Thursday, 2 July 2020

The Corona Diaries: Laura Pick



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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Laura Pick is currently playing the role of Elphaba in the London production of Wicked after having previously been the stand by for the role. Her other credits include Dr Osgood and featured ensemble in Anyone Can Whistle (Union Theatre); understudy Maria in The Sound of Music (Regent’s Park); So This Is Christmas (UK tour) and chorus for The Songs of My Life: An Evening with Peter Polycarpou (Garrick).

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 on stage, GREEN when I found out. I don’t believe the closure had been decided until I was already halfway through make-up and everyone needed to be informed at the same time. Obviously we were devastated, but we knew it was coming. Helen (Glinda) and I really felt it on the Saturday before and had quite an emotional For Good. Bless my mum had even come down on the 16th to see the show because she was worried it might be the last opportunity for a while, just a few days too late.

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

I found it really hard to get motivated initially, felt so surreal and just kept hoping this wouldn’t go on for, well, as long as it has. I have done quite a few online concerts and Q & A’s, they have been fun, I was also involved with the In the Wings YouTube series, it was so great to be a part of something so fresh and new and was certainly the closest thing to a live performance we have had in a while. With regards to new talents, I am getting pretty good on Call of Duty on the PlayStation, never thought that would be my thing, but here we are. Also been very busy with my puppy, Colin the Chinese Crested Powderpuff, he is amazing. 

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 definitely haven’t been going on social media as much as I was prior to lockdown. I set it up so that Instagram tells me when I’ve been on for 10 mins so I don’t just aimlessly scroll all day long. It is just so important to stay positive, our industry is strong and we will come back from this. It is so easy to be hard on yourself when you are constantly seeing people working out and singing, but we are all handling this differently and sometimes just getting showered and dressed is an achievement. 

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

Keep signing petitions and emailing MPs. Donate if and when you can. Acting for others is also an incredibly important charity that supports anyone in any aspect of theatre, that’s front of house, backstage, cast, just anyone who is in need, be it financial or just emotional support, they provide it. They sell lots of amazing merchandise, so check it out.

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

Definitely check out In the Wings on Youtube, its highlighting new work that should have been showcased during this time, interviews with the writers/composers and performances from myself, Dougie Carter, Steph Parry & Aaron Lee Lambert. 

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

Initially, it felt like I had a quiz almost every night, that has calmed down now but I have family Zoom quiz or chat every Saturday and the same on a Sunday with friends. It has been great to be honest, I speak to my parents regularly anyway but could sometimes go weeks without having a chat with my brothers so it has been really nice to see them regularly even though it's only virtually. 

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

Getting back to work and being able to share our story will be incredibly special. I miss it, more than I can say. The first show back will be a night that shouldn’t be missed, no matter what people go and see, It will be magical. 

I am also very much looking forward to seeing my friends and family and actually being able to give them a hug. Feels so alien seeing people and not having a squeeze, but it is all part of this and when it finally can happen, it will be worth the wait.

We'd like to thank Laura 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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