“I was talking with another actor and teacher today about nerves and anxiety in preparation for an audition, call back, or working on set. [Earlier in the day at a callback] He was asked to make changes to some choices he had a made for a role. I asked him how he handled the shot of anxiety that we sometimes get when we perceive something we’ve done as artists was “wrong” or off the mark [especially when it comes from someone who holds power, influence, or is a gatekeeper].
He reminded me that it’s just a shift in energy [not anxiety, unless we look at it that way]. That jolt of anxiety is actually a signal that can spurn us to harness the energy that it gives us into a positive or a negative. How we choose to use the energy many times is just that, a choice.
I choose to make that energy positive and productive instead of letting my mind frame it as a negative.”
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that all anxiety is just solved by a simple choice of changing how we perceive it. I know that people suffer from many times debilitating cases of anxiety or stress related mental conditions that require either intensive therapy or a chemical solution that helps to balance out the issue.
I’ve had several coaches throughout my life tell me to use it all, the nerves, excitement, rush, etc. and I never knew exactly what to do with the anxiety part of the equation, especially if I felt a perceived threat. But simply viewing it as a neutral charge of energy that I get to decide what to do with makes me feel empowered and WAY more capable of handling corrections or changes in the moment and staying present in any situation.