Many talented comedians and comic actors acknowledge there is a dark side to being funny or performing comedy.
Parker Posey has commented:
“I can do comedy, so people want me to do that, but the other side of comedy is depression.
“Deep, deep depression is the flip side of comedy. Casting agents don’t realize it but in order to be funny you have to have that other side.”
[worldfilm.about.com interview about her film “Personal Velocity”]
Also see more Depression Articles.
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Amanda Bynes began professionally acting at the age of seven, and at age thirteen became the star of her own tv series The Amanda Show.
Bynes says she understands the feeling of being an outsider, one of the themes of the film “Hairspray” – in which she played Penny [photo].
“I grew up having terrible acne and feeling insecure,” she once told an interviewer. “I was tall and skinny. I didn’t feel pretty at all, and guys didn’t even like me. That’s why I got into comedy.”
[Interview mag., July 2007; photo from “Hairspray”]
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In “I Smile Back” Sarah Silverman plays Laney, a “suburban mother of two who self-medicates with cocaine and self-destructive sex,” as a newspaper interview summarizes her role.
She commented on her character as being so different from her comedies:
“They’re just different parts of me that aren’t usually the ones you see. Comedy is very different from drama, but they share an adjacent wall, and comedians in general tend to come from a lot of darkness in their lives.
“I mean, look at us, we drop like flies. So depression was a source for me, that was easily accessed. And addiction isn’t something I’ve suffered from, but I am surrounded by it as a comedian. Even though it’s a very different role, I had a lot to draw on.”
From Comedian Sarah Silverman had plenty of drama to draw on for ‘I Smile Back’ by Sam Adams, Los Angeles Times Nov 12 2015.
Her New York Times bestseller memoir is The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee.
She is the subject of a chapter in Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow.
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Many talented people – even highly gifted and accomplished, with Academy Awards etc – often have insecurities, impostor feelings and other anxieties, maybe in part because of high sensitivity.
Lesley Sword, director of Gifted and Creative Services [in Australia] finds that gifted children are “highly self critical and over reactive to the criticism of others. They express dissatisfaction with themselves; they see what ‘ought to be’ in themselves…
“They have a vision of perfectionism that they measure themselves against and they can become despondent sometimes even depressed, at their perceived failure.”
Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with anxiety, including self-help programs: see the site
Anxiety Relief Solutions.