Disruption, Consolidation, Uncertainty: Welcome to Hollywood's Age of Anxiety

The Hollywood Reporter | 7/18/2018 | Stephen Galloway
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In Hollywood, the monkeys have far less control than in many other industries. Executives can be promoted or fired at will; actors might land a lead role or never work again. Because of this, "I realize that I'm incredibly anxious 24/7 and I never realized that," says actress Rosanna Arquette. "I take on a lot of people's energy, and I soak it up. It's exhausting and affects everything."

Deepak Chopra, the author and New Age guru, says anxiety in the entertainment sector is rooted in "a really deep insecurity that comes from what one might call 'performance anxiety' and approval. Most people [know] they're only as good as their last film, song. It's normal to get attached to the importance that everyone else is giving you, and then you start getting worried about whether you'll be able to sustain it. I've seen almost every celebrity in the entertainment world. They have a chronic underlying, sometimes low-level, sometimes high-level anxiety."

Statistics - Stars - Entertainment - Workers - Population

There are no statistics to distinguish these stars or other entertainment workers from the population as a whole, but there's a wealth of evidence indicating that anxiety has been intensifying, in the U.S. as well as abroad. "The World Health Organization showed that globally the rates of depression and anxiety increased from 15 to 18 percent from 2005 to 2015," says Craske.

Psychiatrists and academics interviewed for this story note that anxiety has been climbing since the turn of the century, influenced by social media and the growing ubiquity of the smartphone, as well as the chaotic political climate after the election of President Trump. Others say the 2008 recession unleashed a sense of economic uncertainty that hasn't faded, despite the improvement in the job market. Add to that a pervasive disappointment stemming from unrealistic and unmatched expectations.

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