The coronavirus has hit many industries incredibly hard which includes canceling all mass gatherings. For the cast and crew of Disney on Ice, hearing the news that their careers were put on hold was like taking away the magic of Disney.
“I mean, we kind of felt that it was coming,” says Disney on Ice veteran, Anna Cobb, “so we knew but at the same time when you actually hear it, it’s still a dagger to the heart”. Cobb has been performing as a professional figure skater for the past nine years and for the past three with Feld Entertainment portraying the roles of Cinderella and Bo Peep.
Not only is skating her passion, it does her profession so when more and more restrictions came out as the pandemic evolved… there were many unknowns for her skating family. “And so we’re sitting there, going ‘Do we have jobs? What’s happening?’” Cobb says of those trying times.
As shows were canceled, eventually the news came that the production company was forced to lay off 90% of its employees. “We think Disney and we think it’s okay, they’re gonna take care of them” she explains, “but we’re actually employed and working for Feld Entertainment and it’s an entertainment company and when they have to shut down and they have to do what they need to do to survive and work cut off, that’s it. We’re unemployed and it’s just like anybody else that if you’re laid off you’re laid off and that that’s it”.
Losing their stage and income was one thing but for everyone involved in this production, putting in all the hard work creates a close-knit family along the way. Cobb shares that the community is “very close even if you don’t personally know somebody, you know them in a way. So when this all happened, of course. everybody tried to connect as much as we could on social media. It definitely proved that we are community and we’re in this together”.
Even in hard times the magic of Disney unites this community.