The lock down chronicles:
Joe Castro

Joe Castro is an artist and musician based in Philadelphia, Pensilvania.

TWS –How are you doing in this Covid-19 pandemic?

JC –Everyone in my house is healthy, which is the most important thing.  So, all things considered,  I can’t really complain.  Compared to what my friends are dealing with in New York City, Spain, London, etc.,  I’ve got it pretty easy.  A few years ago, I moved to a slightly more rural area of Pennsylvania.  I can look out my window and see horses in the field behind our house and just watch the flowers grow.  So it’s easy here to turn off the news and unplug, when needed.  I am sincerely thankful for where I am at.

TWS – Are you being able to telecommute / work from home?

JC –My wife and I are both self-employed and were already working from home so there wasn’t much of a transition there.  The biggest issue, honestly, is money.  With the lock down, my wife lost all of her contracts for spring and summer.  I’ve had design clients pull some jobs because events got cancelled.  My band had to cancel all of our gigs.  So, we’ve had to really step back and tighten our belts a bit to weather the storm. But I’m trying to look at this as an opportunity for growth.  The caterpillar doesn’t get to decide when it goes into the cocoon.  

TWS –Did the lock-down affected your creativity and art making? How?

JC –With the kids doing virtual school, it’s definitely changed the daily routine so large chucks of free creative time are a little harder to come by.  But other than that, no – it hasn’t affected my creativity that much.  Our day-to-day has always been fairly chaotic. 

TWS –Are you able to track positive moments or things that happened during this crisis so far?

JC –Yeah, definitely.  A lot of my friends are musicians and artists, who had tours or shows cancelled and found themselves stuck at home. The first thing they did was to start organizing groups to sew face masks for hospitals, since there was a huge shortage.  The rally cry was “it’s time to do your part and help out.” And that’s been super inspiring because I know these folks, like me, live gig to gig, and are taking a financial hit.  But their first thought was “What can I do to help.”  And I gotta applaud that.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed the increased family time. My daughters are 9 and 6, and growing up fast, so I’m trying to take advantage of this lock down to spend extra time with them. Cooking more meals at home.  Taking walks outside. Just soaking in the spring at a much slower pace.

TWS –What’s the first thing you would like to do when we can get back to normal?

JC –I really miss playing live shows with my band (Mighty Joe Castro and the Gravamen) so that’s top of the list.  And I miss going to the skatepark and cruising around with friends.  Going to the local record store. Just connecting with other people. Definitely getting a hair cut as soon as I can. I’m a week away from going full wolfman.