Danny O'Brien is a stand-up comic
As a touring comedian, my career didn't slow down in this pandemic as much as it came to a screeching halt. With most of our live diary wiped clean until the autumn, at the earliest, it has been tough and a huge loss financially. I'm lucky that I don't have any kids but I was saving to buy a house. If I hadn't been doing that I don't know how I would have managed.
The self-employed are a subculture in Ireland and there are myths around how performers make money - for years I'd hear, 'oh you're a comedian, you don't have to pay tax', but that's only applicable if you write a film script or a play. My income has completely stopped.
I rent my home and I thought about contacting my landlord but I would just have to pay that back so it doesn't really fix anything. I'd rather just suffer through it and come out the other side. When it all kicked off, I had €3,000 worth of flights booked.
I'm worried about whether people will want to go back into theatres. We're a very socially intimate country, the whole atmosphere of pubs and live gigs, that's at the heart of what Ireland is. Performers have had their incomes wiped out but we contribute so much to the country and I hope when politicians are deciding what recovery will look like they bear that in mind.