The Performing Arts – Music, Dance, Drama – have always been highly competitive and stressful sectors to train for and break into. Fierce competition, frequent knock-backs and disappointments, and the necessity to ‘bare your soul’ in public day-in-day-out really take their toll.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, job opportunities and career prospects in the Performing Arts sector have been decimated, leaving students and recent graduates in an even more vulnerable position when trying to break into these careers.
The isolation brought by successive lockdowns, and the switch to online learning in Higher Education, has left more young performers vulnerable to mental health struggles, and lacking the resilience that is needed to succeed in their careers. Universities and Conservatoires rightly provide comprehensive mental health support for students, but these services have been stretched by the Covid-19 crisis. Support service capacity is an issue for the students who make themselves known to their institutions, but there is also a concern that many other students are struggling in silence, leaving universities both struggling to cope with the students who self-report, and worrying about those who may not.
The time to act is now. In partnership with business psychologist Dannielle Haig, we are setting up a support programme specifically for students who are training for professional careers in the Performing Arts, and the lecturers and student services staff who support them.
The Palladium resilience programme will help students both during and beyond their studies, supporting their transition into the working world, and building the self sufficiency and resilience that is important for success.
If you are a Lecturer or Student Support professional at a University or Conservatoire, or a student or recent graduate in the Performing Arts, then we want to hear from you! Join our discussion to receive support and advice, and help us create a programme which works for you.