Editor’s note: Atlanta artists face uncertainty amid Covid-19. To help us all connect, ArtsATL offers this series. In each “In Our Own Words,” an artist will share their experience, strength and hope as we all navigate a new normal.
I went from being an actor with a decently full schedule between work and auditions to having no work or auditions and now homeschooling my two preschoolers with my husband. Homeschooling is harder! I’ve gone through plenty of periods without work, but it’s the lack of potential employment, the inability to do anything about it and wondering what a new “normal” in my industry will look like that can start to make you bonkers.
We have the most predictable schedule I’ve ever had in my adult life. Eric [husband and actor Eric Mendenhall] and I trade off school/parenting/housekeeping, which gives us each a bit of free time. I have a couple of weekly Zoom calls that keep me connected to dear friends (and help remind me what day it is). I keep digging up more of my yard to grow more vegetables and sunflowers. I’m doing lots of reading, seeing how long I can make a box of wine last, writing a script with a couple of friends, perfecting pizza dough, eating strawberries from the garden, really listening to the birds and how quiet my city neighborhood is in the middle of the day now.
I’m overwhelmed daily by the reminder that you cannot plant a garden or even a single seed without some belief in the future. My garden is my act of hope, my act of resistance. This pandemic has revealed gaping holes in our systems and communities and the people I see reaching to stretch their arms over the gaps are giving me so much hope. I hope for strong, compassionate leaders in politics, the arts, businesses and communities to rise and the others to . . . go away. I hope the film industry takes a breath and starts to make more stories by and about people of color, women and those in the social margins we’ve created. All are seeds I hope are being planted. That’s the garden, the harvest I want to see.
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