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  • Writer's picturebothsidesofthecurtain

How Time Zooms By: Online Training During COVID-19

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

For me, lockdown has come to a close as I have returned to my job as a customer service representative. Going back to work made me realize just how quickly 92 days went by, and much to my surprise, how much I had accomplished - considering the world was shut down.

One of the biggest blessings of this time was technology. Despite theatres and in-person classes being closed, this time still gave me the opportunity to continue my training and advance my career in musical theatre.

I have become proficient in Zoom, like most people have these days, and with this little app, have been able to continue my regular lessons. I also was able to train with artists I normally wouldn't have the opportunity to learn from like Kerry Butler, Chilina Kennedy, and Charlotte Anne Steen.

What kept me sane from day one was being able to continue my weekly vocal session.

I have been training with Gabi Epstein since December, and she is an incredible teacher who just gets me. As a soprano who lives happily in a light mix, I never thought I would be capable of belting at the level I am now, and it has been a complete transformation. I would highly recommend working with her if you are looking for a vocal coach!

One perk of the theatre shutdown was realizing that in these lessons,

I can sing whatever I want!

I wasn’t held captive by my go-to audition songs, new material, or pieces I felt I needed to have in my book. I didn’t even need to show up saying “I have to belt an Eb by Tuesday!” I had the freedom to dig into new rep, polish songs I sing in the shower, and work on technique at my own pace.

Vocally, I have made so much progress in the last three months, and one hour once a week provided me with peace of mind, structure to my week, and a connection to the outside world.

Outside of performance, I have been working with Xena Gusthart since April via The Showbiz Clinic, which focuses on the business side of a career in theatre. Her Pivot Through A Pandemic sessions covered topics like branding, social signalling, networking, marketing, and resilience. There she also addressed steps that performers could take during lockdown to advance their careers, and presented next steps in a way that was easy to follow, plan, and succeed.

I was also able to work with Xena individually where we explored my personal brand and networking, as well as how to establish a side hustle and build a personal website. I also joined her Inner Circle membership, which isn’t just classes and coaching, but has connected performers from all over the world in one supportive environment! I’ve learned so much working with Xena, and I highly recommend checking out .

In an uncertain time for performers, I have had the opportunity to grow and learn. I am still so surprised at just how much I’ve grown during this crazy time, and I am so grateful to all of the industry professionals working from home and sharing their expertise. While we’re all eager to get back onstage when it’s safe to do so, I am happy to wait for it, and fill this time with as much training as I can!

How have you been keeping busy during lockdown?

Let me know by leaving a comment!

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