A Day In The Life: Victoria from Fragile Animals
Firstly, I should say that it does feel more than a little weird writing about myself. But these are crazy times, and we’re all out of our comfort zones anyway, so here goes…
My name is Victoria and aside from being a music writer at The Creative Issue, I play in a band called Fragile Animals with my boyfriend Dan and our drummer Kyle. I also work as a Veterinary Nurse. I live near Noosa. I absolutely love music. I have four dogs (Rhino, Snoopy, Lacey and Holly) and a mouse (Possum). My brother got back from the US last week and my house is currently on day eight of quarantine.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world my everyday life was pretty non-stop. Dan’s alarm would go off at 5am and from that time until whatever time I would end up going to sleep I would have something that I should be doing. Most days I didn’t finish everything I was trying to get though.
A typical snapshot of my day would look something like this…I’d wake up, check socials, feed my dogs and try to fit in some exercise before going to work. When I’d get home after work I would have dinner and hang out with my dogs for a bit before doing whatever Franimals stuff needed to be done. Since becoming a writer at TCI, I would usually squeeze in some writing a couple of nights a week. If we had shows coming up or new things we were working on we’d also fit in a practice with Kyle. Most weekends we’d either head to Brisbane to watch some bands, or play ourselves, or chill out and work on songs.
So much of that routine has changed over the last couple of weeks, especially now that I am in self-isolation. It feels super strange to have nowhere I need to go and nothing I need to do. There’s plenty of things I should be catching up on but there is no need to fit life into little boxes of time anymore. It’s a weird feeling.
It’s also odd not leaving the house. Not going to work, not going out to grab a coffee, not going to band practice, not seeing Kyle, not going to gigs, not seeing the outside world at all. Particularly since we were right in the middle of a PR campaign for a song we had just released when the Coronavirus crisis kicked off.
My daily life now looks a little more like this…I don’t have any alarms set because I’m not going to work. I wake up when Rhino starts barking at her usual breakfast time of 6:30AM. Her consistency in doing this is starting to make me think she is an animagus and can actually read the clock. After feeding her and the rest of the doggos, I usually check my phone and see what’s happened overnight across the world. I’ll check out what’s happening on our band’s socials. I’ll message my mum and let her know that I’m fine and make sure she and my dad are too. Then I disinfect the house. Which I’m not sure is actually doing anything to help us out, but I’m also a bit nervous to stop doing it.
Conscious of spending too much time inside with the germs that might be lurking there, despite my new disinfecting routine, I sit outside with my dogs a lot. I got set up to do some writing outside a couple of mornings ago before I realised my laptop wouldn’t pick up a wifi signal. Stupid.
I spend the daylight hours writing things like this and doing band ‘business things’ like emailing people to cancel or postpone plans we’d made. Things like trying to work out new tour dates with venues and other bands. Or rethinking recording plans for if we can’t travel interstate. Or working out how we’ll actually find the money to do any of those things knowing that Dan and Kyle both lost their jobs last week and I might lose mine any day now. Or like catching up over the phone with our publicist and trying to keep things upbeat despite the fact that she is, like so many of our friends, being ‘let go’. Everywhere I look are reminders that the entertainment industry has been smashed into tiny unsustainable pieces.
But it’s not all heartbreak. I realise that as far as bands go we’ve been pretty lucky. Friends have had to cancel international tours and miss out on showcasing at SXSW. That would be much harder to swallow than the things we’ve had to work through.
There is also more time available for writing new music. We try to write constantly and stay in that head space as much as possible, and that’s much easier without spending nine hours at a day job. We went through a bunch of unfinished demos and figured out what we were most excited to finish. Then as usual we completely got carried away with new ideas and have been working on them instead. But having endless hours at night to keep rolling with an idea is such a luxury. A luxury we haven’t had for quite a while. It reminds me of when Dan and I were both students and didn’t work full time. Our sudden lack of funds also reminds me of that time.
I think like everyone else every day is tinged with unease at the moment. Wondering about what the future holds, and how best to try and navigate the inevitable continuum of challenges ahead. But at the same time I am finding it easier to stay positive with each passing day. Part of that is thanks to the Isol-aid Festival. I think, like a lot of artists, it made me feel hopeful and connected to the community I worried was crumbling. I mean, it’s still a hugely difficult time for the arts, but it reminded me that creative types are resilient and resourceful, and that we know how to have a good time even when everything is going wrong. That’s the head space I’m starting to sit in, and hopefully I can hang out there until we get to the other side.