The effects of Covid rules has left thousands of performers unemployed indefinitely. This uncertainty, matched with the isolated nature of quarantine, has left many to deal with a myriad of turbulent thoughts and fearing the state of their mental health. ThePalaceOfTheDogs met with creators of Battle Of Thoughts, Anne-Christelle Zanzen (Director) and Bree Smith (Choreographer), to talk about their inspiration for collaborating on this motivational film. Discussing how unifying while the theatre industry is dormant, can cement the change that performers need once the industry is re-established. Check out the video below:
Tell me about the inspiration for the video?
Bree: When the affects of quarantine had directly affected the livelihood of performers, I wanted to do something that would encourage them. I wanted to collaborate on something that was not only entertaining, but something impactful and uplifting. A Battle Of Thoughts is something we’re all going through right now and something that we can unite on.
How would you like the message of this video to impact the industry?
Bree: As much as I love the industry, it is very cut throat and I don’t believe there is enough being done to look after our mental health and well being. When you are physically injured on a show, you’re given physio and the time you need to heal that injury. But the same response is not reflected with mental health, when it can equally effect an artists performance – if not more. So I’d like to see more resource and support from our industry in terms of mental wellbeing.
Anne: I think that it’s important that we treat our performers as humans and not just a business of talent. The two cannot be removed from each other, as no two performers can do the exact same thing and I think its our duty to care for the individual. That is what we implemented in the process of making the video.
How has the process of making the video helped you cope with quarantine?
Bree: This project really gave me something to work towards and something to look forward to. Rules of lockdown meant that all of my work had gone and this project created an opportunity for another outlet. Also due to the nature and my involvement (choreographer) I was able to cultivate this method of working with other artists, that Anne mentioned before and that is something I’m eager to implement when we come out of lockdown.
Anne: Not only has this process served us, but it has served everyone involved. Quarantine for many is literal isolation and this gave us an excuse to get connected and collaborate with our creative peers. We wanted to give this time a sense of purpose.
In the piece your choice of music has a connection to faith, where does this stem from?
Anne: Myself and Bree are christians and our outlet is prayer which is why the song connected with us so much; But our intended purpose of the theme, is the pursuit of faith and hope that we can all make it through this time together.
Interview and words by Daniel Bailey