Getting Rid of the Ghosts of Christmas Past
Frank Cross (Bill Murray meets The Ghost of Christmas Past in Scrooged, 1988
It seems that each year it’s hard to believe that Christmas is upon us yet again. Whether you celebrate or not, this time of year is a turning event for many. It is the time we create goals and reflect on the past.
Instead of talking about the future today, I’d like to reflect on the past. My incredible assistant, John Harris, suggested this topic and I think it is most fitting. Many of us dwell on what isn’t, instead of focusing on what could be. It’s so easy for us as a society to blame, make excuse and focus on the negatives that set us back. I tend to focus on the positive and this isn’t always easy. There is always something or someone getting in the way of your success. Most importantly you!
I encourage you to reflect on what you’ve done this year to create success for yourself and to flesh out what has held you back. Many of us hold finances accountable to our progression. Whether it’s investing in coaching, demos, equipment, marketing or branding, we are all forced to put in a ton of time and investment into our craft. There are many out there who truly can’t afford to invest further to obtain more productive results, but isn’t that the same as saying, I can’t afford the schooling to be a lawyer, so I’m just gonna wing it? It’s interesting that if we pursue an established career or trade, we make whatever efforts we need to so that we can accomplish the degree or certification that allow us the ability to draw an income from that profession, yet with Voice Acting, people assume that all they need is a voice and some equipment and they will just make it work.
Those of you who suit this category are doing exactly as I describe; you’re winging it! As a result you may not be seeing the success you were hoping to obtain. Are you blaming the industry? The Pay 2 Play sites? The Time invested? Your Finances? It’s interesting that people would pursue an industry when they truly can’t afford to. If you can’t afford to progress, have you considered this may not be the right industry for you at the time? I have more students or potential students who tell me they can’t afford the demos, the equipment or the necessary training and branding, yet they still pursue. You wouldn’t be able to do this with any other profession, so why do we think we can in Voice Acting? Simply put, because we all have a voice, therefore we should all be working.
What does this say for those who have made the investment? For those who have sacrificed finances, time, family and more to make this a reality? Shouldn’t they be the ones who are hired to do the work? We never hear of all the set backs that a successful actor has throughout their journey. Once they make it to the top, it just makes it look like it was that easy. This article isn’t intended to turn you away from the industry, it’s only intended to keep you realistic in what you expect from this industry.
If you truly want to succeed and create a full time income for yourself, you must put in full time hours. I am a firm believer that you get what you give. How many hours a day do you spend auditioning? Marketing? Finding new clients? Training? Invoicing etc. This should be a full time job. This is not an industry where you can just wing it, or just happen to be at the right place at the right time. Voice Acting is the rawest form of acting – you literally have to be that good and in today’s market, you also have to be that good at business.
Let’s take 2013 as a time to get rid of everything that has stood in your way. Fight the odds and take huge risks to make this happen. The Mayan calendar ended this year and there are many who fear the world will end, but I went to the Mayan Riviera myself just recently and inquired with the Mayan culture directly as to what this really means. It was explained to me that this means it’s a time to re-birth. It’s a time for change. Our society is taking for granted their lives and their importance in it. It’s time to stop procrastinating and time to be productive. Quit reflecting on that which stands in your way and find solution for tomorrow.
Today is a time to celebrate. WE ARE WORTH THE INVESTMENT and we can’t let ANY obstacle stand in our way. We all have them so let’s make 2013 obstacle free. Every year is another opportunity of change and growth, so let’s start this one off right.
Happy Holidays to you all – no matter what you celebrate
I wish us all nothing but success.
Here is to a most successful 2013 – CAN ANYONE SAY IT’S CRUISE TIME?! (keep watching)
All my best,
VO Chef Deb
My Voice, Mixed Your Way!