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Daily distraction: Drawing lessons, karaoke parties, comedy

Welcome to your daily distraction, our recommendations for ways to stay engaged and entertained while we socially distance ourselves to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can find our past recommendations here; many of the opportunities we’ve highlighted are ongoing.

Hope you had a restful weekend. The week is kicking off anew, and even though we’re staying inside, there’s much to look forward to.

1) Give art a try — with some professional guidance

Learn how to draw a hyper-realistic rhino or get a grasp on the basics on color theory and mixing with artist Matt Fussell’s select free drawing lessons, which range from one-hour to 10-hour courses. If you want to be the next Stan Lee, comic book pro Paul Allor, scribe of “GI Joe” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” is offering “Free [Comic] Script Critiques During Social Distancing.”. And if you have little ones hyped for Pesach, why not check out these easy Seder plate crafts and matzo covers?

2) Watch a comedy special

One thing Netflix doesn’t get enough credit for is reviving the Borscht Belt — virtually. Specials by funny Jews Marc Maron, Iliza Shlesinger, Todd Glass, Amy Schumer, Ari Shaffir and Joe Mande are all on the platform. Maron’s recently-released latest special highlights the Jewish propensity for prophecy and comic book-creativity under threat of pogrom. Schumer talks about pregnancy while pregnant (we know, Ali Wong did it first) and Joe Mande recalls a time he nearly ruined Hanukkah. These picks are all fairly R-rated, but if you’re into the clean stuff, there’s always Jerry Seinfeld.

3) Have a dance or karaoke party on Zoom

Just because you’re cooped up doesn’t mean you should miss a chance to sing, dance and make a fool of yourself in front of friends. Over Zoom, you can connect with pals and get down with a group-curated Spotify playlist. If you’re more in the mood for singing, you can always host a karaoke party through the use of YouTube’s many instrumental tracks. (Credit to Vulture’s Madison Malone Kircher, who helpfully outlined the logistics of her own friend group’s karaoke bash here.) Just make sure you don’t overuse “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture fellow. He can be reached at [email protected].


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