A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the wonderful conversation I had with my dear friend Stacey Tirro on her 'Changed For The Better, The Power Of Arts In Education' blog/podcast. You can read the blog here If you prefer, you can watch the video here. A big part of the conversation involved how my anxiety negatively impacted my college experience as well as my voiceover career.
"Vague goals will get you vague results. Specific goals will get you specific results." - Tom
Voiceover Anxiety? Moi?
Yes, Tom Dheere STILL has voiceover anxiety! Most of the time I'm fine, but during my weaker moments I still worry about where my next gig will come from. I still get nervous when business slows down. And yes, I occasionally suffer from Imposter Syndrome. All that does is make me human. The question is, do I control my anxiety or do I let my anxiety control me? It used to be the latter but now it's the former.
Tip Of the Week
How can a voice actor effectively manage their anxiety?
First off, understand that not all anxiety is created equal. Mine is relatively mild and does not require medication so I count myself fortunate. Other people's anxiety can be crippling and may require pharmacological help. Find a good cognitive therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist to determine if you have anxiety, the nature of your anxiety, what kind if help you need, and if you require medication. There is no shame in seeking help or taking prescription medication if that's what you need.
Check out MoodGym. It's "like an interactive self-help book which helps you to learn and practice skills which can help to prevent and manage symptoms of depression and anxiety". I used it years ago and it was a big help, but it's no substitute for therapy and medication.
The voiceover industry is not for the faint of heart. It is inherently chaotic and unpredictable with no guarantee of success. Anxiety is about fearing the future and letting it either paralyze you or make your life spin out of control. For me at least, one of the most effective coping mechanisms to deal with voiceover anxiety is to take control. Seek control through education, genre proficiency, development of business acumen, mastery of project management, and all of the other skills that will strengthen the foundation of your voiceover business. Creating stability and control may lessen your anxiety.
Harness the power of your anxiety to improve your voiceover career! Take that anxiety-driven energy and put it to good use. I use it to stay motivated & organized but I make sure that I don't let it devolve into "busy work" and endlessly scrolling on social media.
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Today's recommendation: laptop computers! I've had the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon for about a year now and I love it. I've used it many times for recording on the road doing PowerPoint presentations with no issues. The price has gone down a bit since I bought it but here is a link to a refurbished one for only $664,
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Tom Dheere is the VO Strategist, a voice over business & marketing consultant since 2011. He is also a voice actor with over 25 years of experience who has narrated just about every type of voiceover you can think of. When not voicing or talking about voicing, he produces the sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.