The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s lives in one way or another. All industries have been altered in the year of 2020 – especially the movie business. Although the pandemic has caused a multitude of struggles, Augie Duke shines light on both the negative and positive outcomes that this year has brought her.
Augie Duke is an actress known for her starring roles in films such as Bad Kids Go to Hell and the TV series, Chemistry. She has continued making films throughout the pandemic and has experienced first hand how the industry has changed. Augie says, “The industry has been extremely diligent on set with testing, masks, and social distancing. I am actually super impressed with what I have seen on sets as of late.” It is commendable how the movie business continues to operate responsibly despite the many obstacles that stand in the way of filmmaking during this pandemic. However, Augie misses the simple pleasures of normal life, like being able to give her friends and colleagues a hug. “Filming now is obviously completely different than it used to be,” Augie says. “I’m a big hugger and that’s something that has been a personal struggle for me. The first thing I like to do when I see friends or co workers is hug hug hug, but right now we just have to be smart and hug from afar. Like a virtual hug.”
With changing circumstances come changing perspectives, and Augie’s perspective has changed a lot this year. “My perspective has shifted quite a lot actually. We have dealt with a loss in our family which completely changes you to the core. Sadly, however, I am not alone. So many of us have had loss this year whether it was Covid or something else. This year has been quite something.” Her goals and priorities have shifted, and are now more about “staying healthy both physically and mentally during all of this. It’s so easy to want to hide and curl up in a ball, which to be very transparent I did when all this madness started. It’s taking time, but I’m coming out of my cacoon more and more as time goes on.”
Despite these trying times, Augie is staying positive. She finds that there has been both good and bad that have come out of this pandemic. In the acting world, she says, “it’s actually been quite a mix of setbacks and also beautiful opportunities. Projects have been pushed but also new gigs have come.” She is also using this time to explore other parts of the industry. She says, “life is short and you just have to try and make the best of it, so i am trying to dip my feet in other parts of the “movie business.” I directed my first short last year, and just had a beautiful opportunity to direct a music video for a bad ass all women punk band named “Egg Drop Soup.” We had such a blast shooting both projects.”
Augie advises to make the best of this unique time and to take advantage of the virtual world we now live in. “The best advice I can give to fellow actors and filmmakers” Augie says, “is what other filmmakers have told me (because at the end of the day we need each other to lean on)–maybe write something you’ve been thinking about writing for a long time. If there was ever a great time to write, now is the time. Be weirdly creative! As we all know we are living in a major virtual world right now, where everything is online and shareable. I have seen such fun creative projects people have done, like Zoom Movies and the like. We need human connection and at least we have the ability to create and share so freely with friends and family. And if you ever desire true human connection, call a friend or loved one–laugh on the phone together. Just don’t dye your hair pink or green! Stay safe and wear a mask.”