While COVID-19 keeps everyone cooped up at home, local entertainers, fitness experts and the like have resorted to reaching audiences solely through the internet.
Whether they’re streaming a live musical performance or posting a workout tutorial, these promoters are working hard to keep the rest of us at ease and on our toes.
Lilly Milford and her Bell County-based band, Lilly and The Implements, performed a live show Saturday, March 21, out of the backroom at Schoepf’s Bar-B-Que in Belton to earn money for the artists. Fans and supporters could pay to stream the performance online at schoepfsbbq.com/live. The show was produced by Flex 9 Creative.
“Texas Tour Gear and Schoepf’s put it on for us so that we could still be able to make money during this time,” Milford said. “So that live stream will be up for a while, so anybody can go on there and pay five bucks to see it.”
She said everyone involved is splitting the profits, with most of it going to the musicians.
“And that’s helpful, because none of our gigs are on. We all need to stay home.”
Milford said the band won’t perform together again while the county’s shelter-in-place order is still active.
“But I’m pretty sure that individually we’re all going to be (live streaming), the more we need to,” she said. “I know I have a Venmo account, so I’m probably going to do a little isolation show at my apartment – or try to. I usually don’t like playing the guitar by myself.”
Milford said it’s unfortunate to be away from the band for so long, and she has a lot of friends who are in similar positions.
Garrett Askins, lead singer of Martian Folk, did two solo performances in a week via Facebook Live.
“I’ve played gigs pretty much weekly, and to not have that outlet — to not have that ability to reach people anymore — I think Facebook was pretty much the most viable option I had at the time, and I just still want people to have music,” he said. “I still want to play music and it’s what I do for a living, so I just find any way I can to help people and have people help me.”
He said he performed all original content and plans to keep it that way. Askins said his original music feels more natural, and he doesn’t have to worry about any copyright infringements.
“I’ve got a lot of followers that still enjoy my original tunes, and they say they find a lot of peace in them and I think that’s really important at a time like this,” he said.
While musicians and entertainers are doing their part to bring some joy into people’s homes, trainers and fitness instructors are helping them stay healthy and active by recording workouts anyone can do from home without a bunch of fancy equipment.
Tori Tawater, fitness instructor at Truecore in Temple, said the studio staff have been filming live Facebook and Instagram videos Monday, Wednesday and Friday. She said the videos are consistent with the classes offered at Truecore.
“So, for example, Monday one of our instructors led us through a mat pilates class… we were able to go through some movements just that anyone could do from their home on a yoga mat or a towel,” she said.
Wednesday’s video was a stretching and meditative yoga class, and Friday’s feature was a barre class that viewers could do using a kitchen counter or the back of a couch or chair in place of a barre.
Tawater said the other days of the week she is posting a link to other workouts people can do from home, or writing bodyweight workouts for conditioning and strengthening.
She said the live classes and online presence have gotten a positive response and clients enjoy seeing the familiar faces of their instructors, but they still miss being together at the studio.
“Of course, I think everyone misses the camaraderie and just getting out and being together and doing our workouts together and the atmosphere,” she said. “And obviously it’s definitely a shift because most of our classes do require really specific equipment that we only have at this studio, like with spin we have the bikes and our technology system and in pilates we have the reformer.
Tawater said she is planning classes and content to post as far in advance as she can, but with the hope the studio will be open sooner rather than later. She said Truecore has never been closed in the four years it’s been open; including holidays and the studio’s relocation period.
“It was a pretty heavy and devastating decision that we had to close, but obviously wanting to keep our clients and staff and everyone’s health in mind and doing what’s best for people,” she said. “So just trying to support everyone virtually while we can but with the hope we can be open and back to our normal routine as soon as possible with the safety and well-being of everyone in mind.”