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#3142575 08/02/21 05:24 AM
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I'm not entirely sure this is the correct forum for this query, but hope it will reach a like-minded audience.

Here in the UK, Covid restrictions have mostly been removed. I work a lot in theatre, and it's nice to see shows re-opening and a glut of clients up for auditions.

A month or so ago I was offered my first pro contract for 2021 - a pantomime, which will run November through to early January. I've also been offered four days of teaching work at two wonderful colleges (but they'd cover me if I decided to do the show)

I just wondered if anyone here had been offered some form of gig and had hesitations about whether to accept, with Covid still being massively prevalent in the country (some of the highest cases in the world), and indeed around the world.

Please note that I don't wish to enter a political discussion about how it's been handled, but just wondering where people's comfort levels are at, and any advice as to whether I should accept the gig?

Many thanks.

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Each of us will have far different responses with how to handle COVID, ranging from absolute caution to a total lack of concern. It is a very personal decision, and you are not likely to receive anything but opening up a huge can of worms that is inappropriate here. You should know by now how careful you personally feel is appropriate as this has been an issue for well over a year. Please go think about it rather than solicit opinions here. You will hear the entire spectrum here.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
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Each of us will have far different responses with how to handle COVID, ranging from absolute caution to a total lack of concern. It is a very personal decision, and you are not likely to receive anything but opening up a huge can of worms that is inappropriate here. You should know by now how careful you personally feel is appropriate as this has been an issue for well over a year. Please go think about it rather than solicit opinions here. You will hear the entire spectrum here.

Hi Dogperson,

Thanks for your response.

It is a personal decision, of course, and I'd like to hear where people are at with it now. I've spent much of the last 6 weeks, or so, contemplating this issue and have spoken to many close friends and colleagues about it, but am no further on in terms of making a decision.

I'd love to receive further advice and opinion based on other's thoughts and experiences - isn't that the point of the forum? Have theatres/venues added extra precautions that have swayed a decision? Did you feel at ease after a certain length of time?

I don't think this should be a taboo subject, as it's an important factor in the whole industry.

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It's a very personal decision and I don't think anyone else can help you here. Only you can decide based on your age, state of health, vaccination, prevalence of Covid, etc,. etc.


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I got vaccinated in March and in April I took my first gig in two years. Everybody that I called also were vaccinated and it was a gas playing live again in front of 250 people who had been in lock-down. I got three other gigs off that one the first one was in Sedona AZ on July 3 and it was outside and nobody wore a mask but our guitar player did and nobody said anything about it. Again he was vaccinated but did not want to take a chance. I have two more gigs coming up in the fall and by that time I pray that more people will have been vaccinated and we can all look at this covid-19 in the rear view mirror. There is always a chance someone might get sick but the pay is good right now and the audiences really appreciate the music and show it and as a gigging musician that is what we live for. So my two cents get vaccinated and go for it.

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I'm a vaccinated senior. Been using a mask indoors. Haven't played publicly since a steady gig was cancelled due to covid. I got a last minute call over the weekend to play at a casino for someone. Here, they recommend masks indoors but not required. People there had masks but more without.
I decided to play without one. Didn't want to fog glasses as it was a dark room.
Anyway, it was a fun gig, they liked me and probably will be back I'm told.
I feel fine after a few days. Donating blood in about a week. They test for it and will see how I do.
I'm still going to wear a mask indoors shopping etc.
Interesting thing for me, observing the people. Seemed happy to gamble their money away and just get out.
You know that roadkill dead skunk smell? I smelled it everywhere outside and driving home. Either all the skunk population got wiped out or they are smoking skunk pot. I think the latter. And some crazy drivers on the road.

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joggerjazz [You know that roadkill dead skunk smell? I smelled it everywhere outside and driving home. Either all the skunk population got wiped out or they are smoking skunk pot. I think the latter. And some crazy drivers on the road.

You know it's funny you mention that because at the Sedona gig the bass player mention he thought a skunk was close buy or someone was smoking skunk weed and it is legal in my state.

https://fortune.com/2021/04/20/420-...-pot-users-thc-legal-marijuana-industry/
“Americans purchased $18.3 billion in cannabis products over the past calendar year, $7.6 billion more than the $10.7 billion in sales the previous year,” writes the cannabis-focused Leafly in a report compiled from marijuana state tax and revenue records.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1189476/increased-marijuana-consumption-during-covid-19-us/
According to a survey conducted in April 2020, approximately 29.28 percent of surveyed cannabis users in the United States reported increased marijuana consumption since the coronavirus outbreak. In contrast, only 5.7 percent of respondents reported quitting cannabis smoking since the pandemic began.

https://www.banyantreatmentcenter.c...ijuana-during-coronavirus-massachusetts/
For those states that are able to sell recreational marijuana, people are taking full advantage. There has been a large rise in marijuana sales in the United States since the stay-at-home orders first started to take place. Some states have seen as much as a 20% increase in sales.2 Edibles, in particular, have been flying off the shelves with the highest change in average daily sales at a whopping 28%

Looks like it is here to stay

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Re masks and fogged up glasses, I'm a teacher (non-music) and it looks like we're set to be in-person once fall semester starts. I hate it when my glasses fog up, but I finally found something that works:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0929GRLKN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Make sure you get the kind that says anti-fog, there's another glasses wipe by the same company, w/o "anti fog" on the package and indeed, it doesn't work.

... ok, yeah, this sounds like a sketchy, covert-ad post, I promise it's not! whome

Back to the original topic.... I think it's a mistake to say this is a taboo question/subject. If we can't talk about covid (calmly, respectfully) how do we have any hope of ending the pandemic?

Now to actually address the OP's question... It seems to me that the performance is more risky than the teaching gig. For the pantomime, here are some of the things I'd want to know. Where does the pianist sit relative to performers and audience? Will audience members be required to wear masks? Will you be allowed to wear one? Separate from the safety measures, I assume this gig requires some prep/practice on your own, as well as attendance at rehearsal etc. So another question I would have is, will you be paid for those (non-performance) time commitments? And if so, would you also receive that pay even if the performances were cancelled last minute due to covid issues?

For the teaching gig, what requirements are there for students/ and teachers' vaccinations? Masks? Will the classroom have windows? Air filters? How big are the classrooms and how many students in one room?

You want to know all of those details in order to make a decision for yourself.

Good luck!


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Re masks and fogged up glasses, I'm a teacher (non-music) and it looks like we're set to be in-person once fall semester starts. I hate it when my glasses fog up, but I finally found something that works:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0929GRLKN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Make sure you get the kind that says anti-fog, there's another glasses wipe by the same company, w/o "anti fog" on the package and indeed, it doesn't work.

... ok, yeah, this sounds like a sketchy, covert-ad post, I promise it's not! whome

Back to the original topic.... I think it's a mistake to say this is a taboo question/subject. If we can't talk about covid (calmly, respectfully) how do we have any hope of ending the pandemic?

Now to actually address the OP's question... It seems to me that the performance is more risky than the teaching gig. For the pantomime, here are some of the things I'd want to know. Where does the pianist sit relative to performers and audience? Will audience members be required to wear masks? Will you be allowed to wear one? Separate from the safety measures, I assume this gig requires some prep/practice on your own, as well as attendance at rehearsal etc. So another question I would have is, will you be paid for those (non-performance) time commitments? And if so, would you also receive that pay even if the performances were cancelled last minute due to covid issues?

For the teaching gig, what requirements are there for students/ and teachers' vaccinations? Masks? Will the classroom have windows? Air filters? How big are the classrooms and how many students in one room?

You want to know all of those details in order to make a decision for yourself.

Good luck!

Thanks for all the replies so far. May I just add that if anyone wants to share their thoughts/opinions, but doesn't feel comfortable doing it in the forum, please do DM me as I'm trying to gauge as many perspectives as possible.

Shirokuro - you ask some pertinent and adroit questions, some of which I can answer:

It's true to say that the teaching gigs are going to be safer than the panto. The colleges will have many mitigations in place, most of which they've been using for the last year, whereas the theatre will be finding their feet having not been open long.

The risk with the theatre job is that I'll be playing in front of 1200 people or so twice a day - many of which are families and screaming kids. When I asked the producer about Covid precautions I was told 'if you get it you get it'. The director thinks there's no reason we can't get screens put up around the band (if the MD goes off the show doesn't happen) - I'd say the pit is around 2 metres or so from the front row. Whether the theatre have added extra ventilation is not something I, or the producer, are aware of.

We have a ticket company here in the UK called ATG (Ambassadors Theatre Group), who own a number of venues. They recently announced that patrons must show proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow test; however, this doesn't apply to children, who will make up the bulk of the audience. (I'm double vaccinated)

Truth is, anything can change between now and November. The colleges are hoping to go fully face-to-face but I don't think they really know just yet. I see no reason why I wouldn't be allowed to wear a make in either situation.

In terms of students - I'd be teaching one to ones (30 mins a time) at one college, and rep to classes of around 6 students in the other college.

Your question regarding prep and payment is actually what started the dilemma, as the contract has a (completely understandable) Covid Clause in it. Roughly, it states that if any performances are cancelled and/or audience numbers are restricted then the Artiste (me) will agree to negotiate a reduced fee.

Now, my prep actually starts six weeks before rehearsals but I don't get paid until the rehearsals and shows are in process. It is reasonable to see that I could do my prep, a week of rehearsals and then the show gets pulled and I'd only be entitled to one week's wage.

This situation would not occur with the colleges.

I have my reservations contacting the producer about these concerns given his previous response. I may, though, contact ATG and see if they're still going to require proof of a negative test/anti-bodies by December.

Maybe I need some skunk weed to chill out a bit...ha

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The risk with the theatre job is that I'll be playing in front of 1200 people or so twice a day

I think this alone would make me not want to do it, sorry to say. frown

I just had an email exchange with my boss (I teach at a uni in the US). Our first meeting of the academic year is schedule to be inside, in a large room (holds 50+ people) with no windows. I was already apprehensive about it, but today he emailed to say that the second hour of the meeting would include lunch.

I told him I had been planning on attending but now will not attend, since even if I kept my mask on, most other people wouldn't. He said there will be a Zoom option.

Ugh.


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I don’t think anyone will understand the trajectory of this COVID trajectory with the delta variant for at least another month. If I lived in a climate with cold winters, I would be hesitant to make a commitment, as increased time indoors may increase the risk of another surge.

Delta has a higher infection spread, potentially increased morbidity. Long-term Covid even for mild cases, is unknown.

A boss who says. ‘Some people may get sick’ Doesn’t sound like a boss I would want to have
But then, I know I take the conservative approach.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
I don’t think anyone will understand the trajectory of this COVID trajectory with the delta variant for at least another month. If I lived in a climate with cold winters, I would be hesitant to make a commitment, as increased time indoors may increase the risk of another surge.

Delta has a higher infection spread, potentially increased morbidity. Long-term Covid even for mild cases, is unknown.

A boss who says. ‘Some people may get sick’ Doesn’t sound like a boss I would want to have
But then, I know I take the conservative approach.

It is the thought of the unknown that's at the core of this.

I'm not sure how recent Delta has been in the U.S., but here in the UK it's been the most prevalent variant for many months. We're currently averaging around 25K cases, and 70 odd deaths, a day (these are my own estimates based on watching the daily figures - not official) So, despite lots of cases we're seeing fewer deaths from this variant.

Whether this is still the most prevalent variant come November is a different matter and, you're right, the cold winter, coupled with working indoors, would increase the chances of catching it.

As an update:

I've contacted the Operations Manager at the theatre today to ask what mitigations they're putting in place for the Christmas season. We're due to chat on Thursday and I think that will tell me a lot about their views on the matter.

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The kids are unvaccinated, 1200 seats, is it a show kids attend??? I would want to wait till they approve a vaccine for kids.


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RinTin #3143120 08/03/21 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RinTin
The kids are unvaccinated, 1200 seats, is it a show kids attend??? I would want to wait till they approve a vaccine for kids.

Yeah, a pantomime normally attracts families, so you end up with kids, parents and grandparents all coming to see the show. Also, we do two weeks of school shows - so we'll get different schools in morning and afternoons until they break up for Christmas and then we go to a normal theatre schedule of matinees and evening shows until the new year.

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The pantomime sounds like such a cool gig. I hate these covid concerns. I'm so sorry you even have to think about it.

frown


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
The pantomime sounds like such a cool gig. I hate these covid concerns. I'm so sorry you even have to think about it.

frown

It is! It's a lot of fun but incredibly hard work. I'm impressed some of you guys over the Atlantic have heard of it (it's a very British thing).

I was so happy when I got asked to do it, but reading through the contract really brought the financial and health risks into sharp focus. We've all had some hard decisions to make in this pandemic, things we used to take for granted. I'll keep you all updated how it goes.

Last edited by fatar760; 08/03/21 06:14 PM.

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