We’ve talked about the food-service workers who have been laid off as bars shut down and restaurants move to take-out only. Another group of people who are being hard-hit by restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus are artists in the US and around the world. TMZ spoke to performers who make their living dressing up as Disney princesses and performing at parties and other events. As those parties are getting cancelled, some of them have begun performing virtually:
With governments banning gatherings large and small, there’s simply no work for the folks who dress up as your favorite Disney princesses and movie characters … and one group is about to lose a million bucks.
American Immersion Theatre + Princess Party tells TMZ … they’ve had bookings canceled left and right, setting up a huge financial hit of about $200,000 for March and April alone, and as the pandemic drags on, they’re estimating a loss of $1 million in gross income.
The troupe tells us this is normally the busiest time for events, but there are no more shows on the books this Spring and Summer, which spells doom for their 2,000 actors across 27 different cities.
The theater company is used to working birthday parties, murder mysteries at restaurants and volunteering at hospitals … but the virus’ rapid spread is putting an end to all that.
American Immersion Theatre + Princess Party is hoping things start picking back up by June with some small birthdays before another wave of big events in September … and in the meantime, they’re booking about 7 virtual gigs a day where princesses and characters interact with kids virtually.
Still, the virtual gigs won’t make up for the 150 events that are being canceled each week … and it’s a bad sign for the actors who count this as a full-time job.
Also in this same boat are the Disney cast members (staff), who are looking at the parks being closed indefinitely. Disney has agreed to pay the hourly staff through April 18. The parks shouldn’t open until it’s absolutely safe for them to do so, but there’s no reason that Disney can’t afford to pay folks for longer than three weeks. Reading TMZ’s story about these performers with uncertain futures reminds me of a.) how much we take for granted, and b.) how many different kinds of employment we don’t necessarily pay attention to, unless it’s ours or we know someone who works in that industry. I think more people are starting to realize the value of the arts (or I hope they are), and I hope that these performers all have kind landlords and are able to find other employment to supplement their income.