‘We are living through GCSE History textbook stuff’ – Life in Lockdown with Charlotte Anne Steen

Actress Charlotte Anne Steen has appeared in a number of productions including Bat out of Hell, 42nd Street, Kiss Me Kate, Rock of Ages and Legally Blonde. I was fortunate enough to get to talk to Charlotte about how she is handling life in lockdown, adapting to teaching online and her hopes for when the theatres are finally allowed to reopen.

First of all, how are you feeling about the whole virus and lockdown situation?

I think that I was in denial for a while that it was actually happening… We are living through GCSE History textbook stuff. When I stop to really think about the situation I think it is so strange… If you’d told us a couple of years ago that in 2020 we would only be able to leave the house for essential trips we’d have not believed it. Sending lots of love to anyone reading this who has lost friends or family.

How have you been keeping yourself occupied during the lockdown?

I’m fairly good at keeping myself occupied and I don’t get bored that easily which is a good skill to have in these times! I’m lucky that I’ve been in lockdown at my family home so am thankful to be spending time with them that I wouldn’t usually get. I’ve also been teaching 1-1 lessons and for Theatre schools online and have been doing my own workshops too- so I’ve had plenty of teaching and planning to get on with.

What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is over?

I can’t wait to really appreciate the “normal” things and not take them for granted… Go to a nice coffee shop, hug friends, take a little trip somewhere… And to get on a stage and perform again!

Is there anything we, as theatre fans, can do to help the arts industry in these trying times?

Theatre fans are the best and they are always so supportive. I know people who have been buying theatre vouchers, or tickets as presents, miles in advance, which is so helpful for our industry. The support for people’s online projects has been amazing, so thank you to anyone who has supported!

What is your favourite thing about the theatre industry as a whole?

Being a part of it! It’s all I ever wanted to do and it’s worth all of the hard work!

With the theatres closed and so much being moved online, do you think that we are seeing a big change in how the industry works?

Obviously once theatres re-open I’m sure much of it will go back to normal, but I am really enjoying how online platforms are now being used to make theatre and workshops more accessible to all! I’m currently teaching workshops with people participating from all different places at once.. Canada, Portugal, New York..! It’s amazing, it has opened up lots of new opportunities for people who wouldn’t have that normally.

How have you been managing day to day life in quarantine? Do you have a routine, or do you just go with the flow?

I go with the flow as much as possible, but I do have a weekly schedule for my work, so it helps having a structure (and reminds me what day it is!!) even though every day is different.

Do you have any advice for people who are perhaps finding lockdown hard to manage?

Everyone copes differently, but I’ve found setting a task for yourself each day helps.. even if it’s just tidy your underwear drawer! You then feel like you’ve achieved something each day. I also think it’s important to not put pressure on yourself…If you’ve spent the time learning a new skill, doing workouts or classes then amazing, but also…it’s ok to relax and watch Netflix all day during a Global Pandemic without feeling guilty for it!

Do you think that it is important to talk about mental health in these challenging times?

Absolutely, it’s important to talk. Lots of people feel the same, so if you are struggling please don’t go through it alone!


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