Stage fright doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care what age or ethnicity you are, nor how rich or poor. It doesn’t care if you’re a passionate aspiring actor or an acting veteran with many accolades. Relentlessly, it strikes on its own terms–just ask Andrew Garfield and Ethan Hawke!

As of Sunday night, British-American actor Andrew Garfield became a Tony-winner thanks to his Angels in America performance. His portrayal of Prior Walter who suffers from AIDS is truly a feat; after all, the two-part Broadway play runs for seven-and-a-half hours.

Certainly, Andrew has come a long way as an actor especially considering the fact that when he was just starting out, he didn’t think he was even worthy of stepping on a stage. In an Off Camera Show interview, Garfield stated that he suffers from issues of self-worth. Reflecting on his early acting experience in England, Andrew said, “I remember how I was going to walk on stage for the first time, and I thought I was going to die … I literally thought, ‘If I walk on that stage, I’m going to die … I’m a fraud, I have nothing to offer’ … that was the first feeling I had.”

But his internal struggle was interrupted soon thereafter as he strolled along the River Thames and happened across a humble man who was busking. Indeed, the musician’s guitar playing and singing talent was rather unremarkable, but he gave a heartfelt rendition of the Don McLean song Vincent, and it touched Andrew.

Garfield was taken by the fact that this man “picked up his instrument, he walked onto his stage on the concrete, and he breathed in and let himself express himself in the way that he felt called to.” His actions demonstrated to young Andrew just how important it is to show up as well as to be willing to expose your vulnerabilities and inadequacies. The realization was enough to make Andrew weep, and as if for dramatic effect, the clouds parted and the sun came out! The wholeness of the experience left Andrew feeling transformed. And he realized with absolute certainty, that if he didn’t go on stage, then he would die!

Little did the lone busker know the impact he made on a rising star who was at risk of not following his own calling because of incapacitating self-doubt. Garfield has gone on to be praised for his performances is Hacksaw Ridge, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Silence.

Ethan Hawke is a widely celebrated actor who’s been nominated for an Academy Award four times for his performances in Boyhood, Training Day, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. But when Hawke was invited to perform Shakespeare passages on the grand old Globe Theater stage in London for a charitable event, stage fright got ahold of him!

When Ethan realized he was expected to perform the legendary “To be or not to be” Hamlet speech sandwiched between two Thespian greats, Vanessa Redgrave and Paul Scofield– both whom can boast achieving the Triple Crown of Acting–he actually believed the artistic director was messing with him. During rehearsals, Hawke felt certain he was going to be the laughingstock of the show as he couldn’t imagine he was good enough to live up to that placement. The artistic director was Mark Rylance–who’d later go on to play Spielberg’s Big Friendly Giant, win an Oscar for his Bridge of Spies performance, and receive three Tony Awards– and he’d played Hamlet many times before. A Shakespearean master, Rylance gave Ethan a strategy to deliver the lines that had always worked for him–as Hawke shares in the video clip above. And the strategy worked! As it turns out, the legendary Scofield praised Hawke’s performance after the show.

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