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As Columbus entertainers prepared for warm weather and folks returning to the bars, COVID-19 came in and put it to a halt. The bars being closed indefinitely not only impacts owners, servers, and bartenders, it impacts the performers who rely on these places as a platform to showcase their talents. When folks can't come support local entertainers, what can they do?
What if they bring their talents to them? That's what many Columbus entertainers are doing during social distancing. While "work from home" wasn't much an option before this, comedians such as Amber Falter and Ian Miller are taking to Instagram Live and other streaming platforms to perform.
The first virtual show the two did was with Alexis Nelson of BarkBox, and admittedly, they were a little nervous about not having an audience for feedback.
"I was actually scared to start," Miller said. "Jokes don’t have what I call 'standalone timing.' You need a give and take with the audience, you build it into your jokes. The thought of telling jokes without immediate feedback was terrifying."
The two said the show went great and it didn't take long for both of them to enjoy streaming their comedy. Falter quickly did another virtual show, A Hamantha and Brisket Comedy Hours, with Samantha Sizemore and Bridjet Mendy themed around dating stories via Zoom. Miller, on the other hand, started a weekly story telling show on his Twitch channel Glass Cannon Comedy.
Falter, co-host of ACLU Stand-Up For Choice, says there's even been some silver linings to streaming her comedy.
"I was joking with one of my friends that is always like, 'Hey, I'm going to make it to the show! Can't wait to see you at the show!' and then they never make it out," Falter laughed. "Now you have no excuse, honey!"
As for the future ACLU Stand-Up For Choice comedy events, Falter said she and others involved, such as co-host Pat Deering, are figuring out how to do so through streaming.
Miller said he has seen many of his shows canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. He had six shows slated across 13 days, all of which have been canceled. Additionally, his monthly story telling show as well as Glass Cannon's quarterly-themed shows are suspended.
"It’s been rough. There may not have been of ton of Columbus comics “paying the bills” with comedy, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t felt the impact," Miller said "Times are tough, and it’s really hard to have a side hustle of any kind when you know leaving your house could put yourself and other in danger."
And that's why he believes it's so important to support entertainers in anyway you can. Whether that be through a share or follow on social media, every little bit helps grow their platform.
Falter echoed this sentiment, too.
"I want this to become a source of income and I've been extremely, extremely grateful for the people that have even sent like $2," she said. "Or not even that, if they just followed me on Instagram or told me I had a good set. [By just] saying, "Hey that was really fun, thanks so much," that alone is making me super emotional."
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As Ohio enters into a new month of social distance and only essential businesses operating, some financial relief from the Coronavirus Stimulus Package could be arriving as early as next week.
To better understand the ins-and-outs of this stimulus package, we've pooled together this helpful guide from national publications. Read below to see who qualifies for what in the package, how much to expect, when to expect it, and what steps you need to take to make sure you receive your money.
Do I qualify for payment?
Per the Los Angeles Times, there are many variables to who qualifies for payments. The amount of your payment will depend on your income reported in 2018. Individuals who earn less than $75,000 a year can expect a $1,200 check while individuals earning $99,000 or more would receive no check. Individuals who fall in between these two totals will have their payment prorated based on their income.
That math breaks down to $50 less for every $1,000 earned over $75,000. So a person earning $80,000 would get a check of $950; a person earning $90,000 would get a check of $450; and a person earning $98,000 would get a check of $50.— Matt Stieb, How and When Can Americans Access the $1,200 Coronavirus Stimulus Checks? for New York Magazine
Additionally, married folks who earn a combined total of less than $150,000 can expect a $2,400 check with an additional $500 per child younger than 17-years-old. If a parent were to file under "head of household," they would be eligible for the $1,200 check plus the additional $500 per child younger than 17 if they earn less than $112,500 per year. This head of household check is prorated up to individual folks who earn more than $136,500. However, married folks who earn a combined total of more than $198,000 would not be eligible for a stimulus check.
Other people who do not qualify for the check include adult dependents, college students, elderly or disabled folks, and children age 17 and 18, reports The Wall Street Journal.
How do I receive this?
The first step, according to New York Magazine, is having a social security number. If you have this, you don't need to apply. The only thing you need to ensure is that the IRS has your bank account on file in order to send you the payment through direct deposit. If you filed your taxes and elected to use direct deposit, this should already be set up. It's important to note that if your payments are sent through mail, it could take up to five months.
Additionally, if you are receiving veteran benefits or Supplemental Security income, you might need to file to receive your payment, per The Wall Street Journal.
Will I have to pay this back?
To put it bluntly, no. Per Business Insider, the stimulus check will be tax free to Americans.