An Open Letter to the Theatre Kids with Anxiety

  • Austin Russell

To the ones who have to push through the day, overwhelmed by the idea of having to perform for people... But then can breathe the moment you are told to perform in front of the lights. The stage managers who know that they can handle anything with a CLEAR-COM on their head, and a notebook in their hand. The designers who will always feel at home in front of their concepts, sketches, and crazy amounts of notes. The ones who can’t stand the feeling of auditions, but can’t live without the feeling of performing. The ones who spend their time living in utter perfectionism, because they can’t mess this one up.

I am here for you all. You are loved. You are cared for. And you have someone in your corner.

What we do isn’t easy, and is almost paradoxical. It’s taking the thing we fear, and turning it on its head. It’s crazy. But it makes us feel alive.

It’s a get away.

An escape.

And for a couple hours at a time.

We can hit refresh 

And it’s brilliant.

Art is the medicine of life, and we embrace every ounce of it.

There may be the flubs. There may be the backstage panic attacks. The hyperventilations. The going ups. The missed cues.

But, you know what? Just like life, theatre happens. Theatre will always happen. 

Allowing us to prove to myself that anxiety does not run us, but is just something that makes us fight stronger. I don’t think I would be where I am without theatre, and to my characters along the way, thank you for being a part of the journey. This is a chance for me to express myself, and have the billion thoughts running through my head to just be.... quiet.

To my theatre kids out there fighting anxiety,

Don’t let anyone take away your thing.

It’s your thing.

And it’s awesome.

I’m proud of you.

You’re doing amazing.

And you’re gonna kill it.

Just sayin.