Last week, I faced a huge fear that I have been carrying around for half of my life without having had a clue it was there.
I adored acting as a kid. However, I stopped in my early teens after convincing myself that it was time to focus on studying and getting a “real career”. So that I did — off to university I went, got my marketing degree, and kicked off my promising corporate career straight after graduation.
As life would have it (because we’re so driven by our unconscious desires) I managed to reroute and find my way back to performing (as a TV presenter) via my corporate career. I could sit in front of a camera all day and talk to it with ease, but for some bizarre reason I freak out when I can see my audience. Yes I know that is a common fear, but this is my job! You also couldn’t keep me off of the stage as a kid, so it has always baffled me why I would lock up with insecurity as an adult.
Recently, while chatting with friends during a trip back to Melbourne, I recalled “my most embarrassing moment” from when I was a young girl. I was in a small theatre show and I had slipped over on stage. It wasn’t just a small trip up… My costume was a sheet tied around me, which had come untied as I was running off the stage in my socks. My feet got caught under the sheet and I went flying in the air, landing on my butt in the middle of the stage. My insecure 13-year-old self was devastated with embarrassment. I can still hear the roaring of laughter from the older boys in the front row.
It wasn’t until I had begun reminiscing that I realized this was actually the last time I had ever acted. I never admitted (nor realized) this was the reason why, but I never returned to my acting classes after that show. I even hid the tape recording when it arrived in the mail, adamant it never be seen.
I had completely turned my back on my passion out of shame, embarrassment, fear.
Once I connected that event with my fear of an audience, it all made sense.
With a helpful nudge of encouragement from Lilly Dawson, whom I will be forever grateful for, I ran toward that fear, “immersing” myself in acting for an intense week with Hollywood Immersive, and WOW I am feeling on top of the world right now.
Not only did I reignite my old passion, I had to perform in front of a small audience that I could see — every single day. And it felt AMAZING. I was petrified going in to the program, yet came out beaming with joy, pride and confidence.
Now, I’m officially a student at Beverly Hills Playhouse in Los Angeles!
Embracing a passion and/or fear has nothing to do with how good/bad we are at it, it’s all about how the experience of it makes us feel. If something is nagging at you, JUST GO AND DO IT.
It is liberating to continue to shed off my layers and learn about myself — an education from which we will never graduate. Question everything about yourself. It’s so much fun. #lifesgood