A Marker For our History

PeaceTech

Member
2020 has been a remarkable year. And because of this we should remember it. Please post here and tell your stories about this year and how it directly affected you. I think it is important we as technicians of the arts mark our words about this trying time.
 

PeaceTech

Member
I lost my job on Firday the 13th. I remember it because I was in New Jersey. I know it sounds like a nightmare, but really... I was on Bat Out of Hell. We were rocking the PRG shop and they were friendly. Why? Not because half their friends were already let go.... no, because PRG guys are bad ass mf'n rockers... and I speak their language. We started building the show on Monday, and by Friday at noon we were ready to get that biach on the trucks. That was when we got the call. We knew it was coming. We had watched the news and heard Broadway shutdown on the 12th... but this was Friday! The 13th! At 13:00!!!! (well, if you don't count daylight f' me time) But ya know, we got to go to Jersey.... which by the way has a good view of Manhattan.
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Not sure where you want to go with this, but here's my take: I was on track to have my best year ever, banking some coin into my retirement plan and maybe taking a real vacation for the first time in 40 years. Nope, the pandemic and the Federal Government non-response pretty much phucked my livelihood and retirement plan contributions. I've gone from never needing a resume to learning to write one, but at my age (over 60) and salary requirements the chances of getting any job remotely related to my craft are zero.

I've taken scores of webinars and seminars on equipment that I'll probably never touch, used on gigs the likes of which I will not be hired for, and learned new techniques that I'll probably never get to use.. but damn it, I'll know that gear!

So cue the swan, it's time to sing. My benefits run out at Christmas. It's highly unlikely that any portion of our industry will be up and running on Jan 2, 2021 (we'll probably be in the middle of greatly increased pandemic illnesses and deaths) and it's doubtful my employers (note the plural) will survive until it is possible to resume entertainment production.

I'm selling off personal property and professional inventory to pay for my health insurance (our Canadian friends can't begin to imagine such a thing) next year. Wanna buy some microphones?
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I've been living on the retirement savings I'd planned on not using until 2024. Sold off a chunk of my microphone collection, now wondering how I'm going to pay my taxes. Between March 13, 2020, and April 25, 2021, I've worked 4 days.

OTOH, this week has been busy, but only have 4 days of work the rest of the month. We're still getting "pencil me in" bookings but so far most of those have ended up postponed (yet again for many) or cancelled outright.

Things start looking up a little by the end of July, with August and September both full, with decent November and December bookings.

All depends on whether or not we fail to vaccinate enough people to keep Covid at bay. Two weeks ago the major hospital system in town had only 6 Covid patients. Last week they admitted 42 new Covid patients, almost all of them under age 35.
 

Crisp image

Well-Known Member
2020 for me was the year where our daughter moved to the other side of Australia to study musical theatre. We were to go and see her performances but doe to shutdowns we had to wait till December to see her again. Facetime is good but we got the biggest hugs when we went to pick her up. We have been quite lucky here in Australia. Although all my technical theatre shifts were cut and I was suspended from that work I still had full time work so I didn't suffer financially. January saw us pick up some outdoor gigs again and then since that time we have had out theatres open again with full capacity but we have to wear masks. I got to see Hamilton in Sydney and my daughter is now only 600miles away and not 2000miles. She is on Chess in a few weeks so we are traveling over to see her.
2020 we missed the social gatherings (we had some hard lockdowns including a curfew but we have come out the other side.
I do hope everyone is doing ok with food on their table and a roof over their heads and in good heath both mentally and physicaly.

Regards
Geoff
 

bobgaggle

Well-Known Member
I found perception and attitude are more important than circumstance. I got laid off in march like a lot of people. I've been working continually in this industry since I graduated college 10 years ago, so this was my first time not having a job, much less not having an industry. Plus I've got a wife and 3 kids and I'm the sole breadwinner. Unlike a lot of people on this board who bemoan the lack of government response, I tend to think they responded too much. Its one thing if people are scared of getting sick and stop buying tickets, its another thing when the government says "nah you can't have a job anymore, you're not essential". So there was a solid month of confusion and depression and lots of anger and lots of vodka.

Fortunately for my family and a lot of others some people up on capitol hill decided that if they're going to prohibit me from earning money they should take some responsibility for it. So between state unemployment and the pandemic relief bonus and lots of personal fiscal clean living, we kept the bills paid and decided to view this like a protracted vacation. So I got lots of hang out time with my wife and kids, planted another couple veggie beds in the garden. Finally had time to move our house renovation forward. Took a road trip out to Colorado and did a 3 day 30 mile hike in the wilderness, skinny dipped in a mountain river. Drove down to AMI on the gulf coast (those godless freedom loving Floridians) Visited 27 states last year, had a ton of new experiences because the government told my nonessential ass to stay home.

All that to say, in hindsight I could easily have spent 2020 wrapped up in a cozy cocoon of indignant resentfulness and self pity, and I was trending in that direction. Feels good when you view yourself as the victim, it takes away any responsibility to deal with your own circumstance or do anything difficult. Luckily for me I've got a great wife who yanked me out of my woe-is-me mentality and told me to do something worth while.
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I found perception and attitude are more important than circumstance. I got laid off in march like a lot of people. I've been working continually in this industry since I graduated college 10 years ago, so this was my first time not having a job, much less not having an industry. Plus I've got a wife and 3 kids and I'm the sole breadwinner. Unlike a lot of people on this board who bemoan the lack of government response, I tend to think they responded too much. Its one thing if people are scared of getting sick and stop buying tickets, its another thing when the government says "nah you can't have a job anymore, you're not essential". So there was a solid month of confusion and depression and lots of anger and lots of vodka.

Fortunately for my family and a lot of others some people up on capitol hill decided that if they're going to prohibit me from earning money they should take some responsibility for it. So between state unemployment and the pandemic relief bonus and lots of personal fiscal clean living, we kept the bills paid and decided to view this like a protracted vacation. So I got lots of hang out time with my wife and kids, planted another couple veggie beds in the garden. Finally had time to move our house renovation forward. Took a road trip out to Colorado and did a 3 day 30 mile hike in the wilderness, skinny dipped in a mountain river. Drove down to AMI on the gulf coast (those godless freedom loving Floridians) Visited 27 states last year, had a ton of new experiences because the government told my nonessential ass to stay home.

All that to say, in hindsight I could easily have spent 2020 wrapped up in a cozy cocoon of indignant resentfulness and self pity, and I was trending in that direction. Feels good when you view yourself as the victim, it takes away any responsibility to deal with your own circumstance or do anything difficult. Luckily for me I've got a great wife who yanked me out of my woe-is-me mentality and told me to do something worth while.

I'm glad you have a responsive local/state government who were able to deliver benefits in a timely manner. I did okay until the end of 2020, filed UI claims every week I didn't work, and haven't received a dime beyond the stimulus payments since then. The good news is work is slowly coming back. The bad news is I think the USA is not done with Covid yet.
 

StNic54

Active Member
Late to the party, but I needed to reconnect with CB. 2020 for me was : awesome!, then not so awesome, then PPP loans, then furlough, started my own LLC, relied on unemployment for 2 months, then never again. I now own a lot of carpentry tools for a lighting guy, but I managed to program every week at my church during furlough. Off furlough now, waiting to see what the industry does, and when we can be too busy to dwell on 2020 ;)

Stay safe out there, everyone. I'm glad to see so many familiar names are as active as always on this forum.
 

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