(Photo by Diana Lambert)
Today is Wednesday, February 24th, 2021. It has been four months since I first began this project. I’m still sitting in my bedroom in my tiny off-campus apartment in Philadelphia. We’re still in the middle of a global pandemic.
As we approach one full year of lockdown, theaters across the globe are still empty. Their doors are still shut. Live music and events are suspended with no start date in sight. Television and film have resumed production, even as the number of cases and deaths continue to rise in Los Angeles county and across the country.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has shattered society as we once knew it. It has caused so much trauma, so much destruction, and so much pain.
But, throughout the course of this project, with each individual I interviewed and through each hour long conversation, a common theme began to emerge.
Out of this devastation has come immense innovation. Within all of the bad, we continue to find the good.
Even when we cannot connect with each other physically, we’ve figured out ways in which we can connect virtually through the use of live streams, recorded performances, streaming platforms, and social media – all of which are mediums here to stay. For in-person events, we’ve implemented strict CDC protocols to ensure that everyone participating is doing so in a safe way.
Entertainment never left. It just looks a little different right now. But, when it does return to normal, the fans will be waiting – ticket in hand and more grateful than ever before to be back in the live space.
If I may leave you with one piece of advice, it is to find the good within your own life. If we have learned anything from the past year, it is that our time here is limited. Cherish it. Make the most of it.
I’d like to extend a massive thank you to all of those who gave up their time to be interviewed. Al Schaefer, Bill Fennelly, Bill Brandenburg, Cindy Ciullo, Dan Crisci, Joe Somerville, Jenny Hossain, Kate Bussert, Shelley Butler, West Hyler, Shenna Somsmieh, and Steve Holloway – I could not have done any of this without you. Thank you.
I’d also like to thank Asta Zelenkauskaite, Troy Kowalchuk, and Karen Cristiano. Thank you for your knowledge and guidance. I am so grateful.
Lastly, to those reading – thank you. I hope you enjoyed.