No matter how successful we’ve become or how long we’ve been at this game, we constantly have to overcome our fears to reach new heights of growth and discovery.
Recently, I spoke to a stage manager who is working on a show on Broadway. He told me about a seventy-year old Oscar-nominated, Tony award-winning actor who is currently starring on Broadway.
You would think with this actor’s extensive experience, credits and accolades at this point he would have it all “figured” out. Be more willing to take risks. Have less fear.
This particular actor went into the rehearsal process scared. Yup, scared Sh**less! There were several text-heavy monologues and during the initial phase of the rehearsal process he wanted to cut down some of the speeches, make it more manageable (i.e. less scary). The director eventually agreed, so they started cutting out bits here and there until he felt more comfortable.
Yet, what’s astonishing is as rehearsals went on and the more he got into the work, he felt more confident. What had seemed daunting weeks ago, now seemed manageable. So each week he’d ask for the bits to slowly be put back in. They ended with a full script just as they had started.
It’s a refreshing reminder for us to realize we are not alone. We need to be able to say, “I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. Tackling my fears one-by-one.”
Yet, the moral of the story is that the more we go out there and attack what scares us as actors head-on, the more manageable it becomes.
Just go for it. You’re no different than anyone else.
Here is your homework (eek!): Write down five things that scare you. Examples – call to invite an agent to class, self-tape and submit yourself for a project you believe you are right for, work on a scene in class that you’ve been avoiding. After you have your five things written down, choose one thing and attack it!