I have held workshops at theatres, dance colleges, actor studios, art retreats, schools and football clubs nationwide.
I have had extensive experience working as a performer – a Top 10 Music Recording Artist, Producer and Composer, as well as an EPL Premiership Football Academy Youth Development Coach – been the Behavioural Therapist at the Brit School for Performing Arts & Technology in London, as well as counselling students at Performers College for the Performing Arts.
I wish I knew then what I know now!
Check out these 2-hour workshops designed for Performing Arts Colleges and Universities, and Sports Players, Coaches and Teams.
“The Fear of Failure” - Overcoming Performance Anxiety.
What makes performers anxious, so they can’t perform at their best? This workshop looks at what anxiety is and what it is doing to the body and the brain. Learning how to handle stress and uncertainty will help overcome the fear of failing, leading to peak performance.
Dealing with Pressure - from Self, Peers, Parents and Coaches/Teachers.
Workshop looking at the pressures to perform that come from all and any angle. How to harness this pressure and use it to your advantage. Helping performers to help themselves and each other in their development, so that everyone can benefit too.
The Secrets of Performing with Confidence.
Confidence is all about finding a ‘constant self’, so this workshop looks at how performers prepare and practice, their self-image, self-awareness and self-esteem, so they can deal better with managing their adrenalin, overcome stress and inevitable burnout.
Effective Mentoring for Youth Team Football.
This workshop looks at what mentoring is, how to assess where players are at, create a development plan and set goals. It points out the importance of constant reviewing and the ending of the mentoring process.
Working with Footballers with Dyslexia.
There is growing evidence that sport is a productive path for many dyslexics. Children who have trouble reading often possess superior visual-spatial understanding. Sport is one area where dyslexics can compete with their classmates on the same level, so as they do well in a sport, the desire to excel grows as they see the benefits to their self-esteem, and subsequently gain the approval of their peers.
This workshop focuses on what dyslexia is, how it affects learning and development, and how coaches can most effectively communicate with young footballers who have dyslexia.
Famous players with dyslexia include Paul Merson, Dennis Bergkamp, Steven Naismith and Sam Allardyce.
“We didn't all grow up like you did” - The Need for Different Thinking in Coaching.
Using methods from Transactional Analysis, this workshop looks at ways in which everyone develops their thinking, feeling and behaviour and how we often work in different and conflicting ways. This highlights the need for new, different thinking in the way we see teams, as well as our work with individuals.
Dr Simon Rice, clinical psychologist
"Coaches focus a lot on resilience. At the same time they are having a battle [determining] how to [allow athletes] to be vulnerable. It is an area of contradictory messages."
Bill Nighy, actor
"The trouble is that confidence is a movable feast."
Kevin Love, basketball player
"Mental health isn’t just an athlete thing. What you do for a living doesn’t have to define who you are. This is an everyone thing. No matter what our circumstances, we’re all carrying around things that hurt — and they can hurt us if we keep them buried inside."
Olly Murs, singer-songwriter-television presenter
"I was doing these crazy 16-hour days, seven days a week, and the reality was I couldn’t handle it but I couldn’t admit that to myself, let alone anyone else…I was like a zombie but underneath it all I was just worrying about what was going to happen to me and I was actually depressed."
Brad Pitt, actor-producer
"I used to deal with depression, but I don’t now, not this decade – maybe last decade. But that’s also figuring out who you are. I see it as a great education, as one of the seasons or a semester – ‘This semester I was majoring in depression’."
"If there’s anyone out there going through it [depression], I think for them to see that I went through it would help. Because for a long time I used to think that soldiers don’t go through that. You know? Like, strong people in life, the bravest, the most courageous people, they don’t go through that, they just get on with it. Like any person I admire or look up to hasn’t felt like this. They just pick themselves up, you know what I mean and that’s not the case… So for me it was like this is what I’ve dealt with… I felt it’s important for me to let people know that."
Kristen Bell, actor-singer-director
"For me, depression is not sadness. It’s not having a bad day and needing a hug. It gave me a complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness. Its debilitation was all-consuming, and it shut down my mental circuit board. I felt worthless, like I had nothing to offer, like I was a failure. Now, after seeking help, I can see that those thoughts, of course, couldn’t have been more wrong."
Kristin Stewart, actor
"Between ages 15 and 20, it was really intense. I was constantly anxious. I was kind of a control freak. If I didn't know how something was going to turn out, I would make myself ill, or just be locked up or inhibited in a way that was really debilitating."
Lili Reinhart, actor
"I had so much anxiety booking work, and I spent almost five months holed up in this bedroom in this house just feeling anxious, waiting for my next audition, and not doing anything else. It was the most miserable time of my life."
"I have anxiety attacks, constant panicking on stage. My heart feels like it's going to explode because I never feel like I'm going to deliver, ever."
"Now that I was famous, I was afraid I would never find somebody again to love me for me. I was afraid of making new friends. Then one day my mom said: 'Why do you think a person wouldn't love you? Don't you know how smart and sweet and beautiful you are?' That's when I decided I only have two choices: I can give up, or I can go on."
Emma Stone, actor
"I was a very, very, very anxious child and I had a lot of panic attacks. The first time I had a panic attack, I was sitting in my friend's house and I thought the house was burning down. I called my mum and she brought me home, and for the next three years it just wouldn't stop."
Taylor Swift, singer-songwriter
"I'm always terrified that something's going to happen. And I'm not going to be able to do this anymore and it's all going to end in one day. Part of the fear comes from loving this so much and not wanting to lose it."
Mel B, singer
"Sometimes it is too hard to cope with all the emotions I feel. But the problem has never been about sex or alcohol — it is underneath all that. I am fully aware I have been at a crisis point. No one knows myself better than I do, but I am dealing with it. It has been unbelievably traumatic reliving an emotionally abusive relationship and confronting so many massive issues in my life."
JK Rowling, author
"I think I had tendencies toward depression from quite young. It became really acute when I was sort of twenty-five to twenty-eight. It was a dark time. It’s that absence of feeling - and it’s even the absence of hope that you can feel better. And it’s so difficult to describe to someone who’s never been there because it’s not sadness. It was because of my daughter that I went and got help."
"I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle. I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well."
Jonathan Van Ness, hairdresser-television host
"I was 25, and I was watching my stepdad pass away from cancer. I was in yoga every day, I was in therapy, and I got on and off medication the same year. When I got off of them, I quit cold turkey. It was, like, six months of psychotic depression. So, don’t do that. If you do decide to get off, definitely wean yourself off. The biggest thing about self-care is to be gentle with yourself and remember there’s no one way up that mountain."
Kristen Bell, actor-singer-director
"I felt plagued with a negative attitude and a sense that I was permanently in the shade. I’m normally such a bubbly, positive person, and all of a sudden I stopped feeling like myself. Anyone can be affected, despite their level of success or their place on the food chain. In fact, there is a good chance you know someone who is struggling with some form of mental illness. So why aren’t we talking about it?"
Chrissy Teigen, model-television presenter-author
"I had everything I needed to be happy. And yet, for much of the last year, I felt unhappy. I started sharing the news with friends and family - I felt like everyone deserved an explanation, and I didn’t know how else to say it other than the only way I know: just saying it. It got easier and easier to say it aloud every time."
Bruce Springsteen, singer-songwriter
"I have come close enough to where I know I am not completely well myself. I’ve had to deal with a lot of it over the years, and I’m on a variety of medications that keep me on an even keel; otherwise I can swing rather dramatically and... just the wheels can come off a little bit."
Robin Williams, actor
"I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it's like to feel absolutely worthless and they don't want anyone else to feel like that."
Felicia Day, actor-writer-producer
"My advice would be to talk to people about [your anxiety]. Don’t feel alone in it. Treat your body as if you are another person that you need to take care of and heal."
Lena Dunham, actor-writer-director-producer
"I feel like there’s this glamour… where the woman who has a psychological illness is in fur, laid out on a chaise. Whereas in reality, a woman with mental illness or… is struggling with her psychological wellbeing is often in sweats and in a T-shirt that used to belong to her dad and is covered in food bits."
Amanda Seyfried, actor-singer
"You don’t see the mental illness: It’s not a mass; it’s not a cyst. But it’s there. Why do you need to prove it?"
Zayn Malik, singer-songwriter
"Even when you know you want to do something, know that it will be good for you, that you’ll enjoy performing when you’re doing it, the anxiety is telling you a different story. It’s a constant battle within yourself."
Wentworth Miller, actor
"It’s not something they’re going to teach you in school - start the work of loving yourself."
Dolly Parton, singer-songwriter
"Find out who you are and do it on purpose."
Glenn Close, actor
"What mental health needs is more sunlight, more cantor, more unashamed conversation."