Performance to help performers
Te Pou Theatre will be filled with the voices of Auckland’s top singers this October for a one night only performance to cement the launch of a new initiative Whāriki Hauora (Wellbeing for Performers), which kicks off the annual Atawhai Festival.
Presented by Sharu Loves Hats, in association with b.terongopai.t, Black Dog Relief: Souls of Solidarity Cabaret brings together various artists to raise funds for Whāriki Hauora, specifically being created to help support performers needing counselling. Artistes include Caitlin Smith, Adam Burrell (K Rd Strip), Borni Terongopai Tukiwaho (How to Murder Your Wife, Black Dog Relief Auckland 2015) and Alexandra Grice (Sweeney Todd, Addams Family and Hair) and is emceed by Nev aka Ascia Maybury (Step Dave I & II, Brokenwood Mysteries 3) accompanied by Mark Bradley (Evita).
Black Dog Relief: Souls of Solidarity Cabaret, that closes the Atawhai Festival, follows on from the original Black Dog Relief charity events in Auckland and Wellington presented by Sharu Loves Hats, that raised over $8,500 for the Mental Health Foundation last year.
Whāriki Hauora was formed from the collective concern of an industry that saw people in need not reaching out for help. A small representative steering group reached out to local professional mental health peer-support organisation, Mind and Body to set up a specialised service to help performers that may be struggling with a difficult time in their lives.
Whāriki Hauora steering group member and CEO of Changing Minds Taimi Allan says, “Working in the entertainment industry can be hard, we acknowledge the unique challenges performers have and are committed to treating the mental health of our peers seriously.
“Through our partners in both the entertainment and mental health sectors Whāriki Hauora will be alongside you in your wellness journey, helping you plan for greater wellbeing and giving you practical support with your daily living until you get back on track and are able to live the life you want. Whether that be as simple as a cuppa with a “buddy” performer, or anonymous peer support counselling.”
A group of actors and other industry professionals who are determined to make well being a priority in the performing arts industry, including Taimi Allan, Hera Dunleavy, Rachel Nash, Cameron Rhodes and Borni Terongopai Tukiwaho, have been instrumental in setting up Whāriki Hauora to subsidise Peer Support sessions for performers. They will moderate the official Facebook page with Changing Minds’ support for mental health knowledge and administration costs, while Mind and Body administers the donations to the Whāriki Hauora fund, 100% of which goes directly to these Peer Support sessions.
Black Dog Relief: Souls of Solidarity Cabaret Producer Sharu Delilkan says: “It was evident that this was a worthy cause to hold another Black Dog Relief charity event, not only to continue raising mental health awareness by being part of the Atawhai Festival but also to show practical support of this new initiative through donating all proceeds from the show to Whāriki Hauora. We hope that this will help our fellow industry members have better access to counselling help that they may otherwise not be able to afford.”
Presented by Sharu Loves Hats, in association with b.terongopai.t, Black Dog Relief: Souls of Solidarity Cabaret part of Atawhai Festival, Te Pou Theatre, 44a Portage Road (Off McWhirter Place), New Lynn, Saturday, Oct 15, 7:30 pm. Tickets: Shoretix, http://www.blackdog.shoretix.co.nz (Strictly Limited Door Sales) All proceeds donated to Whāriki Hauora