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Your Voice. Your Story.

Positive Changes

Did you start a new business?  Tell us how the pandemic affected your life in a positive way. Continue this discussion on the POSITIVE CHANGES FORUM.

Brianna
F

,

Arizona

"I've been making much more money since Covid happened than I did before through this one company."

I was rehearsing for two shows. I was in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at a community college. Then I was also in Shrek The Musical playing the Dragon, which is a dream role of mine. Joseph was a little different because I was at a community college, and so they didn’t have the autonomy to make their own decision on what they were going to do. The school district said all performances for all the community colleges are being canceled and postponed to the fall. And then for Shrek, it was a community theater company, we rehearsed online over Zoom for maybe two months, and then it just kind of fizzled out. So I still would like to be a part of it. But as a teaching artist, I don’t know what my life is going to look like. 

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Mark
G

,

California

"Educating oneself so that it doesn't just feel like downtime. It feels like we're doing something to cultivate our minds, to keep our craft going and to expand into new areas as well."

I used to loan out for the majority of the work that I do, on an independent contractor basis. Nothing is an employer-employee relationship, which it’s already tricky. If you’re in a guild,then you have more of that employer-employee relationship. But if you’re working, for example, in reality television, then it already makes it a little bit more tricky to solidify the way that you can get benefits, the way that you can get unemployment. So, even for the Musicians Guild, the opportunities for unemployment benefits are pretty low.

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Erica
S

,

California

"Almost everyone in the entertainment industry are workaholics. We often don't take enough personal time for ourselves and often don't take personal time when a crazy show ends to really recover or rest up and feel like yourself again before you take another job."

To think about going back to work on a studio pilot, it’s scary because now we have the highest cases we’ve ever had so far and so many people are getting sick. The idea of going back is really scary because it’s a group collaboration. That’s all filmmaking is really it’s about people and working together and different departments. I’m only working with my costume people that are like five people and then say the actors gained weight or lost weight or something during the pandemic, then we have to re-shop the stuff and shopping out in public and at malls and stuff is even more terrifying.

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Tony
S

,

California

"When the economy shut down due to Covid, my wife and I knew my income as an indie filmmaker would be next to nothing. We also suspected riots and food shortages ahead of time and instead of borrowing money for rent, we got out of Burbank, CA and figured out how to live off the grid in Malibu CA."

I’ve always had a dream to live off the grid where no government could find me. But alas, that is hard when you’re in the system and want to be part of the film industry like I am. But when Covid hit, I found a way to seek refuge in a beautiful secret area in Malibu.

My name is Tony and I am an Actor/Director/Writer who grew up in Los Angeles. I started my own production company and made a struggling living for years until I left the United States to travel Asia. I ended up living in the Philippines for a year and meeting my to be wife Karen. After monotonous paperwork and long months, she was finally allowed to fly into the U.S. where we started a life in Burbank, CA in 2019.

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Mark
N

,

Michigan

"My family was happier and our financial situation was better."

I’m a senior engineer for a company that makes AC compressors for automobiles. The big 3 are our main customers. When they shut down our orders came to an abrupt halt. Although we were deemed essential, we had no orders to fill. Fortunately, I work for an amazing company. They decided to initially pay all 1000 employees’ salaries. Once the extra money from the federal government was approved for unemployment they decided to only pay the salaries for the exempt employees.

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Tony
M

,

New York

"I practice Nichiren Buddhism, which is chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. So we have this phrase called turning poison into medicine or basically turning lemons into lemonade."

I had been rehearsing for the production of Matilda. We were supposed to open the day that everything shut down. We had one dress rehearsal where we invited all the kids, family and friends. I know a lot of friends who either didn’t get shows to open or if they were in the show, it had to close right away. So that was really frustrating because you put all this work into something and you want to be able to share it with the world or your friends or family and stuff, then it kind of gets all ripped out from under you. At least we got to have like at least one performance for people. So we kind of had some closure. But some people didn’t even get that, you know. 

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