An Introverted Actress

Day Two: Obstacles

The biggest obstacle I had to face recently was my own vulnerability. I've talked about it before but I'm not comfortable when I'm on stage as "me". Throw me into the spotlight with a costume, a wig, a script and a score and you'll find it hard to drag me out of the theatre but as soon as those components are taken away, I feel so exposed that you may as well strip me naked for good measure, too. I can't even begin to explain how much I hate being onstage as myself, to have to perform to a crowd without a character to perform as. It's my worst nightmare. It's hell. I hate it with the burning passion of a thousand suns...and yet this weekend, just gone, I performed four shows to over three thousand people as just that...myself.

It's an obstacle that hadn't seemed necessary to overcome until now. I've been asked to perform solo concerts for years now and I've always had excuses. I'd been signed into a new long term contract. I had a book to finish. I was going on tour. I was going on tour abroad! Then suddenly, I had time to spare. I had no excuses left and yet I still found myself grasping for one. What was it that was stopping me from performing as no one but myself? Me. I was stopping me from doing it but I couldn't pin point exactly why. I still can't, really but suddenly, I realised it was a necessary obstacle to overcome. Just to prove to myself that I could. Well...I already knew I could but just to make double sure, I went ahead and did it. 

I wrote in my last blog that people say 'success lies outside of your comfort zone' (which I agree with to an extent...see last blog for details!). In this instance, I left the safety of my comfort zone this weekend because I wanted to see if I could hold it together for long enough to get through it. I wanted to see if maybe, I might actually love it! I really hoped I would so I could do more and more concerts and travel the country with my own solo show...

Now that I'm out the other side, I am glad I did it. I enjoy that I did it although, I'm not quite sure if that's the same as having enjoyed the experience. I'm not sure the stress and anxiety that came with facing that obstacle have outweighed the positives I also took away from it. My heart was in my throat the entire time, the voices in my head screaming "YOU'RE TERRIBLE GET OFF THE STAGE" have never been louder and I've been exhausted ever since I got home on Sunday night. To the point where I feel like I'm having some kind of weird, out of body experience, watching the shell of myself trying to figure out how to work my very simple washing machine, even though I've done it a million times before. Brain=mashed potato. However, I know I can look back on that experience, the pictures and the memories and be proud. Proud that I did hold it together. Proud that I put on a good show. Proud that I faced my fear.

(Gif by @CarrieHFHopeful on Twitter)



(Photographs by Darren Bell)


  1. I didn't get a chance to go but i'm sure you were amazing.
    Well done Carrie!

  2. I feel like I am the same way. I am absolutely horrified to do anything like a cabaret or concert or showcase simply because I am not portraying someone else. So, I completely understand where you're coming from. I wish I could've been there but I live in Rhode Island in the US. You should come here sometime ;)

  3. Thank you so much for doing the self care athon Carrie! I have started doing it myself and it has already taken some stress out of my life. Can't wait to keep going!

  4. Where did you get that gorgeous black dress? You look stunning!

  5. I'm not a performer at all and have so much admiration for anyone who can get on stage. I know any advice I give comes with no experience at all, but I had an idea.

    I know part of what makes you you is that you're always so honest and real with us, but perhaps next time you could create like a character of yourself, and play her onstage? Create a character that's exactly like you, but confident and loves singing as herself?

  6. From what I heard you did a fantastic job. Great blog post :)

  7. i never thought such outstanding performers feel that way. thanks for sharing. to many more obstacles overcome! x


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