Anxiety is 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 has admitted in the past:
“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
Actor 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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“In such genuine creative and performing moments, fear and courage become one, dancing together in harmony.”
Psychologist Mihaela Ivan Holtz
How do we relate to fear in a positive way to be more fully alive and creative?
Lily Sullivan, like many actors and other artists, has talked about struggling with confidence.
“There’s always pressure.
“In my job, I have to be vulnerable and re-create moments that people do in private…I definitely battle with being confident.
“But, in a way, I can now recognize and still do what the fear is telling me not to do.”
See much more in article:
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Here are more resources :
Anxiety Relief Solutions site.