Venus Ventures is always encouraging woman and men to identify their strengths, needs and desires and transform their innermost passions into reality. We believe that no one should be prevented from living the life they most want and being the person they most want to be due to societally and self imposed limits. For this reason, we are extremely proud to be supporting Todd Charron’s “Follow Your Fear Day”, an annual event that encourages people to sign up to do something they have always wanted to do, but haven’t.
Participants should sign up for their fear as soon as possible and have until August 24 to face it.
We recently spoke to Todd about the origins and goals of this life changing event and strongly recommend that everyone takes the dive, breaks down the barriers of fear and inspire others to do the same!
VV: What is Follow Your Fear Day, exactly, and what is its reason for being?
TC: Follow Your Fear Day is an event geared around people finding those things they’ve always wanted to do in their lives but haven’t done yet. They’ve been putting it off for some reason; they’ve been procrastinating or have always been prioritizing other things. Often, what you find out, what stops most people from getting things done is some level of fear; fear of getting started, fear of what the outcome will be.
We take those sorts of things and encourage people to actually commit to accomplishing either the thing itself or at least taking the next step in the path they want to go on. This year, Follow Your Fear Day is August 24.
Participants have the option of speaking at the celebration event (August 24). We’ll have a selection of speakers who will give a brief, 5 minute talk along the lines of “Here’s what my fear was, here’s what I ended up doing, and here’s how it went”. It’s usually very inspiring. Last year, we had people perform and that was part of their fear following.
What was the first fear you followed and what inspired you to follow that fear?
I’m an improviser. I remember I had an improv teacher named David Shore. [He] always encouraged his students to follow their fear. He said: “Whatever scares you on stage, that’s what you should be doing out there”. He also mentioned to us that he followed his fear by doing a one man, solo, improvised show. He said it terrified him and he would do it once a year. I thought: “That’s amazing” because I didn’t even think you could do a solo, one man, improv show at the time. I said: “One day, I’m gonna do that”, and then I proceeded not to do that.
Then, a guy named Andy Eninger came from Chicago. He invented a solo form called “the Sybil” andhe was doing a workshop on how to do a solo improv show. I thought: “Ok, I’ll sign up for that and then I’ll do a solo improv show. So, I did that, took the course, and then proceeded to also not do a solo improv show. Then, one day, I was doing a normal improv show and afterwards, everybody went out and I was talking to a gentleman by the name of Colin Sharpe. He was doing a one man scripted show. I said to Colin: “Have you ever done a solo improv show?” and he said: “No, have you?”
It was at that moment that I realized: “OK, I’ve been putting this off for far too long and I really need to do something about it”. That’s when I decided that I was going to pick a date and I was going to do that show. Then, I was thinking about why I was putting it off and was thinking it was probably because I was scared. I thought: “Well, if I’m scared to do this, what are things that other people are scared to do?” I put these thoughts into a whole event, encouraged other people to participate and they did.
When the participants share their experiences during the celebration day, is there a common theme that runs through their story?
I think that what commonly comes up is this realization that they feel so much better [having followed their fear]. They feel a sense of relief having done that thing, and now it’s done. So, by the time they get to the event, it’s like “Wow, I did that and now it’s done” and there’s usually a positive, inspirational feel because [following their fear] is never as bad as people think it’s going to be.
For this year’s Follow Your Fear Day, Todd will be doing a one man, solo, improv show as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. He’ll be performing in 8 shows over a two week span. Click here for more information about his performances.
Also, visit this page to for more information about the event and to register your fear!