He landed a job on Broadway right out of school. Then coronavirus hit and smashed his dream come true

CNBC’s “College Voices 2020” is a sequence written by CNBC summer time interns from universities throughout the nation about coming of age, launching new careers and job looking throughout a international pandemic. They’re discovering their voices throughout a time of nice social change and hope for a higher future. As half of the sequence, every pupil selected a latest school graduate to profile to supply an up-close and private have a look at who the category of 2020 is, what points they’re going through as they attempt to discover a job in these extraordinary instances – and how they’re tackling them. Here is the story of Gian Perez, a latest graduate from the University of Michigan.

Gian Perez

Photo: Kyle Prue

In a world with out the coronavirus, Gian Perez can be on Broadway right now.

Perez, a latest graduate from the University of Michigan with a diploma in performing, spent a lot of what would have been his final semester on campus in New York rehearsing “Sing Street,” a new Broadway musical initially set to open in spring.

He had “made it” — he can be performing on Broadway! Some individuals attempt their entire lives and by no means make it. Here, he was, heading to Broadway in his 20s. Then coronavirus hit and smashed his dream come true.

“We see … on Facebook an article that says that Broadway has gone dark,” mentioned Perez, who’s initially from Puerto Rico. “And then we are called for a company meeting … on stage, and they tell us that they’re going to postpone the show indefinitely, which … back then sounded like, ‘OK, well, we’ll wait like two weeks until things calm down and then we’ll come back.'”

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The day after the announcement, he received on a aircraft again to Ann Arbor, Mich., to spend time with his girlfriend and keep in his school condo. With little data on the time, he and his solid members weren’t certain precisely how lengthy the shutdown would final, however he was trying ahead to a break from his busy schedule.

Now, 4 months later, he is on unemployment, residing with his household in Florida and in search of a job to tide him over till Broadway reopens, which is not anticipated to occur till early 2021 because of the coronavirus.

Perez stopped paying lease in New York, realizing that he will not be again on the Lyceum Theatre stage for a whereas. He mentioned he is saving cash by being in Florida — he isn’t spending on subway fare, dear lunches in Times Square or going out with pals.

“I’m saving a lot of money just by being in Florida because I’m not living a New York lifestyle,” Perez mentioned. “I’m saving money in small ways just because my lifestyle has changed that ultimately add up.”

He mentioned it is arduous not being on Broadway right now — realizing he ought to be — however he is making an attempt to make use of the time with household as a break from the demanding life-style of performers to work on different creative tasks.

His long-term aim is to make music, so Perez can also be utilizing this newfound free time as a possibility to decide to doing issues to make that occur. He’s working on songs for a potential album and writing a play. He just lately purchased an upright bass and is training on the instrument a few hours a day.

These are duties with measurable objectives, he mentioned, that might assist him proceed to make progress within the leisure trade and hold his inventive juices flowing.

“I’ve kind of taken this time as a blessing to make my other things,” he mentioned.

As for making a living, Perez is considering getting a non-performance job till he is aware of extra about Broadway re-opening and the longer term of the trade. Perez is just not but snug working stay gigs at bars as a result of of the well being issues, he mentioned, and he is excited to attempt a job that’s at a totally different tempo than a musical, like working in a report store.

And in terms of Broadway, Perez has religion he’ll be again on stage when it’s secure to take action.

Perez mentioned he is additionally hopeful individuals will view artwork in a different way after the pandemic, as a result of if there’s one factor he discovered by all of this, it is the significance of human connections. And human connections — and the feelings and ideas that accompany these connections —are what artwork is grounded in.

“In our culture and generation that we live in right now with the internet and social media and everything moving so fast, theater has kind of become entertainment and a commodity, as has music and like most art,” Perez mentioned. “People have realized that in times of great stress, like a global pandemic, we all turn to art to keep us sane.”

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