‘I don’t think anyone can put their hands up and say I’m finding it easy’ – Life in Lockdown with Katie Bernstein

Actress Katie Bernstein has starred in a number of productions including playing the role of Annie in the UK Tour of The Play That Goes Wrong, Emily in Allegro, Peggy in Mrs Henderson Presents, Isobel in Payback and covering the roles of Mimi and Maureen in the UK Tour of the Rent Anniversary Concert. I was lucky enough to talk to Katie about how she has been managing life in lockdown.

Firstly, how are you feeling about the whole virus and lockdown situation?

It is hard to sum up how I feel about it, it’s been such an unexpected life situation you’d never expect yourself to be in. So because of that I don’t think you can judge yourself for how you deal with it, trying to accept there’s going to be bad days where you’re scared for the future, and good days where we can find comfort in the fact we are in this situation together. Definitely trying to stay strong for those in more life threatening positions than me.

How have you been keeping yourself occupied during lockdown?

This is an interesting question. It helps me to get in a routine, I like waking up early and drinking too much coffee (!!) then working out. Then the attempt for the afternoon is to get something productive done, whether that be writing something down, talking to someone, music, walking somewhere, cooking something, reading something, singing something etc etc. And try and stay away from the Netflix till 7ish. I’ve read some plays with a group and that’s been nice. Some days are definitely less successful than others, but always coffee 🙂 everyone’s different though, it’d be interesting to take some advice from other people’s routine.

Is there anything theatre fans can do in these trying times?

We couldn’t be in this industry without all of your support. Seeing other people’s love for the industry definitely helps me keep faith that we’ll get up and running eventually. A collective need for the industry will help the right people see the importance of financial support for our theatres to get back on their feet. So keep that passion there and I truly believe it’ll help us move forward.

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

I love the people it brings together. Such a wide variation of personalities all doing something and taking a risk because they absolutely love it, not settling for something they don’t enjoy. I think that’s magic. I’m not sure my bank account would agree sometimes, but the unknown of what’s next still fills me with excitement.

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

In one way it makes me sad that I don’t think the need for theatre online will be long lasting, if that’s our only choice that’s scary, but I think it’s good because it’ll enforce the need to have live entertainment back. The main thing is it must be safe, and we need tourism to return, and praying our government supports our industry for all its purposes, I do think it’ll return, hopefully with even more force.

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

It’s hard to give advice because I don’t think anyone can put their hands up and say I’m finding it easy. I think you have to find a way to find it manageable for yourself. Take the pressure off of ‘trying to achieve’ things and just do what makes you happy. I do think getting some fresh air each day and communicating with like minded people does help.

And think that leads on to your last question about mental health. It’s more than important to talk about it during all of this. Because as I say no ones finding it easy and hopefully we can guide each other with our individual fears. Adapting to changes is going to have to happen when we come back to our day to day routines, we’ll all be in that together.

I would like to thank Katie for her time and her answers to this interview, as well as wish her the very best for the future. Stay safe x

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