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The Industry

We’ve partnered with Parents and Carers in Performing Arts to run a new wellbeing initiative for Spotlight members who are also parents, guardians or carers.

Coffee & Connect is a great way to meet other performer parents, ask questions, learn new things, share experiences, and of course to have coffee (bring your own!). We’ve put together some FAQs which we hope will answer any questions you may have about this initiative.

What is Coffee & Connect?
Coffee & Connect is our online coffee morning for performers who are also parents, guardians and carers. It’s an opportunity to come together, listen, share and be present in a supportive space.

What’s the intention behind it?
Juggling parenting and performing has its own unique challenges and we know that peer-to-peer support plays an important role in helping to build resilience. We hope performer parent/carers will feel empowered to use this space to make honest, empowering connections with one another and find creative solutions to navigate through the sometimes turbulent journey of being a performer parent/carer.

When do these sessions take place?
These sessions take place via Zoom every two weeks. These sessions are always on the second and last Wednesday of each month at 10:15 – 11:15am (UK time). Please note these sessions do not run during August or December as we will be taking a break for the summer and Christmas holidays.

Who can join?
Anyone who is a current Spotlight member and a parent, expectant parent, guardian or carer.

How do I join?
Upcoming sessions will be emailed to you and you then will need to register for the session(s) you would like to attend. Please ensure you are opted in to receive Spotlight emails. You can do this by logging into your Spotlight profile and clicking ‘My Privacy Settings’ on the left-hand side navigation. Click here for a video which shows you how to do this. You will be sent the Zoom link for the session around 8.30am (UK time) on the morning of the session.

Who runs these sessions?
These session are a Spotlight and PiPA (Parents and Carers in Performing Arts) Initiative. They are run by Nicole Gaskell. Nicole is a parent and experienced actor, acting tutor and coach who has lots of experience facilitating online sessions.

Are there guest speakers?
Yes! On the last Wednesday of the month we invite a relevant guest speaker to share their experience and knowledge with the group.

I’d like to join but just listen – is that ok?
Yes! Every invitation to speak or share is just that: an invitation. Passing or staying quiet is perfectly acceptable.

Do I have to have my camera on?
We would like to encourage you to have your camera on for the duration of the session. Seeing one another makes a big difference to the kind of connection and community we can make.

Are babies and/or children welcome to join too?
Yes! Please be mindful of sound by muting when necessary – that way we honour the group and our intention for the session.

What have previous participants said about these sessions?

“These sessions are chance to be yourself, without judgement and still feel like you are connected to a group who understands what you are going through…it has become a bit of a life line for me.”

“Up until now I’ve been attending normal baby/parent groups but I’ve missed being with performers and I’ve often wondered how I can connect with this group of people as I don’t know that many personally. It’s great to feel like I don’t have to put my acting on hold now because I have a child.”

“Thank you for offering such a wonderful free service”

“It is invaluable to seek support and advice from those who have been through it before.”

“I really appreciated hearing what others had to share, whether it was tips or their experiences. It felt good to know I’m not alone.”

“I liked the honesty and openness of all involved.”

“It was good to learn that you’re not the only one trying to juggle (acting) work and parenting.”

I know someone who might benefit from these sessions – can I bring them along?

If they are a current Spotlight member and a parent, expectant parent, guardian or carer then, yes! They will need to register for each session they wish to attend.

If you have any questions about this initiative please email our Mental Health and Wellbeing Manager, Bea Grist on wellbeing@spotlight.com

Image by Paul Hanaoka via Unsplash.com.