Getting back to doing what I love so much! I really have missed live theatre and just the feeling of spreading love and joy to our audiences every night! I wish everyone the best as life slowly returns back to normal and hope that people have learnt and taken something positive from this time and that we shouldn’t take life for granted. When we can, hug your loved ones and tell them you appreciate them. 

We'd like to thank Zara 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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