During this time of social distancing and dark theatres, Vancouver Presents is checking in with members of our arts community to find out how they are staying creative and managing during the pandemic.
Today we check in with Vancouver-based actor, music director, writer, and educator Christopher King.
1. How are you staying creative during the pandemic?
I have been exploring all the creative things I haven’t had time to do. I’ve been writing those show ideas, and song ideas, as well as learning new skills ie. Video shooting and editing, to enhance what I’m doing and also keep a door open in case the theatre world changes.
2. What’s the one thing getting you through?
I would say the one thing that’s getting me through was certainly the open generosity of the people in my community. It really felt like people knew they had a duty to try and uplift and keep positive for everyone around them. I don’t know if I feel that much the same in this current environment, but I still see glimpses of it now and then.
3. How are you staying in contact with family and friends who are not in your bubble?
I think like most people I have been using Zoom. I was thinking that we have never needed video so much as we do now. You could just tell when all the webcams were sold out of every store!
4. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far during the pandemic?
I guess it’s something I’ve always felt, but now it’s nice to know that in practice humans are the most amazing adaptable creatures. We really to make the best of any situation, and in fact, we often thrive.
5. What do you feel the most grateful for right now?
To live in a country that shows compassion for its citizens.
6. What is something you are doing now that you don’t normally?
I’m learning to be around myself and enjoy it. Not something I thought I would ever like or be interested in exploring.
7. What skill have you developed since the pandemic started?
Mac computer repair, something I’ve always done since I was young, but now it’s more of a thing. And Video editing for sure. I love finding a new way to tell stories.
8. What have you missed the most?
Happy Hours. But we are lucky here in Vancouver that restaurants have started opening again, which gives me that social atmosphere I crave.
9. Your #1 pandemic survival tip.
Get outside and listen to an audiobook. You get to see the beautiful world you live in while hearing someone tell you a wonderful story.
10. Your biggest indulgence since the pandemic started.
Wine, I think. I always liked it but now I get to enjoy it more when you don’t have to drive!
11. What have you stockpiled?
Currently, I have stockpiled electronics. I can’t help it, I love to have them around me and tinker with!
12. What have you been reading?
13. What have you been watching?
What haven’t I been watching… But honestly, I bought a 4th Gen Apple TV, and I found this thing called YouTube, and I always knew it was a thing but I didn’t realize there are so many well-done channels with great personalities and information on there. I have just fallen down the YouTube black hole!
14. What have you been listening to?
15. What are you doing for exercise?
I’m getting back on my bike mostly. I love having tasks to do because it gives me a purpose to bike to the store or somewhere. I really have to trick myself into exercising, and that’s a great way to do it.
16. The one thing you haven’t been able to live without?
Knowing we are all in this together. Honestly, I could do without the other things, but not that.
17. Do-it-yourself haircut or the natural look?
OMG, the natural look, unfortunately. I see it as an excuse to just “see what happens” when I grow that hair out or not shave.
18. Night owl or early riser?
Well here’s the thing… I LOVE when I am up early and I get so much done and it’s not even 10 am yet… BUT I’m the most creative at night and I’m up very late on most nights doing something like writing or playing music etc. So more often than not, the early mornings I aspire to looses out to the nightly creativity sessions.
19. Will you be the first out as restrictions are gradually lifted or taking a wait-and-see attitude?
I’m out like a shot already, I’m careful and conscious but I am NOT staying in.
20. What’s the first thing you will do when this is all over?
Most likely want to be back inside. I’ve learned to appreciate so much of being quiet and peaceful in my own little space. The world has become too loud now. I might run outside and see my shadow and declare two more weeks of COVID. Who knows?
Meet Christopher King
Chris is an actor, music director, writer, and educator living and working in Vancouver. He has worked at many companies over his 25 years including Theatre Under the Stars, Gateway Theatre, Chemainus Theatre Festival and many others. He has taught at many theatre programs including Capilano University, Studio 58 Langara, and UBC. He has written three musicals, developed a course on music reading for actors/stage managers, and hosts his own musical theatre podcast From The Pit. Chris has received nominations and many awards over the years for his work, including four Ovation awards in musical theatre.