Broadway Star Salisha Thomas Finds Hope, Inspiration (and Dancing) in Face of Coronavirus Shutdown

Today is the first day the San Francisco Bay Area implemented a “shelter in place” order. Only essential businesses such as pharmacies, grocery stores and hospitals are open. Restaurants are also open, but for take-out only.

It’s gettin’ real here in the Bay, y’all.

We have two choices:

1. Freak out and succumb to the manic panic.
OR
2. Calm yourself and stay positive.

I urge everyone to think about what you can do to elevate the human experience for yourself and those around you.

Last week, I was feeling powerless for a quick minute. Then I realized that you and me have more power than we think. We are a thought away from changing our story.

If you’re bummed you are working from home, think about all the people who are out of work.

If you’re complaining about your kids being out of school without babysitting, think about all the times you wished you could spend more quality time with them.

If you’re annoyed you have to “shelter in place,” think about the homeless.

It really does start with a deep breath to bring you to the present moment and to focus on gratitude.

My spirits have been lifted seeing the many acts of kindness out there. When I was feeling down last week, my spirits uplifted when I started to look for coronavirus heroes. I remember Mr. Fred Rogers say his mom’s response to bad news was, “Look for the helpers.” I do believe there are always more helpers than the “bad guys.”

It’s funny how quickly your mood and story changes when you shift your vibration to a positive tune. As soon as I thought, “I tell stories for a living, I can talk to the helpers/heroes to find light during these dark times,” the universe brought me to Ashley Gin Fong Linker. She’s a New Yorker who saw an elderly Asian woman afraid of being attacked while going home. Ashley took the initiative to walk with her the rest of the way. Such a simple act had great impact.

I started to do casual Instagram Live conversations with heroes I’ve found.

Today, I had a deep dive conversation and virtual dance party with my soul sister and Broadway star Salisha Thomas, who is currently cast in Britney Spears’ musical, “Once Upon a One More Time.” Salisha spoke candidly about how she and the rest of the Broadway community are dealing with the shutdown of all live theater shows. I hope you find hope and inspiration as you listen and dance along with us:

Remember, you’re not alone in your journey, y’all. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out to your community and family for help. We are all in this together.

I want to know, what are you doing to pass the time? I was so inspired by Salisha’s Facebook Live updates. She is using her positive energy to shine light on the current coronavirus situation.

Artists like Chris Martin from Coldplay (@coldplay) played a music series for his fans on IG Live called “#TogetherAtHome.” He inspired John Legend (@johnlegend) to do an IG Live piano performance and sing. Katie Couric (@katiecouric) also played the piano and is sharing stories about how folks are passing the time by reposting her fans’ messages. She asked her fans to tag #KatiesHomies.

We are in this together, y’all. We will get through this. We are not alone and there is hope. Hang in there and let me know what you’re doing to inspire your community.

Xx,
Toan

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