Charlie Morgan Jones: When in Lockdown…

When WL asked me to

write this blog, I wasn’t exactly sure what it should be or, how honest I would

be!  What crazy times.  Right now I should be sat in the

opera house at Longborough with my favourite collaborators and friends creating

the beautiful worlds of Wagner’s Die Walküre.  Instead, I’m sitting

on my bed (which is now my office space) listening to High School Musical – yes

ladies and gentlemen, it’s reached ‘that stage’ of Lockdown.






All of us in the theatre

industry (and countless others too) are in the same

boat.  No.  Different boats.  But the same sh**ty

sea.  As I type, another friend has had their tour (due to continue

post-Covid) cancelled.  It’s devastating.






BUT.  Whilst the

best minds in our industry are working out how to get us out of this mess, I

thought I’d tell you a little of what I’ve been trying to do in Lockdown to

keep myself occupied and sane.  I’ve by no means mastered it, and can

now officially recite every episode of Friends and Frasier by heart, but I’m

doing what we’re all doing…our best.






Those of you who know me

will know that – asides from theatre, which runs in my veins – I have a couple

of…how shall we say…obsessions.  Namely, planes and

music.  Let’s start there!






CMJ Flight Simulator






Since I can remember I’ve

loved airplanes; travelling on them, being in airports, the smell, the sound,

but most of all – flying them.  I was an Air Cadet (CORPORAL JONES

WOULD YOU BELIEVE?!), and was lucky enough to pilot light aircraft regularly

for many years when I was younger.  After Uni, I focussed on my

career and let flying slide (apart from all the trips for work), but during

this pause-of-the-world I’ve spent many a day flying ‘shorthaul’ routes in

bigger planes on a wonderful iPhone app called Infinite Flight.  If

you’ve no interest in aviation it must sound like THE most boring pastime, but

it’s made me very happy.  Setting it all up takes FOREVER – serious

new respect for pilots – but forever passes the time.  I use a

website to give me a flightplan and everything – very professional*.






*Never let me fly a real

plane with actual fare paying passengers – tea and coffee everywhere.






CMJ Playing the Piano






When I’m not busy ‘flying’

between Gatwick and Copenhagen (wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen!) I’ve spent

more time at my piano than ever before.  I’ve always

dabbled…poorly…but it turns out practicing an instrument really does make you

better.  (I owe a thousand apologies to my school cello teacher for

that.)  My sight reading has always been okay, but now I can

confidently sit down at the keys and, as long as it’s in C or F, bash out some

semblance of a tune!  Lucky [read tolerant] neighbours that I have,







Before ETC released

Augment3d for Eos on Mac (thank you for that – it’s a joy!) I had to try and

get my creative fix elsewhere, so I turned to making silly videos that I hoped

would make other people laugh…they mostly made me laugh, and that was good

enough.  I’ve become what I can modestly describe as a whizz on

iMovie – honestly – Spielberg, give my agent a buzz – I’m available for your

next editing gig!






Asides from keeping myself

busy (I’m an only child, I’ve had practice!) it’s been really important to stay

in touch with my family and friends.  Zoom has been a godsend, as

well as Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp Video and Teams…gosh…I didn’t ever think I’d

become tech savvy!  LOOK AT ME NOW!  I miss being in a room

with my best friends and larking around, but this video malarkey is a good

substitute…for now.  It’s important for me to remember that this isn’t

the ‘new normal’, it’s the ‘new temporary’.  We will all be together







It sounds like I’m winning

at lockdown…I’ve taken my German learning more seriously, I’m exercising, I’m

drinking less and I’m excitedly planning future operas…but it would be a bare

faced lie if I said it was easy.  I miss other humans

terribly.  I miss the looks you can share with someone over a table

of 10 that you can’t in a video conference.  I could list an infinite

number of things I miss – but we’d all end up on a Zoom crying into (and

ultimately short circuiting) our laptops.






Skype Supper






Hardest of all, my Mum is

incredibly high risk, so I haven’t been able to see my parents for quite some

time.  I miss them like I can’t express.  But twice a week

we have ‘Skype Supper’, and eat at the same time and talk

nonsense.  It’s saved me.






Some days are really tough,

and motivation is not to be found.  It’s like I just can’t be

bothered and there’s a big ol’ cloud seemingly hovering just above my

flat.  Fortunately they’re few and far between.






Last weekend I ‘unplugged’

for a couple of days – turned off all social media and put my phone down for

48hrs.  I didn’t believe it could help, but actually, it was just

nice to be away from all this nonsense for a short while.  I heartily

recommend it.







tell a joke!






I’m off to finish filming and editing a new silly video that has made me chuckle…a lot.  This one has props (I’m well and truly pushing the boat out…






There’s no right way or

wrong way to do Lockdown…but all this has certainly worked for me.






How I can’t wait for the

next time we all get to meet again.  Until then, stay safe, stay

sensible, and be creative however you can be.​






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