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GKN Weekly Update 8/7/12 – Are You Good At What You Do? Part 2

Good morning, fellow voice-talkers! I hope you’re feeling better than I am. I woke up on Sunday with a summer cold. BLECH!!! So please read this blog entry, but don’t touch it…

I finished reading “Talent is Overrated” by Geoff Colvin a few days ago and I’ve had some time to digest it.

What’s interesting about reading a book like this is the perspective you bring to it. Am I a world-class voice talent? Why or why not? Why do so many people think they can just show up at the door of this industry and be a world-class performer overnight?

I learned a few thing

First off, to be a world-class performer you have to engage in “deliberate practice”, which I discussed in Part One. Specifically, they engage in Self-Regulation, Self-Observation, and Self-Evaluation. To quote from the book:

“The best performers set goals that are not about the outcome but about the process of reaching the outcome.”

From my perspective as a voice talent, that means having a strong Mission Statement, Annual Goals, and Monthly Action Plans. To be great is to be consistently good, you know. Constantly moving forward, building strong habits & patterns of behavior.

Another thing present in world-class performers is the accumulation of Myelin in the brain. The more you do certain things, like play chess or repair watches (or voice e-learning projects!), the more Myelin wraps itself around the axons of the neurons in the brain, which speeds up the impulses from those neurons, so you can do those things better, faster, and longer. It takes thousands of hours of Deliberate Practice for enough Myelin to accumulate to make you a world-class performer.


So what does this all mean to a voice talent? If you’re new to the business, just because you have a “nice” voice doesn’t mean you know how to use it right, how to take direction, or how to market yourself. These are things that can take YEARS to do effectively. So find a good coach, practice with copy, and listen, learn, and apply!


Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. Mark Twain


I love discovering older films that were made by directors I love, only I had no idea they directed them! Case in point: since I was laid up with this damn summer cold, I was on the couch for most of Sunday watching movies. One flick I watched was “Beverly Hills Cop II”. A fun one, right? I’m watching the opening credits and you know who directed it? Tony Scott; one of my favorite directors of all time! I first noticed him when he directed “Man on Fire”, one of my favorites. Did you know he also directed “Top Gun”? Crazy, right?!

From Tom Dheere’s germ-infested apartment, this is Tom Dheere: GKN News…


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