Fear: Friend or Foe?
When I was first approached to write a blog, an emotion I know all too well hit me - fear. After many hours of trying to figure out what am I going to write about and reflecting on my journey into this crazy business, I realized I can't be alone. No matter how successful or how green we are, fear comes knocking on everyone's door, even if no one talks about it. Regardless of what we do, the thought of putting our work out there for all to see, for all to judge, can be frankly....terrifying and that's just one type of fear. It can become all consuming and sometimes even prevent us from following our passion. Many can view fear as a weakness and therefore refuse to acknowledge it. Fear is not a weakness, but can give us strength if we redefine it.
When I was a child, writing was always an escape, I enjoyed very much and followed me into adulthood. Some opportunities came my way. I wrote a couple of articles for a few unknown bands I enjoyed during my time on the Sunset Strip. However, when it was obvious that I could do this for a living, fear introduced itself and I stopped.
Acting was always a passion of mine. But having a mother who was an educator that constantly reminded me of the inconsistency of work as an actor, plus my own insecurities, prevented me from trying until several years later, when I realized it's time to live my life for me and no one else.
One day, after having a long conversation with my acting teacher and mentor, Gene Bua, I began entertaining the idea of writing scenes for class. The thought of putting my work out there and what people thought scared me to death. But then I realized, I'm doing that with my acting every time I'm on that stage, so what do I have to fear, but fear itself. Biting the bullet, I did it. One scene turned to many and before I knew it, I was writing my first short. I felt like I was home. However, with every scene my old friend was there knocking on my door. I learned to acknowledge it, but never answered the door. I found my passion and wasn't going to let my fear get the best of me. That's when it dawned on me that fear isn't just a foe, it can also be a friend. It all came down to how I used it. I learned to take that fear and turn it into fuel for every project. After having made several shorts, I realized I had to prove that I could do a feature film and guess who came banging on my door once again? You got it – fear. As scared as I was, I knew what I had to do and got the job done.
Through the years, my old friend has followed me, from my acting days, to my writing, directing, and producing days, and as my life changed, so did my friend. Going behind the camera introduced me to a whole new set of fears. I wondered if I would ever overcome them. But thankfully, I remained in good standing with my friend and surpassed all obstacles that came my way.
Just like anything else, fear gives you choices. You can either give into it or use it to fuel whatever goal you have. I hope you use it to make your dreams come true and take comfort in knowing you aren't alone.
About the Author
Chandra Gerson was born in Palo Alto, California in 1966. She moved with her family to Granada Hills, CA when she was three. She attended St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont her last two years of high school. She attended Alfred University located in Alfred NY, majoring in Psychology. After two years,...