JD's World of Magic- How Covid Has Impacted Joel's Magical World

Newcastle-based magician Joel Howlett has been performing regular shows for years. Sadly, like many others in the entertainment industry, Covid has impacted Joel's work. 

How has COVID impacted your work?

Five months ago when COVID 19 hit I lost all of my work almost overnight. The Corporate events and conferences were the first gigs I lost as companies turned these events into "Zoom" meetings and no longer needed my services and then a restriction was bought in that there was to be "no special assemblies" in schools - so I lost my school show bookings too.

Have you found new ways to share your magic online as a result of the pandemic?

Lake Macquarie, Central Coast, Hornsby and Penrith Libraries have had me produce "digital content" as a way to keep their Children's Programs running during the pandemic. These were very well received.
I have come to realise that magic shows are best seen and presented live. Having sat in on a few "zoom shows" recently as well as performed a couple of my own, I'm certain that there is an energy, excitement and level of interaction with the audience that can only be experienced live.

Congratulations on recently becoming a father. How has fatherhood inspired you in your work?

Thanks so much. My beautiful daughter Mia Rose Howlett was born on the 17th April.The absence of work/ gigs during COVID has meant plenty of time at home with her. This is special time that I know I wont get back. I'm enjoying watching her grow and discover things for the first time.

As things are slowly getting back to normal in terms of live performance, what changes are you noticing in the entertainment industry?

I honestly have no idea what the future of The Entertainment Industry will look like. My hope is that as things start to go back to 'normal' venues that are reopening will be hiring Musicians to provide live music, or running comedy nights etc. Hopefully the low number of new cases in recent weeks will also see people feeling confident to buy tickets to live theatre shows too and not be to scared to "gather together". Time will tell.......

Your work brings joy to people during a time of great international hardship. How do you remain positive and creative during difficult times?

I have been struggling - apart from the obvious financial difficulties, I have really missed performing.
What has helped me a great deal is realising that everyone is in the same boat and I have made a real effort to check in with fellow performers and see how they were doing. I really feel for my Magician friends in Melbourne.
Mia has also helped me - caring for her and my Fiancee Renee has been all consuming in a good way.

What are your plans for the rest of 2020 and into the future?

I'm going to rebuild my business. I'm making new contacts and am at the ready to produce a fresh new show when the timing is right.

Interview by:Ariane Ryan