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BAPAM’S Back to Performance Series: Keeping Mentally Well

11:00am – 1:00pm, Wednesday 4th Aug 2021

BAPAM’s purpose is to improve health in the performing arts and support enhanced performance excellence through well-being and good practice.

As the largest provider of career-specific healthcare to performers in the UK, we are uniquely positioned to bring together expert clinicians, educators, researchers, artists and creators to deliver innovative training to empower the arts community to improve and maintain health throughout our creative work and learning spaces.

This introductory 2-hour session is designed for performing arts professionals and students and outlines risk factors and key strategies to sustain good mental health and wellbeing throughout a demanding career.

The session focuses on evidence-based practical skills and draws from research findings, performance psychology, and proven clinical pathways.

Participants will learn skills for optimal practice including pre and post-performance techniques, how to identify signs of performance and arts-career related mental health problems, how to manage problems including performance anxiety, how to keep mentally well whilst performances are on hold during the pandemic, promoting good health, and where to find help.

Tutor: Fiona Mackenzie

Following graduation from Central School I spent many years working in TiE (Theatre in Education). I also worked in repertory theatre, TV, commercials and extensively as a voice-over artist. I continued to work in the profession until 2011 when I began training as a psychotherapist.

I have been working with actors, dancers, musicians, writers and artists, together with production staff and technical crew, for many years. I enjoy this work immensely and it has become a special interest of mine; identifying the common issues among artists and how I might best use my own experience of the profession and my experience of counselling and psychotherapy to assist them. I have developed this knowledge and experience over the years to include “Know-How” and “Wellbeing” workshops, the most recent of which being “Understanding and Managing Performance and Audition Anxiety”.

Over the years I have been presented with issues including self-confidence, procrastination, self-esteem, perfectionism, unemployment, issues around success and failure, writer’s block, performance and audition anxieties, phobias, criticism, managing injury, issues around ageing, career change and career development. However, in my experience, not all clients present with issues relating to their career.

I have particular experience in working with performance and audition anxiety, and anxiety, depression and panic attacks in general.

More information for clients in London:

Clients in Liverpool, Manchester and Cheshire:

Research looking at health issues within the performing arts workforce consistently finds that 70-75% of our population report both mental and physical health problems, which is much higher than the national average. We are lucky to be working with a number of health and wellbeing experts who can offer training to performers across the UK, with the aim of reducing the levels of poor health and supporting performers to have a sustainable career. Working with our partners in Equity, Musicians’ Union, Help Musicians UK and Performing Arts Education Providers – who are very kindly giving us free use of training venues – we are expanding our national training programme supporting healthy performance in the UK.