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The “Cultural Depression” loom of a large number of unemployed performers



Many performers rely on charity. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Actors Fund has been an art service organization that has raised and allocated US$18 million in basic living expenses for a total of 14,500 people.

“I have worked for the Actors Foundation for 36 years,” said COO Barbara S. Davis. “During Hurricane Katrina from September 11 to 2008, the industry ceased production. Obviously nothing can compare.”

Highly paid TV and film actors have more buffers, but they have also suffered disappointments and lost opportunities. When the pandemic stopped filming, Jack Cutmore-Scott and his current wife Meaghan Rath had just been selected to the CBS new pilot “jury.”

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Mr. Cutmore-Scott said: “I have put on my clothes and we will go to the table to read next week, but we have never done it.” After several delays, they heard in September that CBS had completely withdrawn.

Many live performers are looking for new artistic approaches, turning to video, streaming and other platforms. Carla Gover’s dance and Appalachian traditional music dance tour and her folk opera “Cornbread and Tortilla” have been cancelled. Ms. Gover said: “I went through a long dark night trying to imagine what I could do,” said Ms. Gover, who lives in Lexington, Kentucky and has three children.

She started sending weekly emails to all her contacts, sharing videos and offering online lessons about flatfoot dancing and blocking. The response was overwhelming. Ms. Gover said: “I figured out how to use labels, and now I have a new business.”


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