No job, isolated, but everything is fine for Grafton singer
FOR THOSE working in the arts industry, it might be evident that everything is not fine at the moment.
For former Grafton actor and singer Shalane Connors has taken the opportunity to create a new song that might not seem to state the obvious.
Called "Everything Is Fine", the song was written, produced and shot in a week with some good friends, appropriately social distanced of course.
"I wrote the song because I had nothing else to do, so I thought I might as well," Ms Connors said.
"This little number came out, and I sent (Melbourne Ska Orchestra leader) Nicki Bomba a demo of my vocals and guitar, and said 'do what you want'," she said.
"It's a bit irregular for me, but I wanted it to be a real collaboration.
"He sent back the instrumental, and after a couple of listens, I thought that it worked."
From there, Ms Connors recorded a clean version of the vocal, with the track bouncing back and forward over the internet, with Nicki performing all production.
"I insisted on there being a cowbell," Ms Connors laughed.
With the song done, cinematographer Emilio Abbonizio shot the video in Ms Connors apartment at an appropriate social distance, with grading and titles done by Ulysses Oliver, who was in isolation with his three children.
"We shot the whole thing in four hours," Ms Connors said. We didn't want to mess around taking risks, and we both live by ourselves."
The results is a picture-perfect piece of pop that has clocked up more than 15,000 views after being featured on Junkee and NME.
"I wanted to give people a bit of a laugh and a bit of familiarity with their situation," Ms Connors said.
"Because I live alone, I'm going batty, and I know people with mental health issues who aren't in a good situation.
"I think it's always good to know other people are going as mad as you are."
Ms Connors had work planned with Opera Australia and other commercial productions, and said it was around mid-March that there was going to be a problem for the industry.
"I finished up at the Opera House on March 11, and basically within the week my agent said only 5-10 per cent of projects are going ahead and to be prepared for the fact there's not going to be any auditions," she said.
What happens with most film and television is that you're contracted as a temporary employee, rather than a casual or a sole trader, so we're not able to classify for the Jobkeeper scheme."
While she had organised some part-time work as a nanny that would allow her to survive and pay rent, Ms Connors said she had concerns for others in the industry.
"Most creatives they do not save money at all. I've always been pretty good, but I know a few people who live hand to mouth and have had to give up their lease and move back in with parents or a partner," she said.
"It's quite dire for some people in that situation.
Ms Connors said she wasn't what she considered a viral instigator, but said it would be helpful for the underlying message of the song to get out.
"I want to get the word out there about people in the arts not having the support that everyone else is getting in this time."