Isolation Drills: Will Brown (Astronaut Jumpshot)

Like the majority of you, all of us in the Philadelphia area are staying at home, learning to adapt to our “new normal.” MAGNET is checking in with local musicians to see how and what they’re doing during this unprecedented time. Photos by Chris Sikich.

Brown: Being an artist is probably going to be categorized as “Pre-COVID” and “Post-COVID.”

I’m sure I’m not the only person to feel like I took everything before this for granted. I had no idea how much my sanity was maintained by just dropping in at random shows or jamming on two chords for 30 minutes.

Now, I light up a disco ball in my room and play along to entire Grateful Dead shows hoping to get just a fraction of the feeling of the old world. The only upside to this is that no one can tell me when my guitar solo ends. It never ends.

Some days, I wake up and feel like this is absolutely unbearable. Other days, I wake up at 6 a.m., write three songs, bike 20 miles and reverse-engineer Chipotle. The scariest part is waking up and feeling like I have no control over which type of day it will be.

I feel like I’ve gained a newfound understanding of the source of my creativity, and I’m taking more steps to respect and nurture it. It’s a lot easier to rationalize purchasing candles and houseplants in bulk when you frame them as “creative expenses.”

In reality, the bad days are bad, but the good days are of a very unique quality and I don’t want to waste them. There have been growing pains over these past few months, but at the end of them, I can say I’ve come to learn about and love myself more than ever before.

Here’s a list of weird habits and hobbies I’ve acquired:

• Eating a mini cucumber every morning
• Talking to my plants 
• Putting dryer sheets in all of my drawers
• Saying things like “the day is almost over” at 10 a.m.
• Learning Van Halen songs, except for the solos
• Rewatching entire basketball games 
• Deep frying
• Playing guitar along to spaghetti Westerns
• Facebook stalking COVID deniers and trying to figure out who hurt them
• Playing full, 18-hole games of Wii golf
• Moisturizing