Being a performer during a pandemic is incredibly challenging. I feel extremely grateful to have the music school, because I know that some of my colleagues who are just performers are waiting for an unemployment check every month. In this article, I will talk about what it’s like to be a performer during the pandemic from my personal experience.
If you’d rather listen instead of reading, check out the podcast version below! There’s also a video version on YouTube found below:
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This is My Experience as a Performer
Hey there! Thanks for reading my blog. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know me but for those that don’t:
I’m Chelsea Melcher. I’m an opera singer that built a school of music with my husband Paul, from scratch. In addition to performing, I focus on sharing my education and experience with students hungry to learn and grow. I’m super passionate about helping performers manage their anxiety, work through the negative self-talk, and grow in confidence
(If this sounds like you, you’ll love my free 5-step checklist called “5 Steps to Get Your Mind Off the Opinion of Others”.)
Today, I’m going to answer the question of, “What is it like to be a performer right now?” Meaning during the pandemic, during Covid times.
Being a Performer During a Pandemic is VERY Challenging
So… it’s interesting. It’s a lot different.
As you know, so many things have shut down. So many things are deemed not safe. And most everything, at this time in the world that I’m recording this, is online.
So that means that I did have some things that were cancelled. The biggest, I would say, disappointment, that I had canceled is… One of my dream roles, I was going to be performing in June, June of 2020, I was going to be Adina in Elixir, L’elisir d’amore, the Elixir of Love.
And I love the role. Love, love, love the role. I was really looking forward to it. That unfortunately was cancelled. And so I did experience a lot of the types of disappointments that some people have been feeling for their performances, or rehearsals or whatnot getting cancelled.
Also, Paul and I perform regularly. We do concerts at the Refectory. And the Refectory is a wonderful restaurant that unfortunately had to close down during that time. Now, they’re just starting to open up at the time that I’m writing this. But also we haven’t had the conversation yet of live music in the restaurant. Probably not safe yet.
Sound of Music at the Refectory in 2019
I know that a lot of research is being done currently as I write this, about this. So hopefully there will be more information out soon. So really, everything is going virtual.
I did have a Mendelssohn 2nd symphony planned for January of 2021. So I haven’t heard of that one yet. Maybe they’re still holding onto hoping that that will happen. Or maybe they’re in the terms of reworking things. And we’ll see about that.
Future possibilities: The Rise of Facebook Live and Streaming Music
And so, the upcoming things that I now am looking at are some Facebook live things, connected to certain businesses, talking with a law firm about doing a livestream for their audience and their community. Potentially doing a Facebook live or livestreaming for the Refectory coming up.
I’ve also talked to a wonderful colleague, and also a stage director about doing La Voix Humaine, which is an opera by Poulenc. It’s basically a one-woman show. And it’s about a woman, and she’s on the phone. She’s talking to a lover, last conversation with her lover that she’s having.
And so that sounds like a lot of fun to me. And it could be a lot of fun too, because technically it would be done with orchestra, but it could also be done with piano, which means Paul could be the orchestra on the piano with that.
So it would be totally safe, because it would just be Paul and I doing a total show together by Poulenc. It would be wonderful. It would be so much fun!
So I don’t know if that’s going to happen, or when, but I’m just giving you a sneak peek. You get to have the inner ear of, kind of, what’s going on behind the scenes in my life.
Yes, everything is extremely limited right now. Most likely, everything is being streamed.
So, that being said… Where I’m at in my life, I have not been going around and travelling like crazy as I once was, performing around in the same way because of my two young children.
Now, I don’t think that I’m going to be a housewife-type of a person forever. But right now, I’m loving it. I’m loving being at home more, I’m loving being with my babies, being the primary person with my babies.
And still getting to sing too!
So I do feel like I can have my kick in it too.
Probably once my kids get older, I’ll look into travelling more around. Perhaps performing around, seeing what Paul is doing as well… He’ll probably be performing again more once the kids get older.
Finding the Good in Everything: The Pandemic is “New Mom”-Friendly
For right now, it actually is very “new mom-friendly”, I would say, in the world.
Not to make light of anything, because there are some really crappy situations. I have colleagues that, they have to pay their rent, and their show got cancelled. And what are they gonna do?
So those situations really really suck.
But I like to find good in everything, if at all possible. And I found the good in this situation being “Oh, even though a bunch of stuff is cancelled, I can still do livestreaming of concerts, And it’s easier than ever to do.”
And it’s one of the most mommy-friendly things that I can do in my performing career right now. So it works out perfectly.
So I’m actually okay.
I was disappointed for some of my events being cancelled, but like everyone, I understand. The health, and the well-being of the world is far more important.
And so we’ll just wait it out, and we’ll see what happens next.
So thanks for reading! Please let me know in the comments, what has life been like for you?
If you are a musician, or a teacher, or a mommy, what has life been like for you during this pandemic? I would love to hear. We’re all in this together.
Okay, thank you for reading!