Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Actors often describe their vocation as a passion, a calling, or even a purpose. However, the very nature of a career as an actor is rife with rejection, a lack of agency, and income instability. Such strong identification with their vocation may threaten an actor’s self-concept in the face of so much adversity. Many actors become frustrated, sometimes to the point of giving up, because the gatekeepers (agents, casting directors, network executives, etc.) decide whether they get to exercise their passion or fulfill their purpose by actually working in their chosen profession. While the body of research on resilience is robust, there have been virtually no studies on the application of resilience training to this particular ‘at risk’ population. Based on the theory, research, and practice of positive psychology, this paper proposes a resilience model for actors incorporating 1) a resilience mindset and toolkit, 2) self-compassion, 3) community, and 4) using one’s talent in service to others. It is hypothesized that this combination will enhance resilience, build a strong community, bolster actors’ well-being, and provide a volitional pathway to exercise one’s passion and purpose without sacrificing vulnerability. This is the foundation of The Resilience Compass.


Positive Psychology, Actors, Resilience, Self-Compassion, Volunteering, Psychological Capital, Social Capital, Purpose, Passion, Mindfulness, Arts Education, Performing Arts, Theatre, Well-Being


Well-Being/Flourishing, Education, Humanities, Other Topics





Date Posted: 30 November 2016