We know that generally speaking, comedians don’t like to follow rules. When someone in a position of authority tells us what we aren’t allowed to do, our first instinct is to think of the funniest way possible of doing that thing. But it’s no exaggeration to say that right now, the health and safety of literally millions of people across Canada and around the world depends on our following instructions from health authorities.
CASC is asking our comedy community members to take to heart the instructions of our Prime Minister, provincial, & municipal authorities, and to CANCEL ALL LIVE PERFORMANCES. We know that this is not only a creative hardship for our members but also a financial one. We will be working to ensure that there is relief for comedians among stimulus commitments to workers in the gig economy. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. (Except when you’re onstage. Which you’re not going to be for the next little bit. Because of the thing. For real.)
If you feel you are being pressured to perform or to maintain commitments made prior to government advisories, please reach out to CASC. There is no club owner, producer, festival, booker, or corporate gig on the planet whose authority overrides that of the Canadian federal government or the World Health Organization (though they may think so). I mean who do these guys think they are, American late-night TV?!
This is a scary and unprecedented time. We’re going to get through it — as a planet, as a country, & as a community. But not by pretending this is just flu season because it isn’t. Now is the time to write that spec script, start that podcast, listen to those set recordings and make notes. Now is the time to phone or FaceTime friends and family. Go be funny on Tik Tok or YouTube or MySpace or Wikipedia. Don’t worry, that’s where your crowds are right now, too.
The Canada Council of The Arts has put out a statement and they ask the following:
“For the time being, it is very important that you accurately document your lost revenues as the results of deferrals and cancellations directly related to the measures taken to control the spread of COVID-19. I also invite you to visit our COVID-19: Info update page to find answers to questions you may have.”
Please read their full response here: https://canadacouncil.ca/spotlight/2020/03/covid-19
For the next few weeks, we need to be the very things we became comedians to avoid being: responsible citizens. If you have to, just think of it as an extended impression.