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Nothing says major change like a global pandemic to shake up your life. ‘The show must go on’ is said on a daily basis in the live event industry but the show has stopped and fellow technicians have not had a lamp blow, a mic pack die or a piece of scenery break for 3 months and counting.

Anyone who I have crossed paths with know that I have one constant passion in life. Max, my Jack Russell Terrier. I love to be around dogs, who doesn’t?! Max has been in my life for 14 years which covers some huge events in life such as school, university, births, deaths, relationships and mental health breakdowns. I am an avid believer he is my mental health saviour, a reason to get up in the morning and a reason to get out of the house into the peak district and spend hours getting lost together. Furlough was and continues to be my biggest test for mental health. I have struggled with mine for many years and have learned over time what I need and how I can look after myself.

I began lockdown, like most of the nation, confused and anxious of what this path is going to lead us all too. Going from working in theatre and being surrounded by artists and performers to being confined to my house was a change no one would be prepared for.

Like most people I have been trying to keep busy with running, baking, crafting and even wedding planning. However, when the days where I don’t want to bake or run come around I accept them. There have been days where I don’t change clothes, days where I do nothing but sit on the sofa with the tv on for background noise and days where anxiety has beaten me. These days are not uncommon in my life and everyone will have them but what I love to look back on is what follows these days.

I am lucky to have 2 lifelines Max and my fiancé, Adam. They are my immediate support system and they help me pick myself up after I’ve not slept for 4 nights or I haven’t truly gotten happy about anything for a while. Nine times out of ten this process will begin on a Wednesday when Adam has a day off and goes to visit his one true love, his car, which is now my love too. It’s not a car for everyone, it’s low, it’s fast and it’s loud so the neighbours know every time you go out and come home, PS I’m sorry if we are your neighbour. Seeing as we can’t spend our free time at the British Drift Championships this year finishing the build of a Nissan S13 200sx will have to do.

After restrictions were lifted, we were able to go back to finishing putting the car back together, bit by bit. It’s incredible what having something to keep your mind busy can do, something that you don’t even realise you’re doing, something you haven’t purposely bought or must do to keep your mind busy. It’s given me a purpose in lockdown and I now long for the time we can take the car up to Snowdonia for that much needed picturesque breath of fresh air that all 3 of us love.

Throughout lockdown I have Max to keep me busy, who couldn’t quite understand why I was home so much and why we wasn’t walking 8 miles every day. From keeping in contact with family and standing on doorsteps with groceries for the shielding. It has been a time for adapting for everyone, even the dog.

Being apart of the events industry is a giant family within itself. There are thousands of people in my ‘live industry’ boat, a boat that is currently sitting in the water with not much direction. So I give all my hope that we can all experience the pre-show nerves, the first rig check, the first lamp to focus, the first shout onto deck of ‘BAR 23 COMING IN’, the rush of adrenaline that goes through your body when you hear the orchestra begin their first note of the performance and we all feel like home again.

I am very aware that not everyone has a dog or a car to rebuild for their mental health, it can be a strange and difficult thing to get a grasp of. I just wanted to take the time to include some sign posting within my blog so if you are struggling then please reach out.

Theatre Helpline – 0800 915 4617 Samaritans – 116 123 TEXT SHOUT – 85258

Stay safe and reach out.

Katy Whitehouse

Technical Coordinator (Theatre)

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