Arts and Entertainment
|Vocalist Janeta Jackson’s self-isolation leads to ‘Hamiltine’ show|
|Pays homage to ‘Hamilton’ with video production|
|Published Saturday, March 28, 2020 10:02 am|
|COURTESY JANETA JACKSON|
|Charlotte vocalist and actor Janeta Jackson paid homage to the Broadway hit “Hamilton” by creating her own video production, “Hamiltine,” to cope with self-distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.|
Janeta Jackson turned frustrating circumstances into inspiration.
The Charlotte actress and singer starred as Billie Holiday in Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte production of Lanie Robertson’s “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” just over a month ago, during a time when a gathering of people at a theater would have been commonplace. COVID-19 replaced an evening’s entertainment with social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.
Theaters are closed. Creatives have taken to social media for livestreamed concerts and other forms of creative expression. Jackson posted a video inspired by her favorite musical, “Hamilton.” “Hamiltine” is what happens when “Hamilton” meets quarantine.
She posted the four-minute video on YouTube on March 18, explaining that the project took roughly 2 1/2 days from conception to completion.
“I’ve loved the Broadway musical ‘Hamilton’ since it first came out, but I was recently able to see one of the last shows of the Angelica Tour before theaters shut down due to Covid-19,” Jackson said. “The shutdown was immediately devastating to professional performing artists like myself whose livelihoods are affected.
“Getting emails and phone calls about my upcoming shows being canceled was quite discouraging, but with the Hamilton soundtrack fresh in my mind I was inspired to not let the bad news and the pandemic get me down. I had to encourage myself in recognizing that my talent and creativity goes beyond the four walls of a theatre.”
Jackson is staying sharp as a creative during COVID-19 through practice, reading, watching videos and taking classes online.
“Since creating ‘Hamiltine,’ I’m sure to allow myself some quiet time to keenly listen out for the whisper of a creative idea, because I don’t want to miss a good one,” she said.
Jackson advises fellow creatives remain dedicated to what brings them joy during coronavirus.
“Continue to hone in on your talents, or maybe even discover and learn some new ones,” she said.
The theater community, like the rest of the world, will feel economic pressure going forward. Yet, there are still ways to contribute to your local theater community financially and otherwise.
“There are several ways to contribute to the theatre community,” Jackson said. “Visit local theatre websites to find out how to donate directly to their organizations. Donate to the Actors Fund. It provides a variety of services and emergency assistance to entertainment community members in need.”
Above all, make sure you stay connected throughout COVID-19. You are not in this alone—remind others of the same.
“Please reach out to any friends you may have in the theatre community through a simple text, direct message or phone call to at least let them know that you care,” Jackson said. “Ask them what they need, and offer ways that you can help. A little support and compassion can make a biggest difference.”
To watch “Hamiltine”:
To donate to the Actors Fund:
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