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No one going to compensate freelancers for this, says actor Tõnis Niinemets

Tõnis Niinemets.
Tõnis Niinemets. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Actor and Association of Estonian Actors (ENL) supervisory board member Tõnis Niinemets said that in the current situation, actors are largely temporarily laid off, and that freelancers are facing a particularly difficult situation.

"The other half of the family who aren't actors might be fortunate, because their husbands or wives are at home in the evenings again," Niinemets said on Vikerraadio's morning program "Vikerhommik." "On the other hand, the situation is a bit heartbreaking, as scheduled work is being canceled, and nobody is going to compensate it directly."

According to Niinemets, what will happen by fall is still very much up in the air. As he himself has had a great deal of work in recent years then he will get by, but he stressed that freelancers' positions are much trickier.

"Nobody is going to compensate this situation for them," he said. "If there are freelancers acting in a state theater cast or other groups and a period of rehearsals is canceled, then no one has the money to pay them for this." He did add, however, that freelancers' operational support could help in this situation.

Niinemets will be forgoing nearly 30 performances this spring. As the current situation is expected to last for some time, solutions must be considered, he said.

The actor hopes that theatergoers won't return already purchased tickets, but rather hang on to them and use them to attend a performance in the fall instead. "Organizers are first and foremost trying to figure out new dates which can be attended with already purchased tickets," he added.

"I hope everyone has a peaceful summer and is able to relax," Niinemets said. "I had taken the summer off to rest, but now it looks as though I'll be resting from now through September."

If all goes well, however a busy schedule awaits him this fall.

"I am a dog owner, and all dog owners who have to spend time in town are in a good position; they can at least go out during this time of day," the actor said, adding that among other things to do, he spends his free time walking his dog.

"There is no reason anymore why something should be left undone at home," he added.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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