I like anniversaries. That’s why you see me post stuff like my Blog-aversary or Voice-aversary once in a while. It’s cool to remember & reflect. And wonder where the hell all that time went. I meant to post a couple of professional anniversaries recently, but other topics took precedence so I present them to you now…
One is November 4th, 1994. That’s the day I met with my first voice coach, Hope Noah, for a voiceover diagnostic. I worked with her for about six months, cut a demo, and started cold-calling. Back then that was the only thing I knew to do to market myself. No personal websites or Facebook in those days!
Another is October 17, 2005. That’s the day I was fired from the last job I will ever hold. It was one of the worst and best days of my life. Basically, someone who worked under me wanted my job so she put up one of the female employees to claim I sexually harassed her. Upper management bought it and I was fired. It was humiliating and I felt powerless.
I got a great lawyer who saw right through their BS and, after a few phone calls, I got a neutral reference and was eligible to receive unemployment benefits. The unemployment was huge because I was able to get by on that while I was building my voiceover business. As a side note, that year I had only four voiceover clients but to this day I still work with three of them. Crazy, right?
Here’s the weird part about that ordeal. When I got hired by the company in question I had already been pursuing voiceover for ten years with little success. I got the job to finance my voiceover business and give me both benefits & a flexible schedule. I already had my Mission Statement, Action Plan, and binder system in place (which I’ve had the pleasure of teaching to many of you) but I was too much of a wuss to take the plunge. By late 2005 I had had it with the soulless corporate monster that was providing me dental coverage and I put together a plan to step down as a manager and transfer to another office as an hourly employee. The morning I was going to tell my boss, I chickened out. That same afternoon I was suspended and then fired a few weeks later.
TIP OF THE WEEK: Upon reflection, it turns out that while the experience was quite traumatic, my “cowardice” gave me the funding I needed to kick-start my career. If I had manned up and stepped down as manager that day, I may not have been suspended. They may have suggested we part ways that day and I would have never gotten unemployment. Where would my voiceover career be right now? Would I even have one? Would I still be spinning my wheels at some day-job and wondering what the hell happened to my life? Who knows. What I do know is that that experience gave me the courage to finally walk the tightrope without a net. I’ve been a full-time voice talent for over nine years now and I’ve never been happier. Like Edward Albee said, sometimes you have to go north to go south!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
From Tom Dheere’s apartment, this is Tom Dheere: GKN News…