Less than a week ago, Keith Brown and the Showtime Attractions performers set up with their big top in Majura Park, were excited to begin their Jurassic Creatures show.
Now, not only has the beginning of the show's Canberra run been indefinitely postponed but employees have been stood down and are seeking support during the lockdown period.
"As the director of the company, unfortunately, I've got to make pretty harsh decisions," says Showtime Attractions managing director Brown.
"Everyone, unfortunately, has lost their positions, because we're a lot of overseas guests and everything here as well.
"With big live entertainment and not a lot of support, it's very hard for us. But then you've got a lot of local people have lost their jobs as well. We're in the same kind of position. There is a lot of people who lost their positions and have been stood down."
The performers are no strangers to lockdown. Since the beginning of the pandemic, they have spent 348 days in lockdown. In that time, they had little financial support.
"Half of our people didn't even get Jobkeeper because they're overseas guests, so we had to support them and put food on the table," Brown says.
"As a company, we got no support with registrations, insurance. A lot of other divisions, such as ballets and major ticketed events - they got support, but we didn't get anything in that nature. We didn't get any relief in the area.
"We don't know what's going to happen this time around."
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Up until last week's lockdown announcement, Showtime Attractions was having a good run in Canberra.
Thousands of people had been to see the Sesame Street show, the extended season being the first in Australia to feature characters from the beloved childhood staple.
The plan was to stay in Canberra and open Jurassic Creatures, a show that was to feature an animatronics exhibition and a Paw Patrol show. It was to be the lifeline for a company that has already had to shut offices internationally and still has a Brisbane-based administration team to support.
Now, all they can do is wait and prepare in any way they can, for when they get the chance to open again.
"We're kind of stuck. We can't travel anywhere - just like anybody else, we can't get exemptions. Yes, our house is on wheels, but it's no different for anyone else at the moment - we can't move the house across the border," Brown says.
"We've tried to prepare ourselves for an opening as much as we can. And we're still going to exercise each day - that's one of the big things because they're performers and they must exercise every single day.
"Even though the gyms are all closed, all the trapeze artists still going to build their muscles up every day, they still need to do a full workout. So it's just working that out as well."
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