Stars unite for Out From Under

OFU_Silvie PaladinoStars of the Australian entertainment industry will come together at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne on Monday 21 September in an unprecedented response to the issue of mental health. Out From Under is an evening aimed at removing the stigma surrounding mental health within the entertainment industry by bringing it out of the shadows.

Hosted by Julia Zemiro, directed by Kelley Abbey, and musical direction by Chong Lim, the evening will feature performances from some of Australia’s most talented artists from all sectors of the arts community. Confirmed artists and presenters include iOTA, Daniel MacPherson, Dami Im, Debra Byrne, Silvie Paladino, Michael Cormick, Esther Hannaford, Christie Whelan-Browne, Loren Hunter, Paul Malek, Rohan Browne, Fernando Mira, Aaron Mendoza, Kevin Nugara, Joe Accaria and Verity Hunt-Ballard. The evening will also include a very special performance by The Australian Ballet choreographed by Company member Alice Topp.

Out From Under is not only an evening of entertainment, but one of education and awareness. Joining the performers onstage will be psychologists and leading experts in mental health, to help recognise the warning signs and symptoms, and how to assist. Prominent psychologist and mental health advocate Dr Michael Carr-Gregg will take part in a round table conversation with panellists, including psychologist Lucinda Sharp.

Lucinda Sharp danced with The Australian Ballet for 10 years and now combines her work in private practice with her role at The Australian Ballet as Student Health and Welfare Director, helping young dancers prepare for the emotional rigours of the dance profession. Lucinda has been instrumental in changing the culture of elite dance training in Australia and around the world.

As one of Australia’s leading child and adolescent psychologists and Managing Director of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg plays a key role in leading and implementing the Centre’s digital education program both in Australia and internationally, giving him particular insight into the valuable role that technology can play in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental health problems.

Host Julia Zemiro will also be talking to some of Australia’s most acclaimed performers and mental health ambassadors, as they share their own personal stories of struggle and triumph.

“Watching a friend’s struggle and my inability to assist and help, I decided it was time to begin an open dialogue about the issue of mental health within our industry,” says Producer Matthew Henderson. “The recent statistics about anxiety, depression and suicide are staggering, and my hope for Out From Under is to begin a process where we are more aware of each other and more informed to do something to help.”

The rate of suicide amongst artists is more than double that of the general population. Until now, the high incidence of mental health and suicide across the Australian entertainment industry has gone unrecognised. Entertainment Assist, in partnership with Victoria University, is conducting a world-first research project, Pride, Passion & Pitfalls: Working in the Australian Entertainment Industry, to study all sectors of the industry, including performers, backstage crews, technicians, camera crews, producers and directors.

Entertainment Assist’s extensive research has included nearly 3000 participants. Some of the findings from the first phase of research include:

  • More than a third of performing artists, 25% of industry support workers (including directors, producers, stage managers, sound/lighting technicians, roadies and crew) reported mental health problems
  • 25% of performing artists have attempted or considered suicide
  • Industry workers do not know how to seek support, nor do they know how to talk about mental health with colleagues/peers they may be concerned about
  • Performing artists live much shorter lives, on average, than the rest of the working community
  • Performing artists receive an average income of $44,600, even though the average Australian salary is $78,800 (according to ABS)

Funds raised from this event will help Entertainment Assist support the mental health of Australian entertainment industry workers. Tickets are now on sale!

Out From Under
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Exhibition Street, Melbourne
Performance: Monday 21 September 2015 – 7.30pm
Information and Bookings: www.ticketek.com.au

Image: Silvie Paladino

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