Is there such a thing as a shy actor?
Most people believe that actors do what they do because they love to be the center of attention and to have people watching them all the time. Believe it or not, many of the famous people we love to watch are incredibly shy and only do what they do because they love it. The perk is, it can help them overcome their shyness or help them express themselves through a character.
Tom Hanks and Richard Gere both admit to being shy. Both men, along with several other actors, believe that being in front of the camera is easy because they are playing a character and not being themselves. Shy people find it difficult to make conversation with others, but the characters in the movie are full of self-confidence and that feeling boosts the actor’s confidence, too. Also, they are working with a script and this creates an ease that is not available in real life. If shy people could write a script and read from it in real life, that would remove a whole level of pressure.
Kiera Knightley and Michelle Pfeiffer have both talked about how they are not comfortable at parties and tend to look for a corner to sit in. Being famous has helped their confidence, but both women admit they are shy and would rather be home with their families than at large Hollywood parties. (This could also be introversion, but we would need more info from these ladies to make that determination.)
Many other famous people have admitted that their shyness was paralyzing as children and that it still takes a lot of work to overcome it. Being on stage allows them to feel safe because no one can judge them personally as they are playing a character. Some say that they can use the confidence of their characters in real-life to handle public appearances and other social engagements.
Stage fright is always a concern for shy actors, but they find ways to handle it. Some come to work already in character, while others have to force themselves to go to auditions and let someone judge their abilities. Every actor is different and being shy has possibly helped some with their careers because they so fully take on their characters that viewers forget they are watching a movie and embrace the characters completely.
Some actors appear to be distant and not interested in connecting with fans. While we may love them in the movies, when these actors are seen in interviews, they may not have that charisma we assumed they would. Instead of judging them, we need to consider that maybe they are just shy and not comfortable talking about themselves.
Shyness has not stopped hundreds of famous people from reaching for their dreams and it shouldn’t stop you, either. Keep reaching and working at your dreams! If you are interested in becoming an actor, don’t let shyness stop you. It may actually help you.
This goes beyond, acting. We’ve seen singers, performers, speakers, etc. who seem effortless on stage, but when they exit the stage, they are soft spoken, less talkative, or maybe, even, visibly uncomfortable. Remember – celebrities are human like us and have diverse personalities, too. Use that to inspire you to move forward.
So, once again, don’t let shyness (and even social anxiety) keep you from your dreams! Doing what you love may actually help create a shift that opens your life up to more balance – inside and out. The work always starts from the inside!
– Written by Jen Jones – the proud mom of three amazing kids and a wonderful son in law. Jones has been writing for several years and overcame shyness as a child to be able to give lectures about autism to large groups of people.
– Co-written/edited by Wallflower Bloom