What’s most important to you right now? 

People being safe and healthy. Staying inside as much as possible, but I also feel an obligation to help as much as I can because I’m a young, healthy person. I’ve been volunteering weekly delivering food to senior citizens. There’s the stuff happening on the medical field, but then there’s all the other domino effect stuff that’s happening to everyone else. For myself, staying sane, making plans for when this is over. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go to camp [as a counselor] this summer, so I’m trying to give myself concrete plans for things to do, even if they might not happen.

What was most important to you before you had to social distance? 

Whenever I think about that question, it’s climate change, global warming, all that big stuff, but if we’re talking me personally, I think keeping my mental health in check was always a thing I was making sure to do. Trying to socialize as much as possible but not burn myself out, and working on my career was also really important. Now, not being able to do that, I’ve realized so much more that I was not taking advantage of the time and resources I have before. My priorities have shifted now. The second things open up, I’m going to grind as hard as I can. I feel like having a time when you can’t do anything changes your opinion on how much you actually did before.

What’s the first thing you’ll do when this is over? 

I just want to be in a crowded bar watching the sports game with a lot of people and a lot of beer. I just want to go to the gym and take a class with people. Enjoy springtime or summertime. Be outside.

What are you doing to pass the time? 

For the first couple weeks I was being a lazy fuck, sleeping until 1, watching TV, playing on my phone, eating, drinking, and then going to sleep and doing it again. I was seeing on social media that’s what people were doing. Now I’ve been trying to do as much for my career as I can from here. Casting directors have a lot of free time on their hands too. Taking care of my dog, she’s an incredible excuse to go for a walk around the block. Trying to not sleep in until forever, get up and actually put on real clothes sometimes and feel more productive. Taking care of my plants takes a good chunk of my day. 

What makes you happy right now?

FaceTiming with friends. I’ve experienced a lot of reunions that I don’t think would have happened if there wasn’t a pandemic. Seeing people coming together more than they would have before is exciting. I talked to my friends the other day, one who lives in England, and one who lives in Australia. Seeing people thousands of miles away all experiencing the same thing is such a unique experience. Obviously it’s bad, but it’s something that I don’t think has ever happened before. Except for when the dinosaurs got wiped out by an asteroid. Nothing has ever brought all things on Earth to a halt at the same time. 

What would you tell yourself two months ago with the knowledge you have today? 

Hug all my friends and socialize so much more than I was. I was so good at cancelling plans. 

I was really taking my career for granted before. Recently someone I went to college with reached out to me and said “I want to be an actor.” She had never mentioned it before but said “I see that you’re doing it, and you give me hope that I can do it too.” I re-evaluated myself in that. I don’t ever have zoom-out moments where I look at what I’ve done, because I’m just like “well, I haven’t doing this, and I haven’t done that,” seeing someone being inspired by me, I have accomplished a lot and I could continue to do more. I need to do more, stop letting life happen, and take it by the reins and ride it into the sunset!


Tate M-Queens

DAY 38