On this entertaining episode Nadia is joined by the splendid and rather funny actor and writer, Imogen Church, who has learned to overcome and manage the aspects of her shyness that were holding her back.
“I am an actress specialising in audio and I also write screenplays, novels and comic poetry.
I am happiest working from home, not having to interact with anyone except my husband, kids and dog. All other interactions make me nervous, sometimes to the point of palpitations and real fear. This includes telephone conversations, which I dread deep in my bones. I have worked my whole life to be better at this and, thanks to my job, have become good at acting my way through it. But, I cannot hide my horror of having my photo taken for my work!
On the right day I can take it in my stride and switch on the Social Imogen persona, who is loud and chatty. Other times I feel sick with fear, taking any joy out of it. I feel so scared.
It took me a long time to find my feet in my career. Weirdly, shyness is an excellent characteristic for the craft of acting but a terrible characteristic for succeeding at acting in the business sense.
My biggest challenges as a shy person are the telephone, networking, having my photo taken for work, basically selling myself. Or asking for help. Guilt.
On the positive side, shyness gives me a beautiful creative vulnerability. And a genuine satisfaction with my own company.
I have worked so hard to be able to override my shyness and I know I have managed it to a decent degree. Most people don’t even know I’m shy!
But the greatest part of that was making my career work for me, as a shy actress. Working in audio means I can act myself to pieces with no one looking at me! It is like I am at home alone, acting out these great stories with no one else there so I can be free to be vulnerable and just me!
My advice is to make peace with yourself.
Check out the audiobook of my first novel Nora The Explorer, which you can find on my website, under the writing section. It is about a perniciously shy young woman finding her voice.”
Quotes from the Episode:
“I spent so long acting my way through my awkwardness, my nerves and my fear..” [00:03:55]
“Deeper than the shyness, I have this deep sense of terror that I will live my whole life and waste it, so I spend a lot of my time doing things that terrify me.” [00:05:11]
“What is there to be so embarrassed about?” [00:18:25]