My Secret Sauce for Facing Fear

My Secret Sauce for Facing Fear

What if I told you that I was practicing for job interviews since I was 7-years old?

Okay you would probably say that’s a bit much.

But it’s not like I did it on purpose.

A useful side effect of being A Theatre Kid is being in a lifelong rehearsal for some pretty practical skills in The Adult World. 

Growing up going to auditions prepared me for putting myself out there in front of strangers. It normalised that ‘writing a résumé’ ritual. 

They say that public speaking is most people’s greatest fear. 

Well sure it’s scary when you slap a formal title on it like that! 

Theatre has taught me a little secret about facing these scary things in life, and I want to share it with you. 

My Secret Sauce for Facing Fear

When you approach work from a place of PLAY, suddenly it’s an exciting kind of scary rather than an inhibiting kind of scary. 

I have a recurring, theatre-related nightmare that I’m in a play, but I didn’t learn my lines. The funny thing about this is that I’m more frustrated than anxious, because usually it’s a great part and I wish my dream self were more prepared to enjoy it!

Theatre has given me confidence, poise, and a crazy determined work ethic – all on accident.

When you play with this stuff, it becomes much less terrifying and much more natural. I don’t want to say ‘easy’ because it is hard work, but I can promise you that play makes the process more enjoyable. More playful.

I have to say, I’m surprised to find myself calling my courses ‘professional development’, and yet so many students have told me they made career advancements as a result of taking them. Professional development? no way. That’s serious stuff. This is fun! The beauty is, that you can go to Leading Lady summer camp to play, and earn a promotion or start a business as a result. 

I’ve broken down my 19 years of experience on the stage into 8 weeks of confidence bootcamp, where we look at fear and go:

LET’S NOT CHASE HIM AWAY
LET’S FACE HIM AND SAY HEY PUNK LET’S DANCE

(that’s from Legally Blonde: The Musical, and in context, isn’t referring to fear, but it’s what rolled into my head.)

I have a bold claim. I bet you’re holding yourself back.

What is your actual, unfiltered dream?

In high school, my English teacher asked me where I wanted to go for college, and I told him with confidence that I wanted to go to the school with the best study abroad programme in Oxford. This felt like a pretty bold dream, and I felt proud of myself for stating it. He pointed out to me, though, that what I wanted to do was skip the study abroad and go straight to Oxford. 

You’d think I would have learned my lesson from that one, but it took a few more tries.

In my final year of Oxford, when a career counsellor asked what I wanted to do, I said “Well, ideally I would run my blog for a living but I know that’s realistic. So … something … like that?” 

I was handed some uninspiring handouts on PR, which I proceeded to recycle. I applied, was accepted to, and got a visa for a master’s degree in Magazine Journalism, because that was “kinda like blogging”, only to arrive and realise that I was still avoiding my truth. 

I don’t want that to happen to you. 

I want you to derail you from that track we call normal, and help you build your own yellow brick road straight through fear to your actual idea of success. 

I promise to help you figure out what that is, how to get there, and how to show up for the task. 

Ready? Let’s do this.

P.S. Registration for Leading Lady closes on Wednesday! I hope to see you in our ensemble.