Before the pandemic, Nina Sawant made a living hanging from hoops, contorting into improbable shapes and shimmering in sequins under neon lights.
Now, the Oakland circus artist and aerialist has had her work dramatically reduced to a few sporadic online shows. With the Bay Area’s shelter-in-place orders dragging into their seventh month, Sawant and theater, circus, dance and other performing artists are finding themselves trying to adapt their career plans as their industry lingers in an indefinite hiatus.
“There’s a hope that there will be a sort of a renaissance and people will be hungry to see theater shows and support the arts,” she says, “but I and all the people I know are taking it day by day and building up our additional skill sets so that, if the time comes, we have something to turn to if we’re not able to make a living anymore doing the things we’ve built our lives around…”
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