Posted by: nancykenny | February 11, 2009

Nothing but Fear Itself

I would like to say that my mom and I are close.  However, for as long as I can remember wanting to be an actor, I have desperately wanted her full-fledged support in my unconventional career choice.  Though she ‘s always encouraged me to do something that made me happy, every conversation about day jobs would inevitably turn to talks of “Maybe you’ll actually like doing that instead.”

I know it’s a parent wanting peace of mind and security for her children, but I have to admit that I have avoided taking many career risks because in the back of my mind I’ve always worried about what she would think/react/say.  That’s my own fault for not being strong enough to take a stand and do it anyway.  I’ve learned that lesson now and have started making the hard decisions.

But suddenly, something’s changed.  It was so subtle at first, I’m not even sure when it started.  Maybe it was when my mom came from New Brunswick to see my first professional theatre gig at The Gladstone.  Or maybe it was when I decided to head out to Toronto.  Or maybe when I approached her for donations for my theatre company, informing her that we gained charitable status and showing her all the good press we’ve been receiving.

Or maybe, she just realized that after 10 years this isn’t just a hobby that’s going to go away.

Whatever the case may be, my mom has loosened up tremendously, which I’m also sure has a lot to do with my grandma’s passing.   When I told her I felt the need to go back and study my craft in a more intensive environment, I had all the reasons why she might say no in my head.  What she said instead surprised me: “Well of course you do.  You’re competing at a much higher level now.”

Um, hi?  Who are you and what have you done with my mommy?

So all of a sudden, I’m bringing up the excuses as to why she should say no.  Because there is no way this Dream Mommy can be real, right?

Me – Well, I guess I would have to sublet the condo if I went back to school.

DM – Oh that would be great!  No payments for a few months.

Me – But how would I handle paying the bills?  I don’t want to disconnect the internet.

DM – Trust me.  The bills will find you and if you’re not making mortgage payments, you’ll be able to cover them.

Me – Well, I guess I’d have to put my stuff in storage.

DM – Just lock it up in the basement.  It’s not like you have to take everything out.

Me – …

So I had a revelation.  It turns out that I’m scared.  Acting scares me. The possibility that I might actually be a good actor scares me even more because it means that I have to throw myself out of my comfort zone and actually do some hard fucking work.  The thing is, instead of dealing with my own fear, I’ve projected it onto my mom and turned her into my excuse for not getting any work done.

Well, without knowing it, she’s put a kibosh on that.  The apron strings have been cut and I now have exactly what I’ve always wanted.

Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it…



  1. Hi saw you were following me on twitter so decided to check out your site. Since i coach actors and actresses in going beyond their fear (Maxime Morin Quebec actress and Natasha Jette I can say that what you are doing is called projection/identification.

    1. A good technique is to remember that COURAGE means : to live your life the way you want it. Not by what others want from you or of you (parents, teachers, society,). To choose to live a life where you use your talents and skills, your beliefs and desire. Courage is a choice at the heart of it. It is a decision to go with what you beleive even thought you dont know if your right or wrong, even thought you maybe making a mistake

    2.The fear is also to recognize that you are not your mother and that you can live with your own beliefsand attitues, choices and decisions. To go beyond your fear of abandonment not rejection and to reformulate your map of the future wheer you can make money and abundance at doing what you want to.

    Hope this helps I have to go to sleep now lol its 2 am

    With love and peace


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