Toronto Film School alumnus Zoe Devereaux-Glover knows firsthand just how deep an impact mental health issues can have on artists.
After all, the oftentimes routine-less life of an aspiring actor is one that left her feeling burnt out much of the time – until she learned the seven pillars of wellness, that is.
Now the Class of 2018 Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre graduate is happy to share some of the insights she’s learned with the next generation of artists coming out of TFS during a special upcoming webinar Healthy Habits and Lifestyle Management in the Arts on Wednesday, Nov. 3.
“I hope everybody who attends finds maybe one or two things that really work for them that they can implement in their lives as students, then carry with them out into the world as artists,” said Devereaux-Glover, who recently graduated from a Health, Wellness and Fitness diploma.
Born and raised in Port Hope, Ontario, Devereaux-Glover knew from a young age that she was destined to pursue her passion for the performing arts. After being bit by the acting bug during her debut on-stage community theatre performance at the tender age of four, she enrolled in an Integrated Arts Program at a high school in Peterborough.
While Devereaux-Glover initially thought she might take some time off to travel or do theatre after graduating high school, instead she found herself enrolled at TFS after stumbling across an online ad for the acting program.
“It seemed like the universe was putting me on that path, so I came to Toronto, which was very exciting, did my audition, and I just fell in love with the school – I fell in love with the campus location at Dundas Square, I fell in love with the studios, and with everybody, I talked to,” she said.
“It just seemed like the right fit for me – and it definitely was.”
Now working as an actor represented by Glenn Talent Management, Devereaux-Glover opted to continue her education after graduating from TFS in December 2018 – enrolling in a two-year Health, Wellness and Fitness diploma program.
“I loved school so much when I was at TFS, and I just kind of felt like my educational journey wasn’t over yet,” she said of her decision to study towards becoming a personal trainer and wellness coach – a job she chose for its flexibility and ability to support her acting career in a healthy way.
“It was when I was in my Health & Wellness program that I realized that the things I was learning were tools that I was able to integrate into my career as an artist, that were making me a better artist.”
As an artist, Devereaux-Glover explained, there’s often an undue expectation that you need to push yourself, that you need to pull all-nighters, that you need to struggle for your art – all of which, she realized, were very dangerous habits she was guilty of and which were negatively impacting her mental health.
Using the tools she learned in her Health, Wellness and Fitness program – including various behaviour change principles, and ways to integrate healthy habits and set goals – Devereaux-Glover began to make changes to her own lifestyle and instantly began to see a change for the better.
“I think that creating healthy habits and routine was the real base,” she explained.
“As an artist, you’re so all over the place with your schedule that you never really have a routine as you would with a 9-to-5 job, so finding ways to create that for yourself through this kind of crazy life that you’re trying to navigate is really beneficial and it’s going to help you out a lot.”
Now, she wants to share her mental health toolkit for artists with future graduates of Toronto Film School students during her upcoming webinar.
Attendees will learn about the seven pillars of wellness and various behaviour change principles and will walk away from the session with numerous tips and strategies for developing a healthy lifestyle in the arts.