Performing artists add colour, beauty and disturbance to our world. But their inner lives can be complex places, and the research suggests they are at greater risk of mental health difficulties than others. Join psychologist Dr Renée Bazley and Jon Hoevenaars as they talk with guests from the performing arts industry and learn how they pursue their artistry and navigate their mental health.
Katie Elle Jackson
Katie Elle Jackson is a singer, songwriter, actress, pianist and teacher, who has worked across a multitude of genres. She has performed around the world as a corporate, club, wedding and session vocalist, as a cabaret and musical theatre performer, and has taught music and performance for more than 15 years. Katie is a Music Theatre graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art and has Bachelor (Contemporary Voice) and post-grad degrees in Music from the Australian Institute of Music. Her credits include Violet, Hair, Little Egypt's Speakeasy, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Crisis!, Neighbourhood Watch, The Vegetable Plot, Wanted and Wild, Woolworths Carols in the Domain, and she regularly works as a singer for weddings and live events. She was a member of Team Ricky on The Voice Australia, and headlined the New Year's Eve celebrations in Dubai in front of a 100,000 person live audience. As a writer, Katie has seen a number of her works performed at festivals and on stages across Australia. With a score of original songs, her one-woman comedy show, Neighbourhood Watch received critical acclaim in its premiere season in 2018, while her new show Positive recently premiered at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. She is a passionate educator and has taught at a number of the countries top training institutions including the Australian Institute of Music, NIDA, and Tabor College. She currently runs her own performing arts school KEJ Voice Studio in Adelaide and she is passionate about the mental health of performing artists.
Andy Pobjoy is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and business owner from Geelong. Andy's career began performing in pubs and nightclubs from the tender age of 16. Learning the ropes working for colourful nightclub owners such as Stewart Harrison and Darryn Lyons, Andy performed with his band Resurge all over Victoria. It was years later that Andy found his home behind the grand piano, singing songs by request. He spent nearly ten years performing all over the country, living and performing on Hamilton Island and the Gold Coast for months at a time. In 2013, Andy performed on a cruise ship for the first time: an experience which inspired him to open his own cruise-ship style Piano Bar in Geelong. Piano Bar Geelong opened in 2015 as an intimate 50-seat venue, with Andy performing nightly, accompanied by his long-time collaborator, Shandelle McGennisken (Cooke). Piano Bar became an overnight success story twenty years in the making. Within twelve months, Piano Bar outgrew its original location and expanded into the current 200 seat Piano Bar in Malop St. Piano Bar Colac opened its doors in 2019, with locations in Ballarat and Bendigo opening in 2020. Andy continues to perform once a month as a guest headline entertainer on Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.
Annie Reid trained as a classical dancer and performed with Sydney Dance Company and Opera Australia. Until 1983 she worked as a dancer throughout Europe and on returning to Australia moved to the technical side of theatre. Annie became assistant stage manager with Victoria State Opera in 1983 and by 1985 was senior stage manager of the company, responsible for five major opera productions each year as well as regional and national tours of opera and music theatre. Opera and music theatre remain a large part of her freelance work and she is now regularly employed by Opera Australia. In 1989 she began working as a freelance production and stage manager spending 1993 as production coordinator for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and OH&S representative for the technical department. She was involved in the advisory group for the design and technical development of the Iwaki auditorium at ABC Southbank. Annie has been operations manager for the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition every four years since 1995, working closely with ABC Classic as stage manager for their live radio broadcasts. She has also worked as a freelance stage manager for the Melbourne Festival since 1989. Annie is very experienced in the show calling and stage/floor management of large corporate events at most large venues in Melbourne. She was assistant director for the arena version of the opera Carmen in 1990 and show caller for the Victorian State Schools Spectacular (directed by David Atkins) in 1999 at Rod Laver Arena. In 2001, Annie was senior stage manager and show caller for the Centenary of Federation - A Nation United at Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building and in 2005, show caller for the opening ceremony of the Pacific School Games at Princes Park. Other events include: Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony; Australian Grand Prix Ball; Amway Corporation-China; The Prime Minister's Olympic Dinner; AFL Grand Final parade and pre-match entertainment; the Melbourne Cup parade; World Latin Dancesport Championships; and NRL, Super Rugby and A-League presentation at AAMI Park. Each December, she leads a team of 20 stage managers to present the RMIT University Graduation Ceremony at Etihad Stadium. In 2005 Annie was the recipient of the Green Room Award for services to technical theatre. Annie has been part of the Visitor Services Department at Arts Centre Melbourne since 1991and as a freelance senior stage manager she works regularly on many events and concerts in all four of their theatre venues. In 2012 Annie was appointed lecturer in stage management, Victorian College of the Arts School of Production, Melbourne University. She returned to freelance work in 2018 as stage manager, ceremonies for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast; company manager, Australian International Opera Company touring throughout China; show caller, Laver Cup for Tennis Australia in Chicago; and show caller, Australian Open 2019 and 2020 for Tennis Australia in Melbourne.
Emma Hunt began learning the violin at the age of five in her hometown of Geelong. She loved music from a young age, but it wasn't until she began studying music at university that she embraced the violin as her passion. While at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, she studied with William Hennessy, who became one of her most important musical influences, and developed a love of playing orchestral and chamber music. Following her undergraduate studies, she attended the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), under the tutelage of Adam Chalabi. As a student, Emma played with the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Young Australian Concert Artists' Program and the Sydney Sinfonia. She won the C.D. Hume Violin Scholarship and the Australian Youth Classical Music Regional Competition and was a finalist in the ANAM Chamber Music Competition. She currently works as a freelance musician in Melbourne, performing regularly with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria, is in demand as a violin teacher and orchestral tutor and loves to play quartets and other chamber music whenever she gets the chance. In her spare time, she tries to grow edible things in her garden and listen to as much folk music as possible.
Ash Reeder is a Melbourne-born-and-raised musician and multimedia producer. Since completing his formal music studies in the USA and Australia in 1993, he has worked as a composer, arranger, coach and performer on a diverse range of projects and later expanded his career into video production. Since 2002, he has been the Music Director and onstage "Benny" for the internationally acclaimed ABBA tribute show Björn Again, which has allowed him to perform across the globe on some of the world's most iconic stages, and cross paths with a number of iconic high profile performers. He resides in inner Melbourne, has been very happily married to Shirley for 28 years and is the proud Dad of two adult sons, with whom he regularly works in the video production field. He attends City On A Hill church in Melbourne's CBD.
Angourie Rice is an actor whose film credits include Spider-Man: Far From Home and Spider-Man: Homecoming. In 2018 she starred in Every Day from director Michael Sucsy (The Vow, Grey Gardens), adapted from the YA novel by David Levithan, and the period drama Ladies in Black, directed by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Mao's Last Dancer), for which Angourie won the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts (AACTA) and the Film Critics Circle of Australia awards for best actress. Other recent features include Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled, alongside Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kristen Dunst and Elle Fanning. She played a leading role in the feature adaptation of Jasper Jones, directed by Rachel Perkins, and starred in The Nice Guys opposite Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe - from director Shane Black and producer Joel Silver - for which she received uniformly glowing reviews. Australian film work includes Zak Hilditch's These Final Hours, and Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows from David Caesar. Angourie's small screen credits include Mako Mermaids, The Doctor Blake Mysteries and The Worst Year of My Life, Again! From a creative family, Angourie began her career in Perth, Western Australia with several short films and national television commercials. She first came to industry attention at just 11 years old with her lead role in Zak Hilditch's short Transmission for which she won a Best Actress award at St Kilda Film Festival.