2020 was a wild year for a lot of us. With staying home, going nuts over toilet paper, and having holidays, if any, alone, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the way we go by our daily life. The global pandemic has impacted people, companies, and industries differently. For example, the Entertainment Industry of music, literature, art, drama, film, etc., has been wrestling with ideas of how to go on. There are people whose weekly income relies on in-person entertainment work, such as drama professors, stage directors, or piano teachers. Forms of art are difficult to teach on an online platform. It takes discussion, representation, and practice to get an artwork right. When you’re online, all of these qualities are harder to grasp, and it takes more out of you to believe in the magic of art you are pursuing. When you’re focusing on staying safe more than anything, where does entertainment become relevant?
Entertainment is more than what it may first appear to be. It is more than just putting on a show or playing a musical piece. It is trusting in your abilities, intellect, and talent. We must not take art for granted just because it is not necessary to live – and actually, because of the pandemic, I myself have learned even more about the importance of entertainment and art. For example, in the beginning of the past year, Broadway was at a long-standing peak. When Covid hit, theaters shut down, people went out of work, and viewers were refunded. Broadway is set to open by May 30th, 2021. Shows like Beetlejuice and Frozen have already closed while many others have been postponed and replaced. Other aspects of the Entertainment Industry have faced consequences as well. Films such as In The Heights, The Quiet Place Part II, Black Widow, and West Side Story have postponed their release dates by almost an entire year. Even music tours for artists like Billie Eilish, Bon Iver, and BTS have been postponed or canceled. Though their shows and performances have been replaced with safety guidelines and masks, they never gave in to the idea of ignoring their craft. My point is, in the midst of all this insanity, while we are stuck at home, communities were able to come together and create streams, podcasts, and other virtual aspects of their art. This has brought light in a time of such darkness, and that is the power of entertainment.
As a teen in such a trying time, I’ve learned a lot about who I’m growing to be and what effect I want to make in the world. When I see such inspirational and influential people struggling to pursue their dreams, yet give their all to provide hope or distraction, it makes me even more proud to think of what I could do. As I’ve been crying myself to sleep, thinking about how many people might be dying every day, I’m also thinking about how musicians such as Taylor Swift have been able to give us 2 albums in the span of 6 months! I’m also thinking about how Lin Manuel Miranda gave us such joy to see the original cast in Hamilton perform on Disney+! These are just two examples, but they go to show how the arts can influence a mindset that could inspire an action. If we work together as a community and stay safe while staying aware, we can do anything. This does not mean to strike less importance of the difficulties faced, but instead to showcase how the arts can aid us in our pain. Though the Entertainment Industry has been beaten from the effects of Covid-19, we already know that they will come back stronger than ever when it’s done. Simple acts such as going to the movie theaters and watching a dance recital will be loved more deeply than before. This whole experience is slowly teaching us the importance of the arts, and that is the beauty of the blossoming Entertainment Industry.
Alexa Garcia (Lexie) is a 15-year-old Dominican-American with dreams to see the world and inspire others through her craft. Her main goals consist of pursing Film, Theater Arts, and Creative Writing/Poetry. She is also very passionate about Self Love, Scoliosis Awareness, Feminism, Environmental activism, etc. She is a Tech and Visual Arts major at High Tech High School in New Jersey. Alexa is super excited to be a part of such a great community!