I feel for the creative arts and all those involved and associated with it, not only financially, where venues and performers have been devastated by Covid restrictions and closures, but for the sanity of artists and performers. For them, performing and creating is the oxygen they need to breath, the adrenaline supply they survive on, and their raison d’être. Their friends, family, and their private lives will give them succour; but for all performers, from a stand-up comedian in a pub to a ballet dancer or opera singer, being unable to perform must be akin to losing your eyesight, cauterizing the flow of creative juices that propel you forward. And it’s not only the performers that are suffering, there’s a host of others that make a gig what it is, the list too long to mention. All are suffering – financially as well as mentally, and my heart reaches out to them. Last night, I heard on the radio the beautiful and poignant song Vincent – by Don McLean about Vincent Van Gogh – and thought how the sad line, How you suffered for your sanity, has a relevance to all of this.
Everyone has been affected by Covid; artists and performers are not alone in their plight, and I have sympathy with all, and go along with every support measure, but I suppose, because I, like many of us, visit the theatre, watch movies, listen to music, and go to gigs, galleries and exhibitions, I’m aware of the worry and pain of those in the industry.
Live performances in all forms will start up again, movies will be made, music will be recorded, museums, galleries and exhibitions will open up as before, and new and old artists will emerge from their bunkers, but I hope those that have suffered so much will not have fallen by the wayside or lost their sanity.
This may sound gloomy. It isn’t supposed to be, just heralding the severe circumstances of those that entertain us, and an industry I care for.
Just after I started writing this, we heard that at least three vaccines are on the way, making next year very different from this.
My latest book is called Otto and Frankie – about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter.
Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit.