March 2020 - Crazy Times

March 21: Musings from a cloistered artist. It's pretty long so get a cup of tea or java, maybe even a slice of cake while you’re at it.

Chronic asthma always rears its ugly head every change of season; add to that the self-isolation, I have no choice but to stay indoors. Rest assured that I am not complaining, there are worse things happening to other people right now.
Friends have suggested quite a few good shows on Netflix and I am enjoying catching up on the movies and TV shows I’ve missed due to work. I look out the window and love that today, in particular, is a sunny day out and that means my violets will get some light and hopefully sprout more leaves and eventually bloom.
I laugh aloud at the hairdresser jokes about people’s home-cuts and true colours coming out during the quarantine period. I already have 3 inches of silver hair out due to a theatre role I was to play in before all this happened; but this afternoon, it will back to its youthful version. I love that I have silver hair as I get older, I hesitated for a bit but I am not ready to embrace it yet.
I laugh with you at the myriad of jokes and puns posted on social media. The one I guffawed at today was a post about “All my jokes will be inside jokes until further notice”.
Through this self-isolation, I laugh and giggle with my hubby. We share funny stuff we find online and he shares his witty comments about them. DANG! I am a lucky woman to have him by my side.
I am on social media posting – stalking – lurking – connecting – emailing - chatting in private with many people, and enjoying it. I wish I could have actual phone calls but my asthma needs to be controlled. So it might be a few days until I can actually reach out and call, and hope to receive calls.
I have removed some connections who have shown their true colours but at the same time, I have gotten closer and strengthened my connection to those who are of the same or similar cloth. By choice, I have surrounded and surrounding myself with people who do not necessarily agree with me but know how to engage in discussion and communicate with respect; meaning those who do not go below the belt with personal insults, those who know the difference between manners and diplomacy, versus political correctness.
I’ve noticed quite a few unfounded articles and quotes. Unless they are truly satire articles, I urge you to please fact check before you post. Like the one about the 45th leader to our Canadian south. There is a quote being shared, “People are dying who have never died before.” It’s actually funny and personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually said it; it is something he could say but in reality, he didn’t say it. After a quick fact check, it was quite clear that he did not say it. There are so many other juicy quotes to be pulled from his actual speeches and comments. There is no need to go down to his and his entourages’ level and create fake comments. Friends, let’s not go there, OK? Let’s just do some pull quotes directly from him and some members of his entourage. They are a comedy themselves.
Another one I noticed is about Venice seeing a resurgence in the return of dolphins, swans, etc. National Geographic wrote an article about where those images came from – and surprise, it’s not Venice. In times like this, it is ever so important to fact check. Spreading rumours might only cause more panic in some, evoke confusion in others and in the end create a syndrome of “crying wolf”. Remember Aesop's Fable of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”? Let’s not do that.
Please take the time to fact check. That’s all we have these days, no? Time?
If you are a fellow artist performer and you have a live feed coming up, please invite me. Please send photos my way if you are going to take a walk outside, please take photos of the city, the forest, the walk you are on and tag me. If you have a similar addiction as I have to Baby Yoda, French Bulldogs, Pugs, English Bulldogs or ugly fat cats (yes, I admit I am not a cat lover – feels good to be out of the closet on that one), send photos or tag me online.

But please do not forward me mechanical voice recordings of instructions on how to wash my hands or physical distancing, or forwarding chain-like messages, or videos (unless it's actually you). Please make an effort. Reaching out means sending me actual messages to know, to have an exchange of ideas. You can do better so please do it.
Please take some time to check in on your elderly and vulnerable neighbours. Don’t be shy to leave them a note to let them know you’re there if they need anything. Pop in – online, for a private chat. Emails are still good too. Actual phone calls are nice…provided that the person you are calling isn’t going through some issues like me.
I wish I could go online like so many artists to share a song or a story or a read from my favourite writers with you. But alas (yes, I still use ‘alas’ even to this day), I will have to wait until my breathing is stabilized and, I have my hair done and, I get the desire to change outfits - out of my comfy PJs into something a little bit more publicly acceptable. I will wait because it can only get better. Until then, I will stalk, lurk, chat, email and write stuff like songs and stories and the plays I’ve been working on.
Be nice. Be safe. Take care. Stay away…well, you know what I mean about that one now, right?
Big virtual hugs to you all.
Carolyn Fe.


March 14: What crazy times we are currently going through. I am in Toronto and the city's streets are almost empty. Tarragon Theatre has suspended all activities for the next 30 days or so. The theatre community at large has suspended activities all as a precautionary measure to keep COVID-19 at bay. As much as it is disappointing, it is the right decision. Safety first. Needless to say that the play I've been working on, Three Women of Swatow by Chloe Hung, has been postponed. Not cancelled but postponed. What a great cast and crew, and I look forward to seeing them again and giving you all a great show.

On another note, COVID-19 has shown some people's true colours. The hoarders, the greedy, the fearful, the strong, the kind, the caring, the gentle. I am glad to discover that the majority of people I have surrounded myself with are good people. They are those who do not hesitate to extend a helping hand to complete strangers.

Please extend a helping hand to freelancers: hospitality and service workers, artists, performers and anyone whose job is customer facing, and has been affected. If you need childcare services, dog walking services, anything you can think of to help them get through these times - I am sure they will appreciate it as their revenue flow has been seriously affected.

In these crazy times, please be well, please be safe, please be good to others.