Performing arts theaters shut their doors on the notorious day of March 12, 2020 amid the Coronavirus Pandemic. At first, in a state of shock, theaters and performers believed they would return within a month. As the pandemic continued, performers were left grappling with how they would continue to fuel their passions and their livelihoods.
Alexandria Moreland took matters into her own hands after she was furloughed from her job at the Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC where she worked as a marketing professional and took theater classes on the side.
“It was a rocky, weird time for me. Yes, I was grateful to have more time to tap into what I really wanted to do, but I also have to pay my bills,” Moreland said.
Unemployment for artists has become particularly high with 27.4 percent reporting unemployed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s current population survey (CPS). Tied with the stress of knowing where their next meal was going to be, the arts used innovation and creativity to continue produce content via platforms like Zoom, Youtube and social media.
Moreland took to Instagram to use the platform as a way to make connections within the industry and to post her projects, even if no one was watching.
“Sometimes it’s not about the connections as much as it’s about what you are doing with what you have. I’m really big on social media and just like putting my art out there. I don’t care if I get one like or 1000 likes, I’m going to put my art out there because I care about it. I feel that’s what really opened a lot of doors for me,” Moreland said.
Since posting videos of her performances on Instagram, Moreland has landed virtual roles for film productions in and around the Washington, DC area. Her most recent gig included a reality dating show based in Los Angeles. In a world that very inclusive and hard to break through, prior to the pandemic, Moreland feels that artists are more connected now than ever.
“People have actually reached out to me like, Hey, I think that I’ve seen your work on social media, I came across something and I think that you should read for this role. It’s good to see us actors looking out for each other,” Moreland said.
Though the break through to acting was not as originally planned, Moreland said the pandemic was a ‘blessing in disguise.”