Yes- fears. Everyone has them; it just all depends on whether we accept these fears the way they are or fight through them knowing that the best and worst can happen. I’ll be honest, I hate my fears; they’re most likely what everyone’s fear are, especially in this profession. Sadly, I’ve developed these fears way before I thought about theatre/acting etc. as a potential career. I didn’t choose to fear what I fear; these came from experiences in my past. I only have three main fears- besides snakes and the Fly Gallery- that I’m slowly learning to deal with. These aren’t new, they’ve been in existence for the last seven years. Eventually I’ll accept these fears in my life one step at a time, but for now they are here for as long as they need to be.
1. Never being “good enough”: I’m not scared of rejection, criticism or working hard for what I want. I’m terrified that I’m always going to make the same mistake over and over again- never changing, not understanding the mistakes I make and never being the actress someone wants. Let’s be honest, for one person in my type/size, there are 200 girls are also in the same type, but thinner who are the ones who usually get the job. I’m not trying to put myself down about reality, but how often do you see someone who is my size on: Broadway? Regional Theatres? National Tours? Last time I checked, there were maybe a handful and that was even pushing it. Granted, I’m working on losing weight and have already lost 7 inches since the beginning of the semester! I’ve only begun that hard road of weight lost, but I’m making changes to better my career one step at a time. There is still this constant doubt that maybe it’s me. Maybe my talent, looks, size, skills, attitude and personality will never be what a casting director will want. I don’t want to carry this attitude on my shoulder, but it’s easier said than done.
2. Believe Everything I Hear: Let me explain this one in a nutshell. When I was younger, between the ages 8-14, I was severely bullied. I was harassed, had rumors spread about me, I was the target of the school, I was cyber-bullied, I was called every name known to man and the list goes on beyond imaginable. I’ve accepted everything that has happened to me and I climbed the biggest mountain to get to the confidence and attitude I have today. I’m not looking for sympathy when I say this, it’s a background story for where my fear comes from. I can’t forget what was said to me or what happened to me even to this day. I hear voices in my head, with the words that shake me just thinking about them. “You’re nothing”, “You’re going to be a failure”, “Keep growing into the house you already are”. Yes, these are only a couple things I was called. Yes, sometimes these words make me think. No, I don’t want to believe any of this. These thoughts will come and go; I literally have no control when this happens. Sometimes, I’ll have one of those days where these past thoughts come from out of no where and I believe it all and no one can change my mind on how I feel. Then some days I forget anything bad has ever happened and laugh at the thought that I ever did believe what people said about me. I don’t understand it… I hope one day I’ll be able to laugh at everything/anything that was ever said to me and learn to not care as much as I do.
3. Failure: I’m the kind of person who tries to impress or make those happy with the choices I make when I don’t have to. I’m always trying to, in a sense, prove myself to my family that what I want to do is serious- I’m not playing any games when it comes to my future. I’m a dreamer in an ocean of realists; dreamers and realists don’t exactly see eye to eye. I’m terrified that one day I’ll be crying to my parents in an emotional breakdown, saying that I should have never gone after theatre in the first place. I wasted four years of my life studying a field that apparently I wasn’t cut out for. I never want that to happen, I don’t want to tell my parents they were right about my major and career choices. I never have to prove anything to my parents since they both know and I know, it’s my life. I’ve just always wanted my parents to have a daughter they can be proud of, a daughter that they would be happy to mention to friends and family that she’s going after a career in professional theatre. A daughter they can support through all the ups and all the downs. Reality is, my parents are not on board with me going after my desire, they think I’m crazy to be blunt. I’m on this ride completely alone. I’m scared I’ll end up no where, letting down my family in the worst possible way; a failed actress, a disappointment… a failure.
Sometimes you need to be vulnerable, let down the wall that shows nothing is right in the world. 98% of the time I’m in a generally good mood, I don’t release negative feelings or thoughts out to anyone. I rarely show how vulnerable I really am to anyone. Writing here is my only outlet to let these feelings because 100% of the time they just so happen to relate to theatre. I write, no one says anything and I get whatever is on my chest out in the open without judgement. That’s all I want.
“Fear is the thief of dreams.” -Brain Krans