CINCINNATI — One year ago, Shakesperean actress Miranda McGee was raising money to help fight wildfires in her home country of Australia. Then the pandemic hit and things weren't looking up for the woman from down under.
"Last year I was raising money for a cause and this year apparently I am the cause," McGee said.
Live performances with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, where McGee acts, were canceled. Her union's insurance premiums almost tripled, and unemployment benefits were scant when she was taking what small gigs she could find.
"I lead underground brewery tours; I lead walking tours of Over the Rhine," McGee said. "The Cincinnati Zoo contacted me. They have an Australia exhibit. They were like, 'Do you mind doing the TV and radio commercials for it?'"
In the midst of hopping from paycheck to paycheck, McGee received a card from an anonymous fan in the mail one day. Inside the envelope was a card that read, "Here’s a small token of thanks for all the good hard work you have done." The "small token" was the fan's stimulus check.
"I just stood there in shock for about three minutes in my kitchen, and then I kind of dropped down on my knees and just said a prayer of thanks," McGee said. "Just to know there’s people out there during a time of struggle, for them as well, but they’re thinking of other people..."
McGee doesn't know who sent the gift to her. She would like to know who sent it but only to thank them for their act of kindness.