Thursday, 9 July 2020

The Corona Diaries: Ryan Reid

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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Ryan Reid was most recently seen in the West End transfer of City of Angels at the Garrick Theatre. His other credits include Marvin in Sweet Charity (Donmar Warehouse); Curtis Taylor Junior in Dreamgirls (Savoy Theatre); Swing, Ensemble and Cover Benny in In The Heights (Kings Cross Theatre); Ensemble and Cover Donkey in Shrek(Original UK Tour); Puss in Boots (Hackney Empire) and Blues in the Night (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 at The Garrick Theatre sat in the stalls listening to the live announcement over the speaker system with the rest of the City Of Angels cast. We were having rehearsals as we were coming to the end of our previews and heading towards press night. It was soo confusing as Boris wasn’t very clear about the guidelines around the theatre closures as he advised not going to the theatres but didn’t actually close them! 

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

I’ve actually gotten into running, I try to do a 5k every other day. My mum is a keen runner and I thought I would give it a go as this is the perfect time to try something new! I’ve tried to partake in online classes such as Yoga, (which is a lot harder than it looks!) I want to get into reformer Pilates after lockdown. And I also moved house during the ease of lockdown so that has actually kept me pretty busy as productive throughout lockdown!

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 been looking after my Mental State by Taking a break from social media when I need to! It can become all-consuming and during lockdown, it can get too much! I would put down my phone and go and walk my dog and get some fresh air and enjoy the nature that outside as it helps you get perspective on things! But most importantly I would call my friends and family. FaceTiming them has been so important during this period. 

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

Social Media is a big way to help support the industry! I also think that people should use this time to research areas of the arts that you don’t usually look. This is the time to enjoy and educate yourself on other cultural art forms!

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

I’m making my way through Netflix at the moment, as I’m sure everyone else is! I am watching POSE series 2 which I cannot recommend enough, that show is education! And it’s brilliant to watch Trans actors and a diverse cast. Which is something we need more of. I have watched Waiting in Limbo on BBC, which is a brilliant depiction of how the Windrush scandal affect the Windrush Generation and their families. And my guilty pleasure is Selling sunset and a Place in the Sun!

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

I rinsed Houseparty at the beginning, And I enjoyed a few Zoom Quizzes! But mainly I FaceTime friends and family cooking dinner with a glass of wine! 

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

I am Looking forward to hugging my friends and family extremely tightly! I also can’t wait to get back on stage or in front of a camera and perform again, as I have missed it soo much! 

We'd like to thank Ryan and all other performers who have given up their time to contribute to this feature.

For more information please visit GOV.UK and

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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