Being Highly Sensitive and Creative - Page 32

Evan Rachel Wood recalls, “I used to not even be able to order pizza on the phone because I was just so shy.” She thinks acting allows so much to come out on-screen, “because that’s my time to let go in a safe place.” Frances McDormand has talked about the “mental scar tissue” that helps us deal with emotional pain in life, and thinks, “An actor’s scar tissue really never covers over things the same way, not if you’re going to be sensitive. With good technique, an actor can do that and walk through life without going insane.” One strategy McDormand suggests is to simply get away from the theater or the set, and live life in the real world, not a fantasy world – especially one like a film set that can be designed to be emotionally intense. Claire Danes has referred to herself as shy. I don't know her personally, but like many people, she may experience a combination of shyness and high sensitivity. She has commented, “I did not perform well socially in junior high. I was a strange girl and I was in a lot of pain because of that, like most teenagers.” In an interview when she was about 15, she said, “I never thought of myself as shy, and then I realized I am kind of shy; I’ve just built defenses to hide it.” [Interview mag., Jan, 1995.] Many highly talented actors like Danes report feeling shy, socially isolated and highly sensitive. Elaine Aron, PhD, in her book The Highly Sensitive Person notes this term shy “has some very negative connotations. It does not have to; shy can also be equated with words such as discreet, self-controlled, thoughtful, and sensitive.”