on re-opening

The industry is coming back to life!

This past week we had a scheduled guest have to cancel her attendance on the Ahead of the Curve Weekly Webinar because she had to be in production meetings for the film she is directing with the plans to go to camera this week. Bookings are happening in BC and in Ontario. As expected BC is the furthest ahead of the curve, and Ontario is following along.

Everyone is excited, to get ‘back to normal’. We, and ultimately me as the studio head for JBA have been fielding a lot of questions from people excited to get back to the studio for in person coaching/taping and classes.

We have given this a lot of thought, and we’ve arrived at…. not yet.

But why? Provinces are opening up, you’re allowed to now!

Well…. blame it on my Dad, who used to say, “Just because you are allowed to do something doesn’t mean it should be done.”

When we closed JBA for in person training it was because we knew it was the right thing to do, not because someone told us we had to. It was expensive and scary, but it was right. We were just one example of many businesses, studios, and people taking this thing seriously and making sacrifice for the health of community. We wanted to be an example of inspiration for our community so we would all do better as a result. Guess what? It worked. Our community has earned the FIRST REOPENING OF THE FILM INDUSTRY. BC is first, Ontario is just behind us. Casting is already happening in both, and BC is on camera.

We have earned ONCE IN HISTORY OPPORTUNITY for the acting community. Local actors are going to need to be relied upon more than ever before. Producers and networks are already hiring 100% local talent (for the moment). And when US TV series roll, we are going to see a massive incentive to book those recurring characters/guest stars locally. Why? Would you want to pay for 14 days of quarantine for an out of province actor when you could pay a local actor for 5 days of work instead? Nope. That’s our opportunity to prepare for.

If you are prepared you have a better chance than you ever will again to prosper. Once borders open, and we are back to ‘normal’, that opportunity is gone. By the same token, if an industry shut down comes again (as it did in just two days in March) that opportunity is gone.

With all of that in mind, and with the same attention to detail that we’ve always applied, we can’t find any logical reason to put this opportunity at risk for our industry and community.

Our industry isn’t ‘Back’. It’s re-emerging, along with our country. People are stepping back out into the world. This brings added collective risk.

Now, think about the relationship an acting studio or coach play in the process…

We are concentrated touch points for everyone who will eventually be on set. Serving as a single point of contact for a community with very recently relaxed exposure guidelines sounds like creating focused stream of additional risk aimed directly at a set. If one set closes, assume the industry re-closes. If the industry re-closes, Canadian actors lose our historic opportunity.

Add to that the fact that this risk is 100% unnecessary, and we are left with a no brainier decision to continue to hold the line and stand on guard for our community.

Why is it unnecessary? Because Live Online training and support works. Beautifully. To those who are willing to try.

I know that many don’t want to consider or admit it, but from the place of the experience so far (our team has hosted over 3,000 auditions and coachings in the past three months) along with years and years of in person support before that with a track record of total positive, practical support, we promise:

Zoom. Works. Beautifully.

Team JBA’s promise to the community is to continue to support the viability of our industry by providing the best acting support available with the smallest contribution to risk necessary.

We will continue to monitor the effects of provinces’ re-opening, and when we see that there is proof that opening our doors will impose little to no risk to our fragile industry and once in lifetime opportunity, we will re-open our doors. That may be weeks, it may be months. We don’t know. But, we will hold the line until we do.

Please. If you are feeling resistant to trying remote coaching, come audit a class for free. See what is being accomplished. You will be surprised, and maybe delighted at what’s possible.

Zoom. Works. Beautifully

Please. Let’s all do our best to hold on to our this once in a lifetime opportunity for Canadian actors.

In support,

Jeb Beach on behalf of #TeamJBA

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