Anxiety and acting – dealing with an ‘enemy of art’

Felicity Huffman in American Crime

The enemy of art

Commenting about her feelings for her best-actress Oscar nomination for “Transamerica,” Felicity Huffman said, “I woke up in fear and anxiety – which I know is the enemy of art, and in general.”

[CNN Showbiz Tonight Feb 13 2006]  |  [Photo from Facebook / American Crime.]

Nicole Kidman in Portrait of a LadyNicole Kidman admits, “Every time I star in a film, I think I cannot act. I’ve tried to pull out of almost every one I’ve done because of sheer terror.” [Reuters news story in 2003]

Her ongoing anxiety and stage fright is also related to impostor feelings.

See post: Nicole Kidman on her rich inner life.

Many actors and other artists reportedly struggle with anxiety: Kim Basinger; Barbra Streisand; Alanis Morisette; Aretha Franklin; author John Steinbeck; Nicolas Cage; Naomi Judd; Carly Simon; Edie Falco, among many others.

Anxiety can be positive

But anxiety has different flavors and degrees of impact on us, and it isn’t always a “bad thing” to be avoided or medicated away, unless it is really interfering with your ability to be aware and able to express any emotions and thoughts you want to.

Neuropsychiatrist Richard Restak, M.D. thinks “We’re all anxious and it’s a good thing that we are. At its optimum level, anxiety can help you formulate possibilities and imagine yourself in the future.

“When you ask yourself, Can I perform at the best level? you’re having an anxious thought, but it’s leading you to strive toward something.”

His book is: Poe’s Heart and the Mountain Climber : Exploring the Effect of Anxiety on Our Brains and Our Culture

Alison LohmanActor Alison Lohman notes:

“With any film and even theater, you never get over being scared and overwhelmed, because it’s a new character and that brings on a whole new set of circumstances.

“That’s the exciting part of it – it’s those nerves that bring you to a higher level and makes you more hyper-aware. It makes your performance better.”  [Hollywood Reporter, Mar 5 2003]

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Getting help for anxiety

Kate Ford, actress in Coronation St, In OK Magazine:

Kate Ford“I have been suffering with nerves for years. It’s a fear of embarassing myself if I’m in the company of strangers.

“But once you’ve broken the cycle of panic you are okay.

“The Linden Method really works for me.”

Kate Ford Facebook testimonial

From article – with more info and videos:
The Linden Method – Using Behavioral Science for Anxiety

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Anxiety Slayer-site-title

Anxiety Slayer “was created in 2009 by Shann Vander Leek and Ananga Sivyer. We were both blogging, coaching and teaching independently before we teamed up to present Anxiety Slayer with the intention of supporting anyone who’s life is over-shadowed by stress or anxiety.

“Together, we create supportive articles, podcasts  and anxiety relief audio downloads.”

Anxiety Slayer offers a range of supportive of eBooks and audio programs including:

The Quick Anxiety Stopper
EFT Tapping for Anxiety Relief
Small Steps to BIG Change
The Anxiety Rescue Kit

Learn more at the site: Anxiety Slayer.

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CreativeLife newsletter special edition – Anxiety Relief

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Here are more resources :

Performance Anxiety: A Workbook for Actors, Musicians, Dancers and Anyone Else Who Performs in Public – by Eric Maisel, PhD.

Anxiety Relief Solutions site.

Self-esteem Products / Programs.



Article publié pour la première fois le 24/10/2015