Anxiety can grip the best of us, it is a natural activation in the body spanning all the way back to our caveman days. When we are scared and stressed, we become anxious and living in our fast paced world it can be even more accelerated. And itâs no surprise that anxiety and anger go hand in hand. However, even the most confident of people get nervous and celebrities are no exception.
Celebrities are just like us, when they are exposed to the world they have to remember to show their best selves or they suddenly lose followers. Some celebrities maintain public personas, which are heavily crafted versions of themselves that they display to us. These are not real people either; these are still âcharactersâ of sorts and therefore the stars that maintain these personas tend to be less nervous and a lot more charismatic. Many see acting as a confident art form where you have to constantly parade yourself on social media when in fact a lot of actors love their job because of what it means to them. Telling stories, developing relationships and conveying emotions are not something that has to be limited because you suffer from anxiety. In fact, some actors donât believe in hiding at all, Kristen Stewart who openly has anxiety has spoken out about her experiences with developing characters. She suggests that her characters always have parts of her in there that help her to feel rooted and more at home. Others however prefer to change their whole appearance and accent to become their characters leaving no trace of their identity; this helps with critical backlash as well.
Some examples of celebrities with anxiety range from Oscar nominee, Jesse Eisenberg to Captain America himself, Chris Evans. In Jesseâs case, there have been many times that the actor has openly expressed his fight with both anxiety and OCD but what is shocking is the amount of negative comments his illnesses have garnered (especially on Hollywood Reporterâs 2011 Oscar Roundtable in which there was not one nice comment). These comments range from âwhat a twitchy, nervy geekâ to âthis boy makes me so anxiousâ. So why do we get so angry with celebrities that openly appear anxious? Well for one it may be due to the fact that we project our emotions onto others and another personâs anxious feelings get projected onto us, therefore making us feel uneasy. A good example of this can be found in an X Factor audition in which you can see the contestant visibly shaking and you suddenly feel incredibly nervous for them. Another reason may be that we become angry at their failure to uphold their celebrity caricature, when a star shows signs of anxiety it means they are human and just like us. When we are constantly fed news about a celebrity scandal we feel worldâs away from them and instead of making us feel closer to them we instead feel more detached as we become enraged that they can earn as much money and publicity as they do and still appear nervous.
Interviews are even trickier. Many people have to remember that these stars arenât playing characters when they are being interviewed; they are playing themselves. They often have to balance their ability to come across as funny and relatable whilst also appearing intelligent and knowledgeable about their craft. One misplaced line and suddenly they canât chew gum and walk at the same time, likewise one funny anecdote and their profitability soars. And when they do reveal themselves they are abused by Internet trolls for being self indulgent, narcissists hiding behind insecure, shivering intellectuals. Putting it simply, interviews arenât as easy as they look especially for celebrities with anxiety.
We are all human and it is perfectly fine to feel nervous in situations where you would normally feel nervous. Most of us dread public speaking and the thought of a presentation has most us banging our heads against the wall. What we need to focus on is our compassion for others and their situations; this can be integrated into everyday life as well. Instead of feeling angry at somebodyâs lack of confidence, try and build them up and highlight how well they did instead of how nervous they were. The majority of people only become anxious because they fear others perceptions of them, if we were all compassionate to others then we would no longer feel the need to keep beating ourselves up. Of course, this wont clear up anxiety but it will definitely go some way in helping others feel better about their presence.
If your anxiety is beginning to take over your life you can visit www.mind.org.co.uk, www.sane.org.co.uk or www.idontmind.com. Lets start the conversation.