Making stuff is scary. Shipping stuff is scary. Performing new stuff is terrifying.
It’s easy to forget that the first time you stepped out on stage you didn’t know what was going to happen or what it was going to feel like.
Artists in other industries can at least hide behind their creation, the film they produced, the sculpture they created, the music score they wrote or even the tangible product they designed. It still takes balls to deliver but it’s not quite as personal and raw. In a live performance medium you are the product, the end result and your actions are the art. You can’t hind behind the art, you are the art.
In circus it’s common that the performer is also the director/choreographer/administrator/publicist so the pressure on getting everything right is huge and very personal. You have to trust to your vision and actions before you have any idea if it’s going to work or if it’s any good. Self belief is the most important attribute to any artist and yet too much misspent ego can be a curse.
Every artist at some point feels the guilt of relying on tested ideas, not pushing oneself to deliver new work that has been dreamt up, written down and developed behind closed doors. Don’t feel the guilt, act upon it.
There’s a comfort in thinking, “I could have done that better than them”. There’s no comfort in stepping out and doing it, just reward.