How to Make the Most of Now: Help for Entertainers during Covid-19
There’s no doubt that for many of us, even if we’ve been lucky enough to stay well, the last month has been ‘strange’ at the very least. For some it’s also been very challenging and perhaps even worrying. And for the Entertainment community as whole it’s been devastating in the short-term.
So what can you do to get yourself through this, keep afloat and sail out the other side feeling positive and ready to make the most of the resurgence in entertainment bookings?
We’ve pulled together advice from psychologists, wellbeing and marketing experts, mixed in our knowledge of the Entertainment world and created a master-plan to help you to not only stay well, but improve your skills and get yourself in pole position for the autumn 2020 and New Year bookings that are already appearing.
Which one do you want to work on first?
Boost your Health
The best place to start when things get stressful or unsettling is with your health. Eating and sleeping well, and getting enough exercise may all seem like obvious things to do…but we sometimes forget how strong the mind-body connection is, and when our routine has been displaced we fall into unhelpful, or unhealthful habits. And that can lead to less energy and positivity in the long-term.
Even if you’re a magician or a comedian, rather than a dancer or singer, getting enough exercise and being in shape will help your act in the long term – so why not start a new morning (indoor) exercise routine.
Sleep can also be hard to find when when we’re stuck indoors and stressed or going through a change in out daily lives. Apart from finding ways to de-stress (see Boost Your Happiness), what else can you do to help you get those all important hours of deep rest.
Here are some top tips from a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist to help you sleep soundly:
- Try to keep to your normal sleep routine, don’t start getting up much later or staying up late.
- Do what your Grandma would have advised – take a hot bath and drink warm milk. There is sound, solid scientific evidence that both of these work.
- Try not to eat high-carb or high-sugar foods too close to bed-time – your blood sugar will peak and then plummet during the night, leading you to wake up.
- Eat a small slow-burning snack, like an oat biscuit, before bed to keep your blood sugars level overnight.
- If you wake up during the night, leave the lights off. Your brain sees light as a signal to wake up!
- Don’t check your clock during the night…it’s hard, but you don’t need to know the time and once you see it, you start to calculate how many hours you’ve slept/have left…we’ve all done it!
There are also more specific things you can do to keep healthy that also help to develop your talent and get you in great shape for performing, such as following our Voice Care Tips if your a singer or doing performance warm-ups so you get used to and learn exercises you can use later.
Whatever you choose to do, keeping well in your body and keeping moving will help you stay balanced and full of the energy you’ll need to take on those new jobs and bookings.
Boost your Happiness
The reason that many of us are finding it tricky dealing with the current situation is simple – it affects our sense of security. For all of us, from singers and dancers to children’s entertainers and magicians, from the fantastically successful to those taking their first steps in the entertainment industry, it is completely normal for the strangeness of this time to trigger feelings of stress and worry.
So what can you do to stay positive and come out of isolation balanced, smiling and ready to take on the world?
The first step to keeping bright is simple – stay busy. Although some may still be finding ways to work, for many of us entertainers, lockdown means that work is on pause. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do and filling your days will keep you going. It works in two ways – firstly you have less time to worry, and secondly the things you do to keep busy will bring their own rewards, which will help to lift your mood.
Part of keeping busy is also keeping a routine. You could start your day with some of the exercise suggested above, then set yourself work hours in which you take on some of the suggestions in our Boost Your Bookings section. However you organize your time, keep it constructive and productive.
You can also make some time in your day for training your mind to focus on the future with activities like Dream to Reality exercise as well as making space for creative ideas and helping you feel connected with mindfulness exercises.
Here’s a simple, but highly effective one to get you stated:
- Close your eyes and take a few deeper breaths, breathing in for a count of 3 and out for 5
- Bring to mind three images you love to see like a beautiful view, the face of someone you love, a sunset
- Bring to mind three sounds that you love to hear, such as the sound of the sea, or a distant piano playing, or the laughter of friends
- Feel three sensations that make you feel peaceful, like touching the bark of a tree, feeling the sunshine warming your skin or the soft touch of silk or velvet
- Imagine the beginnings of a tiny internal smile, feel it grow and spread throughout your body like a huge grin filled with bubbles of happiness.
- Continue to breath for a few moments, hold the feeling and open your eyes.
There are a wealth of exercises like these on YouTube and this channel is a good place to start.
You can also find more tips and links on mental wellbeing on our Covid-19 Support page.
Boost your Bookings
All of us at Entertainers Worldwide are very aware of the effect that social distancing and lockdown has had on the entertainment industry as a whole, and on all of you.
It’s been tough, but there are already green shoots of hope and we are seeing regular requests for booking for Autumn this year and early 2021.
During this quiet time there are plenty of things you can do to help you fill your bookings calendar or get that fantastic new job later this year. So, get busy – start at number 1 and by time you get to 5, with luck, social distancing will have been lifted and you’ll be starting to get those jobs, auditions and bookings again!
1) Update, refresh and reinvigorate all your profiles, marketing materials and listings. We have loads of advice in our other blog posts on how to do this, with guides on everything from how to write a great bio or profile to how to get picture-perfect profile photos and eye-catching videos.
2) Review your Act. What new skills can you add? What can you learn now that will improve your act? What can you do to give your act wider appeal? There are some great ideas to get you thinking in our 8 Day Inspiration challenge.
3) Apply now. Start applying now for every job for your act type. There are new entertainer jobs, gigs & auditions being posted on our website every day, so start applying while you have time to really brush up your profile!
4) Have a virtual performance. Keep everyone’s spirits up by having an online concert of performance. We’ve seen a lot of this lately – we’ve seen it done really well, and not quite as well. The key here is to make sure your material gets to people who will want to watch. So rather than spamming Facebook groups set up for entertainers, how about sharing your act with a local Facebook group. If you’re a clown or Children’s Magician, share your videos in local Facebook Mum’s groups. If you’re a musician how about posting videos of a happy song every few days on your local Facebook area interest page. This is a great time to capture a new audience. People have time to browse and watch and if you make them smile now, they’ll remember you later when it’s time to start looking for entertainers again.
5) Offer free lessons. This one will make you even more popular than the video/performance shares. Offer facebook or Instagram live lessons in whatever you specialize in – be it magic, dance, singing, playing the piano or circus skills. We’ve seen some excellent examples of this, from free Guitar lessons for kids to face painting classes for Mums, Tango classes for the isolated over 70s to juggling lessons for everyone! The feedback and contact will keep you feeling busy and involved while you help others, and you will be remembered next time someone asks for a recommendation for your act type.
We hope all of this has given you plenty to keep you busy, balanced, healthy and happy while our world seems paused, and more than that we look forward to seeing how the seeds you sow with all of this now will bloom back into a busy, booking-filled career in the near future.