As the temporary shutdown of Broadway and theatres around the world continues, Playbill is reaching out to some of our favorite artists to see how they are coping with the self-isolation on a daily basis, both physically and creatively.
The series continues with Andrea Macasaet, who plays Anne Boleyn in the eagerly awaited new Broadway musical SIX, which had been scheduled to officially open at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre the same day New York theatres went temporarily dark. Macasaet, who is making her Broadway debut, has also been seen in Canadian productions of Heathers: The Musical, Avenue Q, Miss Saigon, and Prairie Nurse.
What is your typical day like now?
I have officially touched down on Canadian soil and will be riding out the remaining time of the shutdown at my parent’s house in Winnipeg, Manitoba, until Broadway opens up again. Although I’ve been quarantined in my New York apartment since the shutdown, as per international travel guidelines and requirements, I am self-isolating for the next 14 days.
I currently isolate in the master bedroom, where the bathroom is attached (no one is allowed to enter/use the bathroom except for me). Until these 14 days are up, I can't walk around the house freely. My parents and sister bring food and essentials up to the bedroom door and knock when it's ready for me to take. It’s very weird, and we laugh about it constantly, but we know it’s better to be safe than sorry.
At the beginning of all of this, I definitely gave in to a pressure (that I totally created and put on myself) to stay “relevant”—as if I was gonna disappear at any second and no one would know who I was or what I had to offer and everyone was going to forget about me.
Like, what!? Andrea. Check yourself.
I felt that I needed to be a light in all the uncertainty, so I thought I needed to sing every day because my show was shut down and it was really sad for everyone, or try new recipes because it’s the trendy thing to do, or work out at home because #healthiswealth, or accept silly Instagram challenges because “I had all the time to do it.” And, while all of these things created joy and light for people and gave me things to do, it felt like my cup was slowly starting to empty and I was no longer serving myself by trying to stay “relevant” on social media. I had to reflect on the person I was showing up as and eventually had to turn off for a couple days. Pressing the reset button to reground and rebalance and ask myself how I wanted to show up for myself and for others in a way that makes me feel the most authentic and true to myself.
Do things that serve your soul. Lean into self-compassion and do what makes you happy.
I realize that I don’t need to sing songs to prove anything. I don’t have to accept Instagram challenges. I don’t need to get a massive work out in every day to feel accomplished. I don’t have to post my quarantine photos. I don’t have to perfect a recipe. I don’t have to do or be anything that doesn’t serve my joy. And, if doing all these things makes you feel good, then Yas, Queen, work it and do you *snaps.*
I still battle with my anxiety All. The. Time. Since the shutdown, I find myself being over productive some days or completely shutting off the next. I tune into what my body and mind need from me. Sometimes, it is singing a song that makes me feel good—not because it’s something that people want to hear from me. Sometimes it’s laying in savasana on the floor for 45 minutes and calling that my work out of the day. Other days I’m a cleaning machine and I organize until the sun goes down, or I dance in my underwear and pretend I’m in U Got Served the movie. It really just depends on how I feel. I’m always in spaces that allow me to be a-get-stuff-done-super-productive-yoga AF-cleaning master-yass queen kind of gal and a finish-a-whole-bottle-of-wine-while-eating-chicken nuggets-crying-over-the-cuteness-of-To All The Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before-for-the-5th-time-couch potato.
It's called balance.
What book/TV show/podcast/film should everyone take the time to consume during this period?
I am a sucker for fiction and a good story! Recently finished the book and series of Little Fires Everywhere. It is an amazing story to begin with, and the series heightened the stakes of the piece even more with glorious storytelling by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington! Ugh. Huge fan of this! I am currently reading American Dirt and find myself reading until my eyes can’t hold open anymore. Drug cartel. Mom and son trying to find freedom and safety. Murder. Love. Family. So many feelings. Hooked after the first seven pages. The podcast that I love listening to is Conversations From the Heart. Anytime, anywhere. It brings me peace and helps me reset.
What advice would you give to someone who may be struggling with the isolation?
Don’t watch the news for too long. Get your fill and then shut it off. Do things that serve your soul. Lean into self-compassion and do what makes you happy. Eat the cake or don’t eat the cake. This is all temporary. You are loved. Reach out to the people that you care about because chances are, they’re waiting with big heart vibrations to love on you and give you those ooey gooey feelings we all need in this life. We’re all gonna get through this!
How are you keeping your creative juices flowing?
I do a lot of vision and goal setting! I love writing out a vision of the life I see for myself in a year, five years, or even ten years from now—always making sure that I write in present tense. Using “I am, I have, I do” vs. “I will, I hope.” It helps with asking myself the right questions to achieve my goals. It also excites me even more about starting the process of creating the plans and steps to reach them.
Are you working on any theatrical projects during this time?
Recently, I posted a 14-day Karaoke and Chill quarantine singing series on my YouTube and Instagram accounts. You can watch 14 videos of me singing my guts out to karaoke tracks of all different genres requested by fans, family, and friends. It was done out of pure boredom, so a lot of my silliness is always featured at the end of my videos. I am also reconnecting with friends who have created some amazing projects, and I help in any capacity that I can. Ex: Script feedback, workshopping songs. I host a few Q&As every now and again via social media, and I’m in the process of creating a platform to have one-on-one sessions with people who want feedback and coaching for auditions and/or performances.
Keep up with me on Instagram: @andrea.cesyl to see what I get up to while we wait for the lights of Broadway to come back up so that my Bo Babes can get back to living her best spicy rockstar pop diva life.