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Tell Your Story – California during the time of COVID-19

Tell Your Story - Donna, San Francisco
Sir Francis Drake Hotel, home of Sunday’s a Drag in which I starred for nearly 15 years.  When I saw this image in early March, my heart dropped.

Donna, San Francisco

“As an extroverted entertainer, my schedule went from 5-6 events a week to zero overnight.  Fundraisers, bar events, regularly scheduled shows, even private gigs all came to a stop and the people with whom I shared those activities fell out of my life. After adjusting to the sudden schedule change, my thoughts turned to those most impacted financially by the inability to earn money entertaining, bartending, waiting tables, etc. Although I have always considered the money I earned through hired engagements as supplementary, I know so many who count on that income and largely unreported tips for their life-line.  In such an expensive city, what would they do?  Government stimulus programs have taken shape, supplemented by local charitable funds, but will it be enough?  Will those thriving businesses who hired entertainers return and will they hire again?  Will our loyal supporters and audience members remember us?”

“As much as I hear from many friends that they can’t wait for this to be over and they will be rushing out the door for the biggest parties ever, I find myself much more cautious. I doubt that what we remember as normal will return. Hugs, smooches, and other body contact will be more hesitant. Going out just to go out may be a thing of the past. Experiencing music, sports, or other performances as part of a large crowd may never return. As a person without a car who enjoys walking all over the City, I think we will have lost the immediacy of eye to eye contact with strangers, casual conversation, and the opportunity for serendipitous encounters. I will not emerge unchanged and neither will the world around me.”

Donna,
San Francisco
4/23/20

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