“My last job was March 11th. It’s been a bit of an adjustment from working too much for years, to instantly not at all,” says Helms. “But as the leader of my family, I am focusing on holding it all together.”
Audio Engineer and Local 122 member, Nowell Helms says he’s thankful to the IATSE for the inclusion of entertainment workers in the CARES Act.
“Making sure the entertainment community was included has been helpful during these strange times,” says Helms.
As a member of FEMA’s CERT program, Helms has been dedicating his time by working with Feeding San Diego Food Bank.
“Every Saturday morning over 200 cars line up at the SDCC Stadium at 4:30AM, we arrive at 7:00AM and begin maintaining the order of the lanes and distributing food into people’s cars,” he added. “This has been our ninth Saturday in a row, along with the Labor Council distributing meals. We’ve become the model for feeding distributions.”
Helms says his Local is also working with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union to help members of other unions with food during this difficult time.
“For two days out of the week, food is distributed to members of Local 122 and the other day is for members of other unions,” he added.
Helms says he’s very impressed with how his fellow brothers and sisters have all come together during the pandemic.
“I’m so impressed with everything we have been doing together as a community and how we’re giving back,” he added. “Being a stagehand has been the perfect training for the volunteer work during this time. My volunteering is what is keeping me together, it’s the feeling of that comradery.”
In the meantime, Helms says this pandemic has encouraged him to begin working on other endeavors as well.
“I’ve taken this time to begin building my pool business, I’m spending more time with my family and staying healthy,” he added. “My hope is that all of us in the entertainment community come back stronger than we ever have been before.”