University of Salford drama students have been taking part in new mindful acting classes to help manage their mental health and wellbeing.

Mindful Acting helps students explore the experience of acting through the lens of mindfulness, and aims to raise awareness of mental health and how it can affect people looking who are looking for a career in the arts.

Daniel Bradford, Mindful Acting, said: “I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with them at the beginning of university when it’s a hard transition.

“It’s going to be very stressful at times and I really want to help them to develop some practices that will sustain them and hopefully make it less of a painful experience.”

Until recently, there has been little attention drawn to the mental problems in the acting industry but research widely suggests that people who work in the arts tend to be more prone to depression and anxiety.

Performers are twice as likely to experience depression, according to the Australian Actor’s Wellbeing Study, 2015.

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Many actors report job insecurity and the pressure of not being in work full-time which can make them susceptible to experience mental health problems.

Actors also have to tap into and express emotions required for the role. These can be traumatic as they can trigger past memories and experiences which can have a profound effect on their mental wellbeing.

Daniel said: “Actors can end up becoming some of the most neurotic people there are because the industry encourages a lot of unhealthy attitudes towards one’s self.

“It’s important for actors not to just be equipped in the technique itself but how they relate to acting, so they can have a sustainable career and be able to handle the up’s and downs, so they can have a sustainable career.”

Students explored the experience of acting through the lens of mindfulness. topics of vulnerability, self-consciousness and concentration, as well as the energy and nerves actors have to work with every night when they go out to perform.

Daniel added: “It’s become such a big focus in my life now because it’s been so helpful for people”.

Mindful Acting offers one to one coaching, career coaching suitable for actors of all ages and
abilities, click here to find out more.

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Image credit- Flickr

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