Chasing Fear

When I was younger I was a bit of a  daredevil. I don’t know if it was actually me, or if it was just that the Oahu terrain practically required it.

There were countless deep mountain pools and waterfall cliffs to be jumped from. Lots of skinny-ridged hikes with plateaus in the clouds, and dark caves and deep jungles begging to be explored.  

And if I’m being really honest, my most harrowing cliff jump happened only because my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend jumped first.  

I was not going to be outdone. 😬 #competitive

One time, a group of us climbed through a small hole in the Ko’olau mountain range into a working tunnel that transports water from one part of the island to another.  Once inside, we blew up rafts, donned headlamps, grabbed the feet of the person ahead of us and let the water carry us...somewhere.

We were in complete darkness…. floating THROUGH A MOUNTAIN.

At some point, our “leader” found our exit point (how??), and, one by one, we deflated our rafts and shimmied out of the mountain and back onto the trail that would eventually take us to our cars.   

Still gives me nightmares when I think about what could have happened.  

Here’s the really incredible thing.

You’re doing something scary too.  Every day. You’re chasing an acting career that most people only dream about.

So, sure it’s scary, in the sense that you don’t know the outcome,  but doesn’t that make it kind of exciting, too?

You’re inside of a mountain and don’t really know how you’re going to get out.

You’re leaping off the biggest cliff of all and you don’t know where the bottom is.  

You’re doing it because your dream is worth it, and anything can happen.

Anything can happen!

Isn’t that thrilling?

And what about that insidious fear in the audition room?

Yes, it’s nerves, but it’s really just your body telling you you’re excited.  And it's reminding you how much this career means to you.

Let me ask you this.

Do you go to scary movies?  If so, why do you go?

I think it’s because scary movies are intense and exciting, right? After the movie you’re downloading with friends a mile a minute, your heart is racing, and you feel giddy, relieved and still, a tiny bit freaked out that *that* just happened.

Kinda like how you feel after a great audition, right? We actually thrive on the adrenaline rush of fear!

It’s why we played with the Ouija board then,  and why we’re obsessed with Stranger Things now.

So, I have an idea.

What if you treated your whole career–  and more specifically the audition process– like you were going to a scary movie?  

Why are you not chasing your fear even more?

Don’t face your fears. CHASE your fears.  

Force yourself to be scared. Do what feels uncomfortable.  The actions you take to chase them will result in a more spine-tingling journey with bigger and more thrilling results.

You don’t need to jump off a cliff or go see a scary movie to feel afraid.  Being an actor is like living on the edge 24/7!

Get even closer to the edge.

Is there a scary phone call to a casting director, producer or director you’ve been wanting to make?

Is there a marketing postcard you want to send out but you don’t want to seem pushy?

Is there a short film you want to produce but you don’t have the guts to ask for help?

Is there an actor you want to collaborate with, even if it’s just for a self-tape?

Here’s your invitation to do it.

Pick something that feels scary.  Then pretend you’re about to watch that horror flick and chase the hell out of that fear the same way you’re chasing the hell out of your dreams.

Your quick-breath, flushed cheeks, and fast-beating heart will let you know you’re alive.

And that you survived.  

I would love to be your cheerleader on this journey, so come join the Magnetic Actor Method Facebook group and share all the sordid details with me there!  

Chase.  Not Face.

1...2...3.. GO!


This post was originally published by Tony Rossi on his blog here.  Tony is a Boston Red-Sox loving, Chicago-based actor and you can check him out on his podcast, The Tony Rossi show.