A therapist helped Chicago Med actor Nick Gehlfuss separate himself from Will Halstead.
Actors and actresses play out life-altering and emotionally traumatic scenarios for a job. Sometimes, those roles bleed into their real lives. And according to Starry Mag, Nick Gehlfuss realized that while playing ER doctor Will Halstead on Chicago Med.
Gehlfuss started speaking to a therapist during his career because he was feeling second-hand trauma from his character. And one comment led the star towards an “epiphany.” While chatting in a session, the doctor said that “actors need to understand that they are going to take a little bit of abuse.” And that is especially true when their characters constantly go through deeply emotional situations. Because to do the job, actors have to tap into those feelings every day.
And as Gehlfuss explained, actors remain in character even when they’re not filming.
“Even when the camera is not on you,” he noted. “You want to live this scene so that the person that is being filmed for their coverage has a real moment opposite of them to respond to as well.”
So an actor’s mind and body will go through each story as though the stories were real. Gehlfuss believes that characters leave a “residue” behind. And great actors delve deep into their roles, so the emotional baggage can be heavy.
‘Chicago Med’ Star Nick Gehlfuss Uses Meditation to Seperate Himself from Will Halstead
To deal with the residue of Will Halstead, Nick Gehlfuss turns to meditation. The actor believes that a higher state of mindfulness helps him prepare himself for work each morning and wind down each night.
“My therapist told me [that meditation] is the most powerful tool he can give me after all of his forty years of treating patients through psychotherapy,” Gehlfuss shared. “He said it’s something that would especially be good for me to do before I go into work to just clear my head to be open and available for everything that I need to do within the workday. Then, at the end of the day do it to get back to a neutral base and all of that. It is a powerful thing and it’s good for mental health, especially now because your mental health is just as important as your physical health.”
Practicing meditation has changed the star’s life, and he relies on his method to get through all the stress in his life.
“Any time I’m feeling overwhelmed or really stressed I can be anywhere at any time and do this. It’s mobile,” he continued. “That’s the power of it – you can do it wherever you want. Of course, I’ll also throw on a movie or I’ll throw on some comedy to help me escape. I’ll listen to some music. I love playing music. That’s another thing that really is therapeutic for me.”