Hi, I'm Mairin Smit!
I'm a Performance & Wellness Coach, and the founder of Five Winds. I'm passionate about helping you, a performer, achieve balance and wellness in your life, both professionally and personally.
I work with a wide variety of clients who have dedicated their lives to performing including artists, elite athletes, leaders and change-makers.
Being a performer is a unique calling that is exciting, energizing and full of passion. But it can also come with challenges that are different than in any other profession.
We struggle with:
Judgement – from audiences, spectators, critics, or even yourself.
Confidence – staying grounded and true to yourself in the face of judgement.
Isolation – feeling alone in the “spotlight” and that everything rests on your shoulders.
Balance – between your personal life and your performing life.
Sustainability – keeping your body, mind and heart healthy so you can do this job for the long-term.
Often we feel that performing requires us to submit ourselves to an emotional and energetic roller coaster ride. I believe there can be a more balanced approach.
My job as a Performance & Wellness coach is to help with find that balance. To help you get your body and mind healthy and focused, so you can do your work to your best. To help you stay connected with yourself, so you keep moving in an authentic direction in your career. To provide with the support and tools to cope with the stress and intensity of your work, especially when it all becomes a little too much.
No matter what type of performing you do or where you are in your performing career, I’m here to support you.
Let's get started!
I have been a performer all my life. I spent my childhood playing endless hours of make-believe, going to theatre camp, acting in school plays, performing in dance recitals, playing soccer and competing in speech competitions. I followed this passion to the University of Toronto, where I studied Theatre Performance. After graduating, I co-founded a theatre company and began working professionally as an actor and director.
But throughout my life and career, I always struggled with the intense anxiety and stress of performing and the ability to let go of my performance experiences afterwards.
On off days, I’d be able to reestablish some sense of personal balance only to find myself turned upside down again on the next show day. Worst of all, the sense of joy I found in performing had become overshadowed by my fear of these after effects.
Wanting to understand more and looking for resources and support with this, I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program. Yoga was a game-changer for me. Through physical practice, meditation and energy work, I learned how to manage my anxiety, establish energetic boundaries and stay grounded and connected to myself. It helped me so much - and I knew it would help other too.
In my work as a director, I had noticed that many performers struggled with these same issues that I experienced. In many cases, performers would come to me after rehearsals or shows asking me for techniques to help them with this. I also became curious about the experiences of performers outside the world of acting, and began talking to dancers, musicians, athletes and company leaders about their experiences with performing. Turns out, we all struggle with similar issues.
So I dove deeper into yoga, meditation and energy work. I began developing my own exercises and practices, incorporating into my work as a director, offering workshops and coaching performers privately.
Now, I'm fully dedicated to this work, helping performers of all types manage stress, find balance in their lives and stay connected with their authentic selves. I feel privileged to have coached artists, athletes and leaders in my home base of Toronto, ON and online throughout the world.
I've also grateful for the opportunity to explore this work of performance & wellness through writing on my blog, as a featured writer for publications like Intermission Magazine and Elephant Journal and through my upcoming e-book on post-performance recovery.
I know first-hand that we can grow through our challenges as performers and find solutions so we can step out in front of our audiences with strength, authenticity and ease.
I'm excited to share this work with you!
My Professional Work
Mairin Smit is a Performance & Wellness coach, Yoga & Meditation instructor, and founder of Five Winds. She is passionate about helping performers achieve vitality, balance, and personal wellness throughout their performing careers.
Her clients in include actors, dancers, musicians, athletes and leaders & changemakers who spend significant time presenting in front of audiences. She has led workshops on yoga for performing, performance preparation and post-performance recovery at Canadian Stage, Toronto Fringe Festival, Hillside Festival, Ankh Yoga and Peel District School Board.
Mairin is the author of the Five Winds Blog, where she writes about performance & wellness, and offers tips and ideas on how to stay balanced and healthy while living the life of a performer. Her writing on performance & wellness has been featured in Intermission Magazine and Elephant Journal. She is currently writing an e-book on post-performance recovery.
Mairin holds an HBA in Theatre Performance from the University of Toronto. She is a certified yoga instructor in Hatha, Restorative, Yin and Chakra yoga and a Mindfulness Meditation teacher. She served for 7 years as the Artistic Director of Glasswater Theatre, a Toronto, ON based independent theatre company committed to fostering new methods of performance creation and exploring the intersection between reality and theatricality. She has worked in Toronto and abroad as an actor, director and arts administrator.
Mairin is currently based in Toronto, ON where she coaches performers in person, and online throughout the world.
What are the Five Winds?
While each wind governs a specific part of the body and flows in a specific direction, the coordinated flow of all the winds together is what brings us optimal health and well-being.
You can read more about the Five Winds here.