I knew this day would come. As I read the article on 23 Mar, the state of Virginia is opening up more from quarantine. Nothing too crazy (Florida leads the charge in that area), but still a big step. Maryland has done similar. DC won’t be too far behind. Other areas in the US are doing the same. So I should be excited to ease back into telling stories and jokes on stage, right?
Being in quarantine has been like being stranded on a deserted island, just when you get used to it, here comes the rescue boat. You’re happy to see it, but know you have to figure out how to ease back into the life you used to know.
Everyone in the world will have to decide what their next steps are. Do you ease into something that resembles the life we used to live? You run in with guns blazing? Or do you truly make a ‘new normal’ and rethink how you perform from here out? Truth is, that answer is going to be different for everyone. I’m working through that myself. I’ve gotten used to no commute, no 2-item minimum, and being able to tuck my kid into bed and getting back to the show. At some point, I’ll be out again. Whether it’s the audience at a show or a conference or a class, conveying an idea while others look on is definitely best in the presence of people. But when is the right point? For me, it will come down to 3 things
- The Venue
- How well are they following or enforcing the precautions? Is there place even able to be safe at the moment? When talking about shows in clubs and bars, let’s be honest: How clean things were before all this was questionable, at best. Having napkins and free shots of tequila is not the same as having sanitary wipes and cleaning alcohol. Still, some places will make big changes for safety. And I’m sure places holding major events will do better to stay safe.
- How have they adjusted to meet the new format? Have they considered how to keep people safe during the show/event? That can be everything from how tickets are sold (in groups vs individually) to adding masks and mic covers to performers/audience members.
- Are individuals being smart about being safe? I don’t expect people to wear 5 masks and bath in hand sanitizer. I do expect you give me some space and stop wanting to hug me.
At some point, I’ll be on the actual stage, and not just the virtual stage. Anyone that does comedy, storytelling, and other forms of public speaking will be there as well. Let just be smart about it. Tell your story on purpose…and safely.