The imposed shut-down of our social lives - particularly, arts and culture, is for me a mixed blessing; in the sense that time at home gives rise to dreaming and creativity, and time at home also indicates a real and worrying loss of income. I find I have 9.6 weeks of long service leave accrued, which may be helpful in keeping our NFP afloat in a time where we are unable to present our regular public performance program, but nevertheless, the uncertainty and incapacity to plan - with the downward curve of the pandemic expected sooner than the upward curve of the economy - well, we all know even with a projected budget surplus where funding for the arts was going, so a recession with or without a virus is, to put it mildly, not great.
I started an opera company/studio at the beginning of the GFC in 2009. Took the risk, worked almost without stopping for ten years+, and we’re still standing, as the song goes.
Someone I know said that I chose to work in this field, and the fact that he earns 5 times as much as I do is justified; essentially, because he doesn’t enjoy his work as much as its perceived I enjoy mine. On the enjoyment scale, I concede that at times, mine is likely well and truly off the scale - and I like the thought that for people participating - performing and watching - that their enjoyment factor is off-the-scale also. The inherent risk in choosing to work in live performance is of course, now coming to pass - risk we’ve kept (mostly…) in check through imagination and efficiency. Now that we’ve lost our live, pulsating, cheering, tingling audience - for the time-being - and we’ve lost our so-called ‘earned’ income, it shines a bright light on our donors and supporters, who enable our work to carry on behind the scenes - learning music, imagining and planning productions, formulating schedules and marketing materials - and continuing to nourish our Studio Young Artists with advice, repertoire, coaching and hope. Lockdown is coming. We are naturally concerned about how - and how long - we will need to keep the public and the wolves from the door.