Singer says public can support out-of-work performers through a ‘simple YouTube subscription’

Aaron Bolton performing a musical theatre track from his home studio - which is then uploaded to You

Aaron Bolton performing a musical theatre track from his home studio - which is then uploaded to YouTube for his daily followers. Mr Bolton will be taking part in Harbour Radio's 'Disney Week' tomorrow as local artists make an effort to keep themselves going during challenging times. Photo: YouTube - Credit: Archant

Entertainers are struggling to find work as live performances remain off-limits due to coronavirus - but one vocalist says the public can show their support another way.

Aaron Bolton performing a musical theatre track from his home studio - which is then uploaded to You

Aaron Bolton performing a musical theatre track from his home studio - which is then uploaded to YouTube for his daily followers. Photo: YouTube - Credit: Archant

Aaron Bolton is just one of many performers who have turned to social media during the lockdown as a way of passing time.

And according to him, instead of theatre buffs showing support at the box office, they can help singers-turned-YouTubers across Norfolk by simply subscribing to their channels.

Mr Bolton is a seasoned entertainer, and was due to be performing at Potters Resort and Gorleston's Pavilion Theatre this summer.

But the 34-year-old, who was born in Lowestoft but now lives in Belton, said what had happened to the theatre and entertainment industry over the course of the pandemic was “tragic”, with all of his scheduled shows now postponed until 2021.

Aaron Bolton, a performer living in Belton who is out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo

Aaron Bolton, a performer living in Belton who is out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Aaron Bolton - Credit: Archant

He also said that obtaining furlough pay for casual entertainers, who often don’t have one fixed employer, had made things extremely tough for those in the industry.

But being a “serial optimist” prevented any self-pity, he said, and in the absence of work he has turned to YouTube to earn a living.

Mr Bolton said: “I didn’t want to lie around and feel sorry for myself, so decided to start putting musical theatre covers on my YouTube channel, ABSINGS, for something to do.

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“This originally started out as a bit of a hobby, but as my subscriber levels grew I began posting a daily cover.

“Soon I realised if you get enough subscribers you can actually make money from this through advertising revenue.

“This seems to me one of the only ways to make an income as a vocalist or performer while every avenue of work remains closed off to us.”

He added: “It’s silly, because theatres and entertainment venues can now open, but they can’t host live performances.

“I don’t think theatres will be reopening until next year, and it’s such a shame because the Gorleston Pavilion Theatre, to name just one, is such a gorgeous building.” But reflecting on the here and now, Mr Bolton said: “It’s totally free for YouTube users to subscribe to my channel and others like it, but in doing so they’d be throwing us a lifeline in these hugely challenging times. “It’s just one click of a button, but it might actually change my life for the foreseeable future.”