What’s an Acting Studio to do during lockdown?

Acting Studio

What’s an Acting Studio to do during lockdown?

Let’s call a spade a spade here. The world is in an uncomfortable mode of frustration right now. Across our television screens and social media platforms, the “State of Panic” headline has become a scary reality. People have been placed on lockdown and businesses are being asked to shut down if they are deemed to be “non-essential”.

Time to get scrappy. 

So, what happens to all the “non-essential” businesses helplessly asking, “What do we do? How do we survive?” 

ANSWER: We fight. We push forward and we GIVE relentlessly. Check out this cool article from the Odyssey Online about what it means to give

All across the country, people are experiencing confusion and disappointment as they watch their studios, their creative outlets, being forced to shut down. We have been labeled as “non essential”. And although we understand why we must make adjustments for the greater good, the people we serve do not consider us to be non-essential in the least. To some it has been devastating to watch people they love and communities they are a part of close their doors without knowing when or how they will reopen. Check out our other recent post about our view on being “non-essential” HERE

Here’s the good news.

In the midst of this chaos many of us are not shutting down. Yes, we are adjusting to new practices and yes we are feeling the struggle. Be we are staying alive.  And we are doing whatever we can to provide positivity and light for our clients who are physically barred from attending the places that bring them joy and fulfillment. We have taken it upon ourselves as artists to continue to be a bright spot in our student’s daily lives. Yes, we are jumping through extravagant hoops to stay present and connected because to us there isn’t really a choice. That’s just who we are. It’s what we do and it’s why we exist. It is imperative we make the conscious decision to show up and provide. In this effort, we are doing our best to push out new podcasts, social media posts and make our classes even better. 

Easier said than done, right? Sure…..but, not when you manifest it as your only option. 

Dearing Acting Studio *literally* exists to change lives. That’s always been our mission and it will continue to be our purpose.  Our team, Matt, Brian, Joey and Shea, we call ourselves the guardians. Because we believe it is our job to create and protect an atmosphere where all ages can train to better themselves. That doesn’t stop just because student’s aren’t sitting in our studio chairs each day. The journey to personal development is bigger than four walls and a ceiling. Growth simply cannot be placed in a box.   

Here’s the lockdown plan for Dearing Acting Studio.

Late on Sunday night, March 15th, Matthew Dearing sat our humble team of 4 down for a meeting. He spoke inspiration into us like I’ve never seen him do before. If you know Matt Dearing, inspirational speeches are one of the most beautiful gifts he gives, and if you’re lucky enough to get one, you better listen up. He too was scared like everyone else but he spoke to us with relentless passion and sparkles in his eyes and began laying out how exactly we were not only going to survive this crisis but how we were going to 10X what we already do….and then find ways to do more. We were going to “double down on our giving”. Give more content, give more light, and give more love to our students, their families, and frankly, anyone who needs it. 

The guardians responded quickly and efficiently, sending a statement out to our Dearing Acting Studio family announcing we would be moving to a new online format where we could continue to hold our classes. We met adversity with grit, determination and innovation. The feedback we received  was astounding. Not only were people completely supportive, but they were abundantly grateful. They were thankful that we were going to continue to train instead of shutting our doors for the unforeseeable months ahead. And also, they were grateful that we were willing to find a way to reach them.

Needless to say, we were stoked. We are moving our in-person classes online! And Live! With interaction! How cool is that? There was now this whole world of untapped potential that we had been dancing with for the last year. We had been essentially building a boat not knowing that a storm was about to come.

Let’s talk about reality. 

Most people know, understand and love that our studio is extremely tight-knit when it comes to our staff. The Guardians, run every single day-to-day operation as a team. It’s not easy, but it’s also not work. It’s just what we do and who we are. So when it came down to figuring out how to provide our classes now in this new online format, we failed gloriously. Again, and again, and then a few more times. So much so that we may have coined the word “troubleshoot” as our new best friend and adopted the “error” message into our family. 

So yeah, it was hard. We have been non-stop grinding for the past four days refusing to be complaisant. We blew the roof off of our ceiling that was urging for us to just “get something out there”. 

Nope. Not going to happen. So… we worked harder, and we got better and we will continue to get better for our students and those who believe in what the Dearing Acting Studio stands for. 

Let me brag about our students.

You guys. Our students SHOWED UP in an unbelievable way. They were prepared, excited, and ready to continue on their own personal journeys of self discovery. Our students weren’t willing to settle. They refused to give up. Our students smiled and laughed with us as we dealt with technical difficulties and uncontrollable mishaps. 

These students stood by us, and will continue to do so. Because that’s who they are. It’s what they do. 

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from this craziness is that it only takes one moment to make a decision to be better. It only takes one moment to understand the obvious value in reaching out and giving to others. You will never, ever regret being your best self and helping others to do the same. Whether it be through your work, your voice or through acts of kindness….it will always be worth it. 

Now, let’s all of us, together, go Next Level, shall we? 

Joseph Sweeney