Goals. We set them in life and within our careers.
Imagine setting a goal to perform on Broadway and hours before the curtain is set to rise, the entire production comes to a halt. This is crazy, right? Unless it’s Monday (mostly), Broadway is never dark.
So you can imagine the devastation of being hours away from your official debut, only to have it canceled. A month eventually turns into a year and the hope is that Broadway will open up again, but of course, there is always uncertainty. All of the choreography, your lines, the moments in between, the inside jokes with your castmates you now have to struggle to remember.
… Feels like a dream, perhaps.
And then there is a vaccine. It may seem like a life jacket, but it comes with complications.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the U.S. FDA but has been authorized for emergency use to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 16+. See conditions of use: https://t.co/OS1tgYopUj
— Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer) December 12, 2020
- According to an article by The Associated Press, depending on the brand of vaccine you choose, it will take up to 6 weeks before you’re “fully protected.” Now you may be asking yourself, “why they put it in quotations like that?” This is why…
- The Associated Press also reports (in the same article) that it’s possible that the vaccine could only prevent symptoms, but that infection and transmission of the virus could still be a possibility, even after the vaccine.
This is an issue for a multitude of reasons. Especially considering how many castmates passed on COVID before they knew what was happening. Entire casts caught the virus. In addition, if the rest of the world does not have confidence in this vaccine, but we are carrying on as if it’s the summer of 2019, it’s possible that other countries could place a travel ban on the US. According to BroadwayLeague.com, during the 2018-2019 season, 2.8 million Broadway patrons lived outside of the States.
Currently, the expected return date is set for Sunday, May 30, 2021. According to Playbill, Dr. Fauci anticipates that we may be “approaching close to normal as you get into the late summer and early fall.” Honestly, that is “if” this works.
What about the actors who want to return, but don’t want to take the vaccine? That’s an additional thought to consider. What if a producer makes it mandatory to rejoin the cast? If you think this isn’t possible, think again.
Thinking about a show I saw years ago that I hated, and how I’d give ANYTHING to see even that right now. #BroadwayShutdown #TheatreProblems
— Theatre Problems (@TheatreProblems) September 26, 2020
We are all ready for the lights to go back up on Broadway.
Full flights. Live studio audiences for TV shows. Stadiums full of fans for sports games – It’s not that they can’t figure out a way to get us back in the theatre. It’s that they don’t care. #SaveTheArts
— DeMarius R. Copes (@DeMariusR_Copes) October 19, 2020
So…will the Broadway community be eligible to get vaccinated before the NY sports teams since we bring in more money to NYC than they do, yet are still facing potential pay cuts when live theatre returns?
— Matthew Tiberi (@matthew_tiberi) December 22, 2020
My heart is broken once more… Broadway closed through next summer. 😔. Check on your performer friends today. We are hurt. Over 97,000 out of work. This all could’ve been prevented.
Please VOTE! Wear a Mask and donate to @TheActorsFund #broadwayshutdown #stimulus #NewYork pic.twitter.com/lS5y4CGFuh
— NaTonia Monét (@NaToniaMonet) October 9, 2020
…but even with a vaccine, it won’t be as simple as we think.