Angry: Sarah Reid

By Sarah Reid, Belfast-born actress, writer and theatre maker.

I’ve been staying away from commenting and posting my disgust, disappointment, and anger at the lack of support and consideration of the arts community as its been extremely difficult with my anxiety.

But this recent government advertisement is not only abusive to how I’ve struggled this past year but is totally dehumanising to creatives all over the world.

I’ve spent the most of 10 years of developing, pursuing my career, and finally having the confidence and enough work to become a self employed actress, writer and theatre maker last year.

Yet I have been ineligible for every single support out there.

Freelancers, creatives, artists – we are the most hardworking people. We’ve spent years upon years balancing multiple part time jobs so that we have enough financial stability. We’ve created, developed and managed multiple projects and productions to inspire, to educate, to entertain the human race.

We provide a service that promotes a massive economy generator.

The arts community have faced a devastating blow from the pandemic, and we were already struggling. We have lost income, jobs, venues, audiences, but much more – we are losing hope.

People spend their whole lives searching for their ‘dream job’, a job they wake up excited to go to, a job that fills them with joy, happiness and creativity, every minute of the day; a job that constantly challenges new ideas and new forms of practises, a job that connects people from different backgrounds and experiences, a job we can share with the world – art and creativity – that is inspiring, educating, and entertaining everyone.

I already have my dream job, my career. So instead of advising me that I need to ‘rethink, reskill and reboot’ my career. Maybe you should have a good hard think about the strategies you have in place to ‘RETHINK, RESKILL AND REBOOT’ the state of the world’s mental health. – the world needs art for mental wellbeing.

It’s absolutely vile, and this advertisement is a massive Screw You to me, my colleagues, and the arts community.

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