If you stick around this blog long enough you will find I am an improv-enthusiast. If you listen long enough to an improv artist you will hear the phrase “follow the fear” thrown around in one way or another. The idea (or principle to some) is taken different ways by different people, but the general consensus is that if something scares you (makes you uncomfortable) in a scene, you should do that thing. That action, in theory, will take you to a level or place in your scene instead of letting it stagnate and die a slow. painful. death.
Life and improv often draw curious parallels. It only makes sense since we are just making things up as we go along in our day-to-day just as much as we are on a stage. Occasionally the the improv line turns and intersects with the life line (not palm reading style, just metaphorically). The fear principle is one of those times.
When your life is stuck, you don’t know what you are doing or where you are going, look where you are. Check in with those around you, be they stage or life partners, and then MOVE towards that scary thing you have been skirting around. Be it something small like a conversation you’re avoiding or something big like a move across the country: do it.
Follow your fear – your fear will lead you somewhere.
In the end, hopefully, you will wonder why it scared you so much in the first place.