It happens before some auditions, when I’m not sure what to expect. It happens before I go to events by myself that I’ve never been to before. It happens when I think about undertaking something totally new. I always get that crazy fear. The excuses start coming. Reasons I shouldn’t. Reasons I should be doing other things. Reasons I need to do X, Y, and Z to prep BEFORE actually taking this on. Reasons I’m not ready.
The funny thing is that during the event, there is no resistance. It doesn’t feel like work. And without fail, I ALWAYS feel better afterwards, and the fear feels silly. The fact that I actually considered not going is mind-blowing. But I had to get over that nagging “I’m not ready” running through my head.
I had been struggling with this thought in regard to creating my own content. I’ve had ideas percolating in my brain of stories that need to be told and characters I want to portray. And as usual, I’ve had a few blocks come up- I’m an actor, not a writer. I’ve only lived in L.A. for so long. I don’t have the money/talent/connections. No one is going to take me seriously. I’m not ready.
But the truth is, I was feeling this way because I hadn’t done it before. This was going to be my first pancake (you’ve heard of this, right? How the first time you attempt something, it doesn’t necessarily go well- like burning the first pancake, because the griddle is too hot, or it wasn’t greased enough, etc.). I was afraid because I didn’t know how it would go. It was easier to sit and imagine it than to take the steps to make it a reality. But no one is going to step up and make sure I get to tell the kinds of stories that are important to me. That is entirely up to me. I will never feel ready to take that first step. But I am. I am ready.
I love this quote from Hugh Laurie:
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now. And you may as well do it now. I mean, I say that confidently as if I’m about to go bungee jumping or something – I’m not. I’m not a crazed risk taker. But I do think that, generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”
I’ve been a part of more than a dozen film projects. I’ve collaborated with many people, and I’ve met even more people at networking events and through online connections. I’ve been a part of a group of friends here in Los Angeles starting a brand-new production company and producing one original short film every month. I’ve done my research. I’ve honed my aesthetic. There are a lot of things I cannot get experience with until I simply jump in and do it: produce my own content with the stories I want to tell and the people I want to tell them with. This isn’t going to magically happen. I need to make a conscious choice to take action. As Hugh said, now is as good a time as any.
And whenever I want to take on a new endeavor, I need to say to myself:
I am ready.
This post was inspired in part by this article from Emily Grace and originally appeared at www.sarahjeagen.com