During this time of social distancing and dark theatres, Vancouver Presents continues to check 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 performer, director, and writer Jennifer Suratos.
1. How are you staying creative during the pandemic?
For the first little while, I tried to journal more, do more yoga, and practice violin. Then I discovered a group on Facebook that sews reusable masks and donates them to frontline workers, care homes – basically anyone who asks for them! So I have been sewing masks for that group, as well as family and friends.
2. What’s the one thing getting you through?
3. How are you staying in contact with family and friends who are not in your bubble?
I connect with family and friends a lot via Zoom. We’ve also done a few socially-distant hangouts, but I miss hugging people.
4. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far during the pandemic?
I have a two-part answer for this one. First: you don’t need all those potato chips, even if they’re on sale, three bags for $8. And second: sometimes, you need all those chips.
5. What do you feel the most grateful for right now?
Daily walks. I am still working from home (thankfully) but feel so cooped up. When my desk-time is up, I practically run for the door to get out into the fresh air.
6. What is something you are doing now that you don’t normally?
Sewing – a lot!
7. What skill have you developed since the pandemic started?
I am cooking more, although I am no great chef. It’s more like “preparing” more.
8. What have you missed the most?
Hugging my mom. Hugging my nieces and nephew. Hugging my friends.
9. Your #1 pandemic survival tip.
Use your library card and explore the digital section. You can get e-books and audiobooks, place holds, and read magazines online. I really love it.
10. Your biggest indulgence since the pandemic started.
Box wine. There, I said it.
11. What have you stockpiled?
Nothing, but my mom did buy me a huge pack of toilet paper. The Costco pack (which is huge.)
12. What have you been reading?
Mystery series, especially the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth books by MC Beaton.
13. What have you been watching?
I don’t watch much TV, but I like the show Fake or Fortune on the Knowledge Network.
14. What have you been listening to?
Many audiobooks. And the CBC podcast Ideas.
15. What are you doing for exercise?
I try and walk every day. Sometimes I meet my friend at the park bench nearby, and we do light aerobics while catching up. I’ve started a 30-day yoga challenge on Youtube. And I try and do some step aerobics from my friend’s channel, which is also on Youtube.
16. The one thing you haven’t been able to live without?
17. Do-it-yourself haircut or the natural look?
The natural look, for sure.
18. Night owl or early riser?
A bit of both! I still have to get up early to be at my desk in the morning, but I naturally like to stay up late.
19. Will you be the first out as restrictions are gradually lifted or taking a wait-and-see attitude?
I think I might be one of the first ones out. I miss socializing.
20. What’s the first thing you will do when this is all over?
Hug people! Hugs, hugs, hugs, for everyone!
Meet Jennifer Suratos
Jennifer Suratos is a Vancouver-based performer, director, and sometimes writer. She has worked with companies such as Gateway Theatre, Theatre Under The Stars, FCP, and Applause! Musicals in Concert. While in quarantine, Jenn participated in the Zoom play Yet They Were All Alone with Between the Shifts Theatre in July. Her isolation goals include improving her violin skills and organizing her closet.