The conversations around mental health have grown all over, but Shashank Arora there is still a lack of dialogue for actors in showbiz. He says acting can be extremely adverse to mental health, which is why more needs to be done for artists.
“It is very challenging and hard to be an actor. It’s a tough job because the tool of your craft is yourself. That is why it becomes extremely tough. You have to be extremely sensitive and extremely strong as well. Because there’s a lot of judgement, and there is a sort of superficiality that comes with acting. As an actor, you have to separate your work from yourself and your life. Being an actor is extremely fruitful and one of the most fantastic jobs, but it is incredibly complex as well. Acting can be extremely adverse to mental health,” says Arora.
And that is why the actor, who is known for starring in Titli, Made in Heaven and The Great Indian Murder, wants the spotlight on the same for actors. “Taking care of mental health is a very difficult challenge for an actor because you have to be sensitive, and face the obstacles too which make you want to protect yourself a lot. You end up becoming very rigid, and very harsh. The whole journey is about not being that sensitive as when you were when you started out,” he asserts.
However, he is positive that the conversation on mental health for actors will grow soon.
“Cinema is at a very young stage in India. We are just 100 years old. Theatre is 1000 years old and music is perhaps 15,000 years old. Cinema is a nascent medium. So we’re getting there. I am sure we will soon begin to have these conversations about mental health in the creative field. And it will only happen when we do that in our society. At the moment, we don’t do that enough in society too… We can’t expect everything to be like magic. It will happen gradually,” he ends.