I was an actor at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where I performed in 2-3 plays in repertory, meaning I would do one play in the afternoon and an entirely different play at night. I also led school tours for visiting students. I was scheduled to be on contract through the end of October but was laid off in March due to COVID-19, essentially losing an entire year’s work. I live in Ashland, Oregon with my wife and two young kids, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is IT for union actors in the area. It’s not LA or NY where I could possibly find other work in my location. And due to Governor Brown stating the live events will not return to Oregon until a vaccine is found, I have no prospect of returning to work until late 2021 – also restated by the Artistic Director of the festival. My income loss amounts to over $55,000. This includes another play I received an offer for in the winter of 2020 that was since rescinded due to the virus.
To further devastate our financial and family situation, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, with her treatment already costing thousands of dollars – even with health coverage. She still has her job thankfully, but will need to use up the entirety of her sick and vacation time, and will need to miss work for her care. I will also have increased childcare costs so I can attend to her while she receives treatment.
We are in the middle of any family’s worst nightmare. I am humbly requesting any financial support that can be provided.