The Bellows: Self Care / by Michael Kruse

Are you sleeping enough? Do you know what enough is? When was the last time you made yourself a meal, or spent the day taking care of yourself instead of all of your actors and director? Have you had moments of panic for no reason or felt an unyielding force preventing you from leaving the house and going into rehearsal? Perhaps, like the rest of us, you have been focusing on the show to much and on yourself too little. Self care is important, and vital to a long and fruitful career.  The next hour and 1/2 we talk about self care. In this session of The Bellows, host and carpenter Kevin Hutson talks to a panel of self-care experts about surviving, well, life in the theatre.

Recorded on February 20th, 2017 , our panel was made up of David Whitley, advanced care paramedic and peer support worker in paramedic services, and Leah Erbe from the Actors Fund of Canada.

Actors Fund of Canada


David Whitley

David is an Advanced Care Paramedic in a emergency service in the Greater Toronto Area, and serves on it's Critical Incident Stress Management and Peer Support team. David is also a registered nurse and has spent many years training in the treatment and prevention of stress injuries.

Leslie Erbe

Leah is The AFC’s first program manager. The AFC is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry, providing short-term financial assistance to entertainment industry professionals whose health, housing, or ability to work have been jeopardized by an unforeseen emergency. Leah spent eight years as The AFC’s case coordinator, fielding calls and processing applications for assistance, before becoming program manager in 2016. Prior to her work at The AFC, Leah worked as a member representative at the Songwriters Association of Canada.

Leah has performed as a solo act, with her band Smugshot, and with other bands and projects in and around Toronto. Her songs have been featured on "Dawson's Creek", “Party of Five”, and in several independent films; she has worked with producers and co-writers Mike Rocha, Luther Mallory (Crush Luther), and Haydain Neale (jacksoul). She also has extensive TV and film credits as a singer, including theme vocals for "Earth: Final Conflict" and the IMAX documentary "Under The Sea", and featured vocals for the IMAX films "Spacestation" and 2016’s “A Beautiful Planet”.