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One of my biggest flaws is overthinking, and when I’m on the spot I can easily end up in a loop, the noise in my head overwhelming what I have in me to say.

I left last week’s voice acting class really off balance.  Who knows what really put me off balance from the get-go. Stress, hunger, having  a meh week, a lot on my mind…  I try to clear all that from mind before class but I’m not always successful.  So I try not to let it take over when I need to get to work.

And it’s a really peculiar state to be in, when you perform and everyone else likes what you did, but you’re not sure.  You don’t think you liked it, but it’s hard to say, it’s hard to feel anything for sure except uncomfortable.

There are all those aphorisms about doing one thing that scares you every day.  All over the Web there are versions of this image that visualizes the idea that growth and success are outside of one’s comfort zone.comzone

And it’s more or less true. Reaching out of the usual, the (relatively) easy, the comfortable is the only way to get to a new and better place.  As an artist this is essential for growth, and in the arts growth = improvement.

But of course that means spending a lot of time afraid and uncomfortable.  And who wants to be afraid and uncomfortable most of the time?  I have anxieties enough without inviting more!

Happily I’m not on the verge of panic any more.  Anxiety makes my view of the world narrow down until all I can see and think is how much I suck and I hate myself and what I should do to myself… etc. And part of what gets shut out as the view narrows down is my training, my belief in myself, and the very spirit I have in me to play and to create and to act.

Nurturing that spirit is harder than it sounds.  It’s not terribly respected or understood (it’s kid’s stuff, not suited for adults, in particular not suited to adults who want to get paid), and it requires completely different muscles from the ones I use to navigate most of my life.  But it’s all I want to do.  Creating and acting is so fun and satisfying that it often very effectively quiets my anxieties and comforts me when I feel down.  It’s so clear to me that this is what I’m supposed to be doing, even though it’s scary.