Thursday, June 3, 2010

Running Scared

A lot of people- even those who know me well- are surprised when I tell them that I am the queen of cold feet. But it's so, so true. While outwardly I seem like I know exactly what I want and how to get it, the truth is that I am pretty scared most of the time.

Some of it comes from loving two (possible) careers that are so unstable. Acting and writing- am I insane? But I love them so much that there is no way I CAN'T do them, so I've made the decision that the chance is worth it.

I am incredibly guilty of nearly backing out of things at the very last minute. Most of the time, I eventually decide to do them, but that's less bravery and more my conviction that quitting would let down those who are relying on me. When I was sixteen, I got accepted to an amazing arts school for theatre. I was ecstatic when I got my letter, jazzed for the rest of the school year that came before my enrollment there, and excited all summer. Then the first day of school came. I felt sick. I was nervous. I didn't want to go to this strange school where I knew no one and ACT in front of them. No, I wanted to go back to EAHS and meet my friends at the lockers and be bored in math. Change? No thanks.

My other cold-feet tendency is to just ignore big things. For example, right now- I have a HUGE, incredibly important audition coming up on Monday. I'm terrified... so I'm jusdt ignoring it. This is not good. Sure, I know my monologues back to front, but I need to rehearse them more. This is potentially a huge career step and I'm close to just throwing it away because I'm so scared of failure.

I've been doing the same thing with my writing lately. You probably noticed there was no WIP Wednesday. While I haven't been working on my writing as much as I would like (my excuse has been that I have to use my time to prepare for that big audition, but, um... not doing that either), I did have something to post, but I was too scared. The scene from my new play is very very rough and I didn't want to loook stupid.

But here's what I've been learning:

a) Being scared really gets you nowhere and

b) I need to stop caring so much about what other people think.

I mean, I ended up going to my arts school that day and not hating it. In fact, I loved it- I fit right in, instantly, and I spent two of the best school years of my life at that school. And while I need to buckle down and work on my audition material, I had an audition a little over a week ago for The Merchant of Venice where I decided I wasn't going to care what the director thought about me. I was dramatic, I dared to mispronounce words... and guess what? I got the leading role of Portia.

I need to remember that good outcomes can come from risks; this theory has rarely been disproven in my case and yet I'm still scared. So from now on, unless it's an emergency, I will not be skipping WIP Wednesdays. If I do, you all can call me a coward, LOL.


  1. Congrats on Portia!! Of course, not caring what others think works wonders (and makes u happier). Don't beat yourself up too much... You'll be less scared as you gain self-confidence, but that takes time, so be patient. :)

  2. I agree with the commenter above. I was basically going to comment with the same thing she said. :)


  3. Hey hi -- a friend contacted me that you had written a really cool thing about my play IRON KISSES on your blog (or another blog) a while back -- and I just wanted to say thank you. From one writer to another, you know how much "good news" can mean as we are all crawling on our knees looking for diamonds in the dark (which is how writing feels to me some/most of the time!). Have a great time with Portia and best to your continued writing. I couldn't find a way to email you privately, I apologize for posting this on your blog. My email is -- thanks again.
    James Still, writer IRON KISSES