I’ve been asked a few times, “What is the hardest thing about Juilliard?” Of course the workload is heavy and I have to manage my time well, but I’ve realized that the hardest thing about Juilliard is overcoming fear in order to grow as a person and an artist. Fear of looking dumb, not hitting the high note, making a bad acting choice; the list goes on and on.
What I’ve found throughout the time I’ve been here is that fear only prevents you from achieving whatever it is that you want. If you’re afraid of looking dumb, you’re not going to try out big acting choices that might go over really well. If you’re afraid of the high note, it probably won’t come out well supported and it’s actually more likely to crack. We always subconsciously think that being afraid of something makes sure that we’ll be protected from it. As an artist, my fear prevents me from getting any better, because I’ll never improve unless I first try things that don’t work.
Since I’ve been at Juilliard, I’ve found that I don’t need to be afraid. My teachers and coaches are all so encouraging that I’m not afraid to try things that might not be 100% on the first try. My class is extremely supportive, and I know that if my acting choices look dumb or my voice cracks that they aren’t going to make fun of me for it. By setting aside fear, I allow myself space to achieve things that I could never have achieved if I was held back by it.