12 episodes

Honest conversations with professional performing arts workers about the challenges of forging a career in the arts, and strategies for overcoming them. House Lights Up has been produced with the insights, expertise, experience and generous contributions of Greta Bradman, Chris Cheers, Cristina D’Agostino, Monica Davidson, Rachel Dunham, Gabriel Edwards, Susan Eldridge, Matt Heyward, Luke Hunter, Zoe Knighton, Ian Peel, Rob Tremlett (AKA Mantra), Anne Wood and Deone Zanotto. Presented by the Arts Wellbeing Collective - an Arts Centre Melbourne initiative dedicated to promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in the performing arts.

House Lights Up Allie Imlach

    • Arts

Honest conversations with professional performing arts workers about the challenges of forging a career in the arts, and strategies for overcoming them. House Lights Up has been produced with the insights, expertise, experience and generous contributions of Greta Bradman, Chris Cheers, Cristina D’Agostino, Monica Davidson, Rachel Dunham, Gabriel Edwards, Susan Eldridge, Matt Heyward, Luke Hunter, Zoe Knighton, Ian Peel, Rob Tremlett (AKA Mantra), Anne Wood and Deone Zanotto. Presented by the Arts Wellbeing Collective - an Arts Centre Melbourne initiative dedicated to promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in the performing arts.

    12. Self-compassion

    12. Self-compassion

    If You Want Perfection, Rent the Movie

    “Sometimes when we talk about stress or anxiety, we talk about it as something we have to try and get rid of. But being stressed or being anxious isn't something you have to get rid of. It's something we can really listen to and give meaning to, to understand what it's trying to communicate to us about ourselves or about our environment. The key is trying to learn strategies to accept and allow space for emotions as a normal thing that will come up as you try and do something that's important to you.” (Chris Cheers)
    How can we allow space for our emotions without letting stress and anxiety take charge of our lives? This episode of House Lights Up explores the different strategies our interviewees use to manage stress and anxiety in their work. Whether evaluating their own performance, managing how they use their energy throughout the day, or learning to move on from past disappointments – kindness and self-compassion are key.

    • 45 min
    11. People

    11. People

    (Re)Connection

    “A really easy trap to fall into is if your entire world just exists within this bubble of being a performer. If you are getting this form of therapy or this form of validation or this form of security from your expression as an artist...  At the end of the day, it might be a reflection of who you are, but it's not being given to the person you truly are because these people don't know who you are. Only you know that, and the people around you in your personal life know that.” (Mantra)
    It’s a widely accepted notion that a strong social network is a significant protective factor for both mental and physical health and wellbeing. So this episode of House Lights Up explores social connectedness in the arts – including the benefits and pitfalls of the performing arts environment for maintaining social networks within and outside of the industry.

    • 39 min
    10. Courage

    10. Courage

    Breaking it to Make it Work

    “I think there's such a big shift for women after they've had children – coming back to their identity, and realising who they are, and knowing your own value as a human. You're not just a feeding machine, you can do so much more… The best thing that I ever did was jump back into the work pool.” (Deone Zanotto)
    In this episode of House Lights Up, our arts workers describe how they make their career and their family life work together. Psychologist Chris Cheers explains how to let go of external expectations to support the best interests of you and your family. Performer and choreographer Christina D’Agostino shares her experiences of performing just months after becoming a mum for the first time. And we talk about overcoming the trap of parental guilt to maximise the positive impact parenthood can have on your creative practice. 
    With Chris Cheers, Cristina D’Agostino, Monica Davidson, Susan Eldridge, Ian Peel, Mantra, Anne Wood and Deone Zanotto.

    • 37 min
    9. Experience

    9. Experience

    An Unprecedented Pivot

    “If we can stay calm and kind and loving to each other and our community, things are going to be okay. The work we do is needed, it has value and we've got to remain committed… If we haven't got skin in the game, we won't get the work when the work comes back.” (Susan Eldridge)
    The Australian government’s mid-March ban on non-essential public gatherings effectively cancelled the live performance industry indefinitely. In this episode of House Lights Up, our arts workers share their observations and their personal experiences of the COVID-19 shutdown. What has the crisis taught us about the industry and ourselves? What opportunities does this time of upheaval present? And how might performing arts organisations and workers respond in a way that builds the industry’s resistance to the next big disruption?
     With Chris Cheers, Cristina D’Agostino, Monica Davidson, Susan Eldridge, Ian Peel, Mantra, Anne Wood and Deone Zanotto.

    • 27 min
    8. Adaptability

    8. Adaptability

    Putting Down the Feather Duster

    “Working in the performing arts, every job we do is different to the last one. So whether we know it or not were accruing all of these different skills and this really wonderful level of responsivity to anything that's thrown our way... We're constantly developing our ability to respond to new things, which makes us infinitely employable.” (Anne Wood) 
    In this episode of House Lights Up, we explore some of the most important contributors to financial survival in the arts and entertainment industries. Film maker and Creative Plus Business founder Monica Davidson talks about bridging the divide between arts and business training. Orchestral musician and creator of Notable Values Susan Eldridge tells us about changing the game in classical music education. And musical theatre actor Anne Wood shares her tips on how to excel at being unemployed, and the importance of having more than one “Plan A”.
    With Chris Cheers, Cristina D’Agostino, Monica Davidson, Susan Eldridge, Ian Peel, Mantra, Anne Wood and Deone Zanotto.

    • 31 min
    7. Insight

    7. Insight

    Avoiding the Judy Garland Syndrome

    “This will always be a path that requires you to hold yourself to account... That is one of the hardest things that you'll have to do, and it might take you the rest of your life to learn how to do it well… but I think that is the measure of the people who make it and the people who don't.” (Monica Davidson) 
    In this episode of House Lights Up, we consider the role of insight in helping to create a thriving arts career. Our interviewees explain the importance of truly understanding your motivations for pursuing a creative practice, and of identifying goals and values that will help you achieve work that is meaningful to you. 
    With Chris Cheers, Cristina D’Agostino, Monica Davidson, Susan Eldridge, Ian Peel, Mantra, Anne Wood and Deone Zanotto.

    • 35 min

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