Podcast: West of Broadway Addresses the LA-Based Theater Shutdowns Due to COVID-19
On this very special episode of West of Broadway, Will Armstrong and Wendy Rosoff are discussing the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic and what we might do during this time of widespread shutdowns, work stoppages, and self-isolations.
The pair discuss theaters going dark from Broadway all the way west to California and how this is affecting members of the theatrical community.
As a working actor and teaching artist, Wendy offers some productive suggestions for using possible downtime to get productive and prepared for when life gets back to normal.
Here are some of her terrific suggestions:
· If you happen to be out of work due to the enforced shutdowns, (and you are healthy and have not been exposed to the COVID 19 virus,) consider assisting with elder or childcare. People are going to Facebook and posting their availability. There are also Facebook groups forming to help place people together.
· If you are a person who has to work while schools are closed and you are concerned with how to handle the cost, check your area for organizations like Jewish Free Loans to help with interest-free loans of up to $10,000 so families can pay for childcare while schools are shut down. Loans can be turned around in a matter of days. Please visit jfla.org and fill out our pre-loan application today! JFLA is a nonsectarian agency that serves all residents of Los Angeles and Ventura counties regardless of religion. Please share this information with anyone who may need assistance.
· If you have always wanted a dog but you have never had the time to dedicate due to a full-time job in an office and now find yourself home for an extended amount of time, consider helping with Dog Fostering! This is a terrific way to help dogs in need of a forever home collect important data that will assist with adoptions and you will have company at home. Go to: https://www.outtathecage.org/for more information.
If you are an actor and you are concerned about money, there are emergency funds to research. There is relief assistance available online with a simple google search.
Will and Wendy also talk about using this "downtime" to get creative and collaborative with other artists. Whether it's writing, working on auditions, rehearsing, practicing, or addressing projects that you wanted to tackle but never had the time. But before any of that, take a breath and give yourself the gift of self-care and rest. Mind, body and soul have a chance to rest and recharge. Maybe meditate, read, research and find inspiration that may feed your soul.
This is also a great time to update your website, update your social presence and great a social media calendar. If you need inspiration, research accounts you like and follow and use current trends to influence your social media posts.
Wendy also suggests that all working actors, work on their self-tape skills. Create a dedicated space with proper gear and practice creating professional industry-standard self-tapes. Casting agents frequently request self-tapes and professional well-crafted videos are a great way to shine above the crowd. This is a great time to prepare for future auditions, and while we are on the subject of auditions... https://www.weaudition.com/ is a fantastic membership-based resource for actors who need someone to help with line readings, scene study or just honing their craft. We Audition is also a terrific site to lend your skills as a reader or coach for other actors while you make some extra money.
This is a little obvious, but now is a great time to check out all the podcasts that you have been meaning to listen to. https://broadwaypodcastnetwork.com/ is an amazing resource for theater fans to get an up-close and personal look into this amazing world! Or, if you're so inclined, maybe now is the time to start your own podcast. Will and Wendy recently did an interview for Medium.com offering tips for producing a podcast.
Finally, use this time to reconnect with friends and family via Skype or Zoom and schedule a date to catch up. The world is telling us to slow down and now is a time to listen and breathe and focus on physical and mental health.
Thank you all for checking in on us! We hope you enjoyed this irregular episode. Please reach out to us on social and share what you're doing during this interesting time. Find us on Instagram at @WestofBroadwayPodcast @WillArmstrongPR and @Wendy_Rosoff and on Facebook @WillandWendy and share your story and catch up on old episodes at https://broadwaypodcastnetwork.com/podcast/west-of-broadway/
So, until next time, be well, be safe, wash your hands and remember, if you're looking for us, you can find us just West of Broadway!
ABOUT WEST OF BROADWAY
On the West of Broadway podcast, Broadway veterans Will Armstrong & Wendy Rosoff discuss the vibrant musical theater scene on the West Coast, covering movie musicals, regional productions, national tours, and more with the cast, crew, producers, and supporters who make it all happen. If you want a lighthearted celebration of musical theater, you can find it all West of Broadway!
Wendy Rosoff is thrilled to join the West of Broadway Podcast! A true bi-coastal performer, Wendy's impressive resume, delightful personality, and insightful interview skills help shape each episode. As a successful performer and a celebrated educator, Wendy's mission is to share the stories and bring out the unexpected in each episode.Broadway/NYC: Broadway/NYC: Tony Award-winning revival of 42nd St, A Christmas Carol, My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies at Carnegie Hall. Other favorites include Pre-Broadway run of White Christmas at The Orpheum in San Fran, Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Mrs. Claus), Falsettos (Cordelia) at Third St. Theatre, Disenchanted (Belle) at the El Portal Theatre, The Goodbye Girl (Paula), Promises Promises (Vivien De La Hoya), Sunday In The Park With George (Frieda) with the Drama Critics Circle award-winning Musical Theatre Guild, as well as four seasons as a guest star artist at the multi-award winning Transcendence Theatre Company in Sonoma, CA. Some favorite TV acting credits include Fresh Off The Boat (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS), Shameless (Showtime), Scorpion (CBS), Veep (HBO), Castle (ABC), and Good Behavior (ABC). Podcast host: Two In The Solo Booth, Skytalks: Elevated Conversations at the Line Loft in Hollywood. Wendy's directing work includes: Door To America (SheArts Festival - Zephyr Theatre), Hairspray (Winner of Best Musical - NoHo Fringe Awards and Valley Theatre Awards), Once On This Island, Seussical, Grease, Into The Woods, (Strasberg Theatre Institute), For The Record, Glory of Love, And The Winner Is, Musicals That Rock (Marilyn Monroe Theatre - West Hollywood), Fantastical Family Night! - Assoc. Director (BroadwayWorld.com award winner for Best Theatre for Youth), West Side Story - staged reading series (AMDA-LA). Choreography credits include shows such as Cabaret, Funny Thing Happened On the Way To The Forum, Rocky Horror Show, Side Show, The Full Monty, Under The Gaslight, Splendor In The Grass, Broadway Under The Stars, and over a dozen dance concerts at AMDA, LA campus. Educator: American Musical And Dramatic Academy Los Angeles Campus, Strasberg Institute, Idyllwild Summer Arts Academy, Millennium Dance Studio - Junior Professional Program, Broadway Arts Camp, Master Classes for the Montana Dance Arts Association, Bring It To Broadway Intensive, Transcendence Theatre Broadway Kids Program, Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts. Proud member of AEA/SAG-AFTRA/AGVA. www.wendyrosoff.com.
Will Armstrong started dancing at the age of 2. He started working professionally at Walt Disney World fresh out of High School. After several years in Orlando he set sail with Norwegian Cruise Lines performing in Will Rogers Follies, Greese, Crazy for You and 42nd Street.
When he returned to land, he joined the 1st national tour of Victor/Victoria with Toni Tennille of Captain and Tennille fame. At the end of his 52-week American tour, Will traveled east to perform at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea in various stage productions where he danced, sang and made wonderful friends.
Will's Broadway debut was in 2002 as a chorus member in the Broadway revival of 42nd Street with Tom Wopat of The Dukes of Hazard and Tony Award winner Beth Leavel from the Drowsy Chaperone. After 42nd Street closed, Will filmed Susan Stroman and Mel Brooks movie musical The Producers before taking his final performing job as an ensemble member of The World Famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular. After Will stepped away from performing he joined the support team of the 1st National tour of Wicked before bringing it to the Pantages Theater for a 5 year residency.
Will now owns his own public relations agency where he puts the skills he learned in the entertainment industry to work creating exciting and original strategies that put smiles on his clients faces.