Blogher is the best! They have featured my recent post that railed against the upcoming app Peeple. I’m very happy to play a part in getting the word out there, especially to an audience for a website I deeply respect. Feel free to check out the article above.
And then the part about the tigers…
Last night I had a super funky dream. My husband and I were driving through the woods on a piano (apparently a motorized piano) with all of our belongings strapped to it. Here’s the kicker- the woods were filled with escaped zoo animals. Like, large angry ones, especially Tigers. I kept yelling, “Hey look, another tiger!” as I tried to get the piano-car to speed up. Seriously, brain?
Perhaps it’s a product of anxiety, or perhaps I should stop reading Neil Gaiman before bed, but I woke up thinking a lot about fear in the arts. A theme you often see in motivational phrases about following your dreams is to “stop being afraid.” Or about how fear is the only thing holding you back. As usual, I disagree. The artists that I know, including myself, get up every day and attend or submit to auditions even though we’re often terrified about never hearing back. We call ourselves actors even though some days we’re afraid that’s not true. We go to our full-time or several part-time jobs even though were scared it’s taking us away from our art. And we get up on stage or put our ideas out into the world even though were nervous they won’t be well received. Fear is not keeping us from being proactive.
I’m a little tired of fear getting blamed for the reason our careers feel stagnant. For people outside the business, who are debating to even consider themselves an artist, then yes, this makes sense. But it isn’t the same for the rest of us. I try every day to befriend my fear — it’s just going to be there, and often, the jitters that come along with it energize me out the door in the first place. As my mom has always said to her students, “If your hands shake during an audition, say, ‘Go ahead and shake!’ ” Oddly, this usually makes them stop shaking.
I think we need a different word for the emotion that’s holding us back as artists. I don’t know what it is yet, and maybe it’s different for everyone. Judgement? Frustration? Maybe even entitlement at times? I’m not sure. But I don’t think fear is the problem.
Going into the weekend, I commend all the artists, teachers, parents, truck drivers- whoever is dipping into their reserve energy tank to get through the day. Keep driving that piano through the forest of zoo animals! We have enough to worry about without seeing our fear as a problem.