“Noah Watts is a Native American [Crow] TV, film, and theater actor who’s best known for his onscreen roles in ‘Ringer,’ ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ and ‘Skinwalkers.’ He is also widely known for his voiceover work on the video game franchise ‘Assassin’s Creed…’ But COVID-19 brought those plans to a halt…‘And so, with that, income goes down,’ he added. Then in January, Watts received a $2,000 check that helped him make rent and pay for his groceries.” G. D’Elia, ICT, MAY 25, 2021
Excerpt:Boosting Indigenous creativity, By Gianluca D’Elia, ICTMAY 25, 2021
“Once he learned that the coronavirus could compromise his lungs, Watts, 37, who has asthma, barely left his Billings, Montana, home. He stopped taking new gigs or roles, except for voiceover work on a video game that he could record remotely.
‘I basically had to shut in for a while,’ Watts recalled during a recent Zoom interview, ‘I couldn’t audition for any films. I was auditioning quite a bit when I went to L.A. in 2019. I couldn’t do any of those roles, any theater productions, anything where I had to be live and be around anyone else.’
Watts is one of more than 225 recipients of a grant from the Natives in Entertainment COVID-19 Relief Fund, created in a partnership between the Native American Media Alliance and Netflix to support Indigenous writers, directors, actors and other industry professionals who lost jobs to the pandemic.
Ian Skorodin, Choctaw, a filmmaker who is the director of strategy for the alliance, said he encourages all Natives who have lost work to apply, even if it just provides some short-term relief. More than $450,000 worth of grants distributed as of April, and there are still more grants available…’While this amount isn’t life-changing, what we’ve been hearing is that it’s providing an adequate amount to get people through beyond what they were expecting. For makeup artist Mayera Abeita, a citizen of Laguna Pueblo, the COVID-19 relief grant helped cover preschool tuition and enrollment for her 4-year-old son. In March 2020, Abeita, 43, had just started working on a TV show pilot that was quickly shut down when the pandemic reached California. That marked the beginning of a six-month period in which the Los Angeles-based artist couldn’t find work…‘However strenuous it was, there were some little things that I was happy to be around for,’ she said.
Watts used his pandemic downtime to go back to school at Little Big Horn College, a tribal community college on the Crow reservation in Montana, for education and Crow Studies. The end goal, he said, is to teach music and acting to Crow youth and fill a gap left by public schools that tend to focus more on athletics than the arts. He said his determination to work with kids inspired him to leave Los Angeles and return to Montana in 2020. Watts, who recently got the COVID-19 vaccine, said he looks forward to working on film and theater projects with members of the Crow tribe.”
For More information Visit: Natives in Entertainment COVID-19 Relief Fund,