Acts of self care
Creative projects, therapy among five things helping local artist navigate pandemic
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
To continue reading, please subscribe:
Monthly Digital Subscription
$4.75 per week*
- Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
- Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
- Access News Break, our award-winning app
- Play interactive puzzles
*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/08/2020 (1033 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Joanne Roberts is a jack-of-all-trades artist with a passion for self-improvement.
The 29-year-old was most recently seen on stage as an actor in Theatre Project Manitoba’s production of Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie MacDonald and in the Prairie Theatre Exchange/Cercle Molière co-production of Danielle Séguin-Tétreault’s play What to Do with Albert/Que faire d’Albert?
She is also the winner of the 2020 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition hosted by the Gimli Film Festival, where she had three minutes to wow the jury with her idea for a new short film.
Roberts has no shortage of projects to keep her busy during the pandemic but she is also taking the time to focus on her own health and well-being. Here are five things keeping her healthy and happy as she navigates the pandemic.
Therapy is something Roberts has always wanted to try but never had the time to do.
“It’s online right now because the offices aren’t open. Usually I’m way too busy to even think about going to an office and spending an hour there. Commuting back and forth, I just don’t have the time for it. So as soon as the pandemic hit I finally had time to take care of myself. I’ve been using it to work on other issues too, but definitely the self-isolation, the quarantining, the COVID stress, is definitely something we’ve talked about a little bit.
“I follow a lot of psychology, holistic and spiritual Instagrams as well as psychology Instagrams. I’m interested in layman’s terms but I’m thinking about at some point pursuing psychology as a career.”
Now that performing is largely on an indefinite hiatus, Roberts has opted to focus her attention on other forms of creativity.
“I haven’t really had a lot of training other than in high school, so it’s been a lot of on-the-job learning. I went to Oak Park High School and they have a really great film program there and I would credit that as a good introduction to the film industry.
“I’m really aware that I don’t have as strong of an educational background as my peers in the entertainment industry and I don’t really have time to sign up for classes or anything. But since March, so many institutions have been offering Zoom workshops and I’ve just been signing up for everything that I can fit into my schedule and everything I’m interested in.
“I went and did some Citadel Theatre masterclasses, I did a CBC business workshop and now I’m in a creative storytelling workshop called Shades of Brown Girl, which has been my favourite so far. I’m just trying to keep busy and better myself. I think it’s a really great use of time. That’s what I want to spend this time on.”
With no acting gigs on the horizon, Roberts has found the pandemic is the perfect time to explore other areas of creative interest, like writing, directing and filmmaking.
“I’m in the middle of producing a play that will be streamed online. I have a feature film in the works as well, which is getting shot remotely. All of the actors are handling the camera. It’s going to be a nightmare but it’s going to be really fun. And now I’ve got the Gimli film to work on.
“It’s a five-minute short film called Anak and it is exploring intergenerational trauma in relationships between mothers and daughters in Asian culture. I adapted my pitch before Gimli happened into a 20-minute theatre piece and just the difference between what you could show on stage and what you could show on screen… I thought that theatre was going to be super limiting, but it’s not limiting at all, just a different set of rules you can play with that are just as immersive and just as exciting.”
ENJOYING HER (LUXURY) APARTMENT
“I moved into an apartment last year. It’s a luxury apartment. I don’t know what that means. Before the pandemic I was always in and out of it. I never really spent a lot of time in it. So now that I was quarantined for two months, I really got to play around with the space for the first time. Now it’s a comforting place for me to hang out, which is really cool. I have never decorated before so that was super exciting. I had friends help me pick out furniture and I have a colour scheme — it’s a bunch of pastels, a lot of pinks and blues. I like plants, but before I found my love of plants, I picked a west-facing apartment so I don’t get a lot of sun.”
Lastly, the biggest — and fluffiest — comfort for Roberts during the pandemic has been her pets.
“I have a dog and two cats: Domino, who is my dog; my male cat, his name is Percy; and female cat, her name is Jade. We’re just a happy little family. With cats that are a——s sometimes. I swear they’re trying to kill my dog.”
If you value coverage of Manitoba’s arts scene, help us do more.
Your contribution of $10, $25 or more will allow the Free Press to deepen our reporting on theatre, dance, music and galleries while also ensuring the broadest possible audience can access our arts journalism. BECOME AN ARTS JOURNALISM SUPPORTER Click here to learn more about the project.
Frances Koncan (she/her) is a writer, theatre director, and failed musician of mixed Anishinaabe and Slovene descent. Originally from Couchiching First Nation, she is now based in Treaty 1 Territory right here in Winnipeg, Manitoba.