17 Mar 2015

Pride, Passion & Pitfalls: Working in the Australian Entertainment Industry

Entertainment Assist announces world first research across all sectors of the Australian Entertainment Industry and calls for 3000 industry workers to have their say in an online survey.

Industry wide research, embracing everyone from performers to support crew, has never before been conducted in Australia or internationally. Entertainment Assist has engaged the College of Arts at Victoria University, to undertake this critical research project. The research, “Pride, Passion & Pitfalls: Working in the Australian Entertainment Industry”, will identify the strengths, risks and challenges of the Australian entertainment industry, how people cope,what they need and barriers to support.

The extensive research follows a pilot study of 37 industry participants and highlighted extensive mental health issues across the broad spectrum of the industry often as a result of bullying, sexual abuse, long and unrewarding working hours and a lack of appreciation for years of commitment.

This first phase of the research found “people working in the [Australian] Entertainment Industry…share a deep passion and commitment for their creative work. For some, their personal identity is directly linked to their profession. These passionate people are immersed in a work environment that is unhealthy, often divisive, competitive, and lacking social support”.

Entertainment Assist, an Australian charity established to support the mental health of Australian Entertainment Industry workers, will use the research to gain key insights into the industry and inform the development of tailored mental health support and prevention programs.

Interviews with industry workers highlight a passion for the industry paralleled with the pitfalls, “I can’t walk away. I cannot let it go. It’s basically who I am. [We all need to do] anything we can…towards understanding what people go through, [have] more positive mental health and [help] fellow artists.”

People in the industry are getting behind the project. Shane Jacobson, entertainer and Entertainment Assist Patron has “worked in this industry as both a performer and crew member” and is “thrilled to see such an investment being made to shed light on [the] well-being of industry workers both in front of, and behind, the camera lens and stage curtain.”

Entertainment Assist is calling for 3000 entertainment industry workers to complete the online survey by the end of March. The survey is open to workers from all parts of the industry including dancers, actors, musicians, circus performers, directors, technicians, backstage crew and roadies.

To participate in the confidential online survey or to download the Phase One report, visit Entertainment Assist’s website:


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