I often think about what it means to have courage as a voice actor. Specifically, the courage to start your voiceover journey. Here’s what I mean by that…
I used to be a café manager at a certain major bookstore chain. Someone who worked under me wanted my job so she put up one of the employees to claim I 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. 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. It actually funded the creation of my first home recording setup. As a side note, that year (2005) I had only four voiceover clients and fifteen years later I still work with three of them. Crazy, right?
Here’s the weird part. 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 benefits & a flexible schedule. I already had my Mission Statement, Action Plan, and binder system in place 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 planned to step down as manager and transfer to another unit as an hourly employee. The morning I was going to tell my boss, I chickened out. That very same afternoon I was suspended and fired a few weeks later.
In the 15 years since, I have had the good fortune to build a successful voiceover business populated by wonderful clients and an incredibly giving & kind group of fellow voice actors, many of which I am proud to call my friend.
TIP OF THE WEEK
I lacked courage for many years and got fired for it. The funny thing is that if I had the courage to quit the day I got fired, I wouldn’t have gotten the unemployment benefits that funded my first home recording studio. What would have happened if I had courage that day? Would I even be a voice actor right now? These are the things I try not to think about!
Courage is critical to having an effective voiceover career. Not just the courage to start your voiceover journey but the courage to take a hard look at yourself, admit your faults & flaws, and act to overcome them. We are constantly biased by our assumptions and views about ourselves. To fully admit who you are to yourself requires courage. You can’t be a better voice actor if you don’t!
NEWS AND NOTES
RIGHT NOW!: The “VO Meter Podcast” featuring yours truly! Click here to give it a listen.
Thursday, October 22nd @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar will be ‘What Your Website Says About You’. In this one-hour webinar, we’ll talk about how your website can help you gain or lose clients without you ever knowing it. This webinar caps at 25 attendees and sells out fast. Click here to sign up!
SOLD OUT!!! Saturday, October 24th @1:30 PM EDT: Johnny Heller’s NEW ENGLAND VIRTUAL NARRATOR RETREAT 2020. I will talk about Time Management and Workflow. There will be many amazing audio book narrators, coaches, and publishers. It’ll be swell!
SOLD OUT!!! Wednesday, October 28th @8PM EDT: ‘eLearning Praxis (that means practice) and COSTUME CONTEST!!!’
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
So take a few deep breaths and let yourself off the hook. See if you can approach the problem with an attitude of play. Michael Port
Tom Dheere is a voice actor who has narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. In addition to voice acting, he is a voiceover business and marketing consultant known as the VOStrategist. When not voicing or talking about voicing, Tom produces the comic book “Agent 1.22”. You can subscribe to his weekly blog and the monthly VO Strategist Learnin’ Stuff Notice here.