A Cork comedian, Ross Browne, has spoken of his dramatic income loss due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but said the lockdowns have given him more time to spend with his wife and four children, for which he is very grateful.
Mr Browne, who is also the co-host of Cork’s 96fm breakfast show, KC & Ross in the Morning, said that not being able to perform stand-up for the past 11 months was like “taking his legs away” and he has lost almost €50,000 in revenue since the start of the health crisis.
“I’m not a big social life person or a gym head or a member of any sport or organisation. For me, comedy is my major outlet and having not performed in nearly 11 months is like taking my legs away.”
The comedian, who has four children with his wife, Lorraine, said he was more worried about his partner than himself as his wife is immunocompromised.
In terms of his work, Mr Browne said that one of the hardest things to deal with throughout the pandemic was having his stand-up tour go on hold.
“It was a struggle,” he said. “A year of intensely crafting a show to only having performed it once and then have to sit on it.
“Two nights in the Opera House and then told they have to be indefinitely postponed is very frustrating,” he said.
Despite these difficulties, Mr Browne said the ongoing pandemic somewhat suited his reclusive personality.
He also said he had more time to focus on other projects, such as feature films and TV series.
“I have a few projects in various stages of development that I can’t say much about at the moment, but am very excited about.
“Also, not being able to go to the usual lazy choices of things to do has led to myself and the family doing other things that wouldn’t have been our first choices.”
Mr Browne described the lockdowns as a “head melt”.
“I think people have gone through all the stages of grief throughout the lockdowns. We have developed Stockholm syndrome, Florence Nightingale syndrome, cabin fever, the bends, the delirium tremens and social chlamydia.
“We’ve seen light at the end of the tunnel and then we were told it was just tunnel maintenance lights and the tunnel is way longer. It’s a head melt.”
However, he said that, while he has lost out in some areas, he knows he is is very fortunate to have other things going on.
“A lot of friends of mine rely 100% on live gigs for their income and that is devastating.”
In terms of the management of the crisis by the Government, Mr Browne said the world could learn a lot from Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand.
“She’s pretty bad ass. Empathetic, compassionate, honest, devoid of ego and completely unconcerned with self-preservation.”
Looking ahead to the roll out of the vaccine and a return to normality, the comedian said there were a number of things he was looking forward to.
“Stand up, date nights with Lorraine, cinema, coughing in public, licking bannisters and only wearing masks to be kinky.”