Friday, 24 July 2020

The Corona Diaries: Alexia Khadime



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!

Alexia Khadime is currently in the original London company of The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre, playing Miriam. Her other credits include Laura in The Distance You Have Come (Cockpit Theatre); Rita Marley in One Love (Birmingham Rep); Princess Tahlia in Sleeping Beauty (Hackney Empire); Nabalungi in The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales); Alice in Dick Whittington (Hackney Empire); Eponine in Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre); Deb in Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios); Harmonia in Welcome to Thebes (National Theatre); Elphaba in Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre); Nala in The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre); Candy in Whistle Down the Wind (UK Tour); Ronnie Spector in Leader of the Pack (UK Tour) and Cinderella (Hackney Empire).

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 actually working out with some other castmates when PM made the announcement that people should avoid theatres bars and clubs, which was confusing as it wasn't direct. We did a vocal warm-up on stage followed by the covering for the show that day then our producers came on stage and announced that we would not be performing the show that night based on the PM announcement. I think we knew it was coming it was a matter of when. Broadway at this point was dark so we knew we were next. It was a very surreal feeling and emotions were high throughout the company. We had only really just begun our Prince of Egypt journey and it had been cut short. 
Can you tell us anything productive you’ve been doing?

Every day I work out with a few of my Prince of Egypt castmates via video call. It's a way to keep in touch, make sure we are all ok and keep active. Routine is very important for me as it such surreal times. I have also been doing Charity videos and online concerts. Also been doing some cake decorating, which I have loved forever, that along with knitting. I find it very therapeutic. (My mum taught me both when I was a kid). 

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?

It's important to take time out. Part of the way I have been helping myself mentally is reaching out to friends, doing a class online where I can enjoy it and rest my mind. There is so much going on it can become overwhelming, but know that it's ok if you are feeling emotional somedays. Let it out talk to your loved ones, rediscover the things you love.

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

There are wonderful things happening online. Concerts for charity, There are talks with various actors happening get involved. Some theatres are still struggling and many who work in the arts are struggling. If you can donate I know this will be very much appreciated. Even with the new government funding, there are still many who will and who have been made redundant in their jobs. We can't put on shows without backstage crew, front of house staff, musicians, cleaners who work in the theatre, maintenance workers in theatres lighting, sound, automation, wigs, makeup, wardrobe, the list goes on, many of these people are now jobless.

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

In light of BLM movement, it's important to educate ourselves. There have been some great documentaries on BBC, 'The Unwanted: The secret Windrush files,' 'Sitting in Limbo,'these are great mini insights into British history which often is not told. Also Netflix has some great series & Documentaries too. 'When they see us,' Time: The Kalief Browder Story,' '13TH,' to name a few. Also on Amazon 'Little Fires Everywhere' starring Reese Witherspoon & Kerry Washington is just fantastic. I urge you to watch it brilliant acting fantastic series. (I was gutted when it finished). My favourite thing I've watched in lockdown.

In these times of Social Distancing and isolation, how have you been trying to connect with Friends and Family? 

The wonderful app called Zoom! I think we all have been using zoom, the house party app, what's app. It's been a blessing really. Even my grandmother has been video whatsapping me, it's great!

And finally, looking to the future, what are you most looking forward to when all of this is over? 
It's the simple things being able to give my friends and family a hug, being able to spend physical time with my grandmother. I'm also looking forward to getting back to what I love and seeing the wonderful people I work with (I know sounds cheesy but it's true). We don't know what we've got till it's gone. It something these very surreal times have taught us is to appreciate the small things and don't take them for granted.

We'd like to thank Alexia 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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