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Mental Health in Performing Arts Training: An essential tool for a sustainable career.

The creative industry offers many highs and equally as many lows.

For example:

  • The rush of adrenaline before an audition; the devastation of not booking a job.

  • The insecurity caused by constant questioning of if you are good enough.

  • The wonderful buzz of opening night and an audience's applause.


These high and lows can impact mental well-being.


How do you maintain positive mental health in the rollercoaster ride that is the performing arts world?


As a matter of fact, many artists are prone to depression and mental stress.

Given these points, thriving in a creative life requires an on- going mental health assessment.


Maintaining mental health is an essential tool for tomorrow's creative entrepreneurs.
The Waterfront Theatre School creates a positive environment to support mental health in performing arts training.

How do we do encourage positive mental health at WTS?


In particular:


1. We Get to Know You.

We each have our own story. Your story influences the way you look at and respond to the world you live in. Knowing your story helps us to deeper understand you. Understanding leads to a more caring approach to teaching.


2. We Watch for Signs.

The 3 D's: disengagement, disaffection, disinvestment are clear signs of possible mental illness and or depression.

Note these signs early enough and various ways to support you can be put in place.


3. We have Access to Help.

There is no GPS for life. With this in mind, WTS has an open-door policy where there is always someone for guidance when you need it. Sometimes you may need access to a clinical psychologist, psychological counselor and or psychotherapist. At WTS we have a range of support networks in place to refer you to.


4. We Care.

Your future is our business. You are not just a number to us. You are part of our tribe.


Mental wellbeing is a priority in performing arts training at WTS.
The Waterfront Theatre School reinforces self-care to maintain mental health in performing arts training.

Why the need to change the approach to managing mental health?


Demands on the young professional are greater.

Social media places incredible pressure to achieve perfection and popularity.

Social Media Anxiety leaves young performers feeling insecure and discouraged. They expect instant fame and measure success against more established artists.

• The pandemic has also added to massive feelings of insecurity with regards to finding jobs.


With this mind, WTS works towards positive mental health.


• Our teachers are sensitive to the importance of good mental health. On-going teacher training increases this sensitivity.

• Our teaching concentrates on positive reinforcement of self-esteem in the individual performer. We critique work not the person.

• Our programme caters for individual goals.

• The course ensures that you are equipped with a wide range of skills. We offer a long career as creative entrepreneurs and performers.


To conclude:


Anxiety is a normal response to life’s challenges, but there is a difference between 'jitters' and an overall anxiety disorder. Early intervention in identifying possible mental illness and or depression is key to moving towards sustained well-being.


What is more, at WTS we know mental health is important and believe strongly “Health before Curriculum”. Because of this, our success rate speaks for itself.


References:


https://theconversation.com/out-of-character-how-acting-puts-a-mental-strain-on-performers-86212


https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2018/oct/29/actors-mental-health-issues-milly-thomas-artsminds-talk


https://www.thewonderfulworldofdance.com/dancer-mental-health-former-royal-ballet-dancer-dance-counsellor


https://www.danceplug.com/article/being-a-triple-threat-how-important-is-it-to-have-this-coveted-title


https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/06/30/a-run-down-of-social-medias-effects-on-our-mental-health/?sh=784938412e5a


https://www.layahealthcare.ie/thrive/family/socialmediaanxiety/


https://www.wtschool.co.za/full-time-courses


https://medium.com/lessons-from-theater/everyone-s-a-critic-7a1d33c1226c


https://www.wtschool.co.za/vision-mission