You have any advice for someone who wants to get into acting but has social anxiety disorder and hates seeing themselves in pictures or film?
The quick fix would be to try theatre—it makes sense that theatre is popular in grade school, in that it’s a natural organization of what kids enjoy & excel at: pretending. My desire to perform in a dedicated way came from the little school plays. I swear I made the best BLUE LION ever.
Also: know that your social anxiety disorder is changeable. Disorder, luckily, isn’t intractable; you can (and will) fix it. Perform. Record yourself doing something stupid—making goofy faces, singing badly. Try to realize that it’s an incredible, weird privilege to be alive in a time when we can so easily record & replay the past, and little past versions of ourselves. Know that what you see in the pictures and in the videos is not at all YOU—that it’s just a moment of you. In other words, think of yourself as a growing process, and not as a fixed bundle of adjectives (ugly, scared, insecure, etc.). This gets easier, too, the more you work on pretending to be other people for fun. Acting is a blast, but nowhere is it said that you MUST love to see yourself in photographs and videos to be an actor. I know those are the most modern and publicized mediums, but theatre, comedy, and entertaining friends are all much older and, hell, probably more honest.
Don’t beat yourself up for feeling uncomfortable in pictures or film, because our brains did not evolve to see so much of itself embodied in the world. Keep in mind that it’s okay to like the simpler stuff.
Work hard, love yourself as a changing process, and show that anxiety disorder the damn door.
a nice note from yourharbour: “I hate to add unsolicited advice, but it is a ‘dis’order. eg: People have been labeling dyslexia a disorder for awhile because those people don’t match up with expectant modes of behaviour, but they have creative powers non-‘dys’lexis lack! love yerself”