“Fear can make you come up with strengths you didn’t know you had.”
Alan Alda explains the very real value of fear in his article How to Be a Nervous Wreck:
“There is a certain fear for me in acting, and it happens much earlier than opening night: it’s when I’m in a chair, reading the script for the first time and wondering how I could possibly play such a part.
“When I’m faced with a kind of character I’ve never tried before, the fear can rise to the level of terror.
“But, it’s a terror I look forward to, and I don’t like to take on a part unless it scares me a little.
“I’ve found a tremendous value in this kind of fear, because if I don’t wonder how I’m going to accomplish something, I’m in danger of doing it the way I’ve done it before, or even worse, the way I’ve seen someone else do it. Being scared can be a sign that I’m not headed toward an easy stereotype.
“But, here’s where it gets weird. I don’t just scare myself with playacting. I scare myself in the rest of my life, too…”