Michael Coleman on Fear to Excitement
You are nervous and/or afraid because you are about to share something personal and it means a lot to you. Congratulations. Hopefully, every character you play shares this important element of stakes you yourself embody as the actor too.
It is a natural response to what we do, and you will often hear of actors who’ve achieved great levels of success and those who have been performing for decades say the exact same thing– “I still get nervous before every performance.”
These are feelings you don’t want to ever lose. But you do want to shift these feelings into their sister feeling… excitement.
Fear and excitement share many of the same physical symptoms:
• Heart racing?
• Sweaty hands?
• Butterflies in your stomach?
Try this exercise. Connect to that feeling. Likely in your stomach. This is where the anxiety or fear likely lives. Now imagine moving these feelings up a few inches into your chest. Do you feel the difference? Transition this energy, don’t try to eliminate it.
Move it to a place of excitement and away from a place of fear. You just turned one of your liabilities into one of your greatest assets. It gets easier with practice.
Never try to kill this feeling. It is fuel for a much bigger feeling that you can use to your advantage in the audition room, on set, and everywhere else in life.