Ain’t too proud…

Not to beg as the song intones.  But recently I’ve been hired by a fellow voice talent to direct him on several long form projects.  For those not in the Voiceover business, long form in narration could be anything from an audiobook to e-learning to a documentary.  These scripts can be very dense and very often contain complicated language.  Usually the project needs to be sent to the client in an edited form with all the correct pronunciations.  Another set of ears on the audio and eyes on the script allow fixes to be made right away, eliminating the need to go back and insert a fix, all the while trying to match the sound and flow of the original recording.  It’s much easier and better to correct as you go.

Anywho, Bob Souer is the voice talent who hired me.  In the midst of this big project he was being interviewed by Kristine Oller for one of her wonderful coffee date interviews.  His VO business has grown so much he’s had to reach out for help and I was fortunate to be the one he contacted.  He was telling me about the call and said that while he talked about the assistance I was providing, he’d kept my identity anonymous.  His reason for doing this was he wasn’t sure if I wanted everyone to know I was directing him.  While I appreciated him protecting my privacy, my thought was I have no problem with people knowing I was working for him.  I am a big believer in there is dignity in any work and if I can help a fellow VO meet a tight deadline, I’m more than happy to do so.  Besides I’m learning a lot, not just about the stuff he’s recording, but also how he records and tells the story.  And he is paying me for my time.  We used to say in my former television sales life when a piece of biz would come in from a less than marquee client, that their money was as green as everyone else’s.  It spends and saves the same way.

Do I want to do this all the time?  No, that wasn’t my purpose in leaving full time corporate work to pursue a freelance creative life.  But part of that freelance life is that work will come from many different sources at different times.  That’s the exciting part.  And if part of my work comes from directing and not performing, that’s perfectly fine with me.  I’m not too proud to accept that work.  Actors who direct always get better as actors.  This serves my learning process as well as serving my financial process.  In your quest to create a new business life for yourself, don’t overlook adjunct ways to earn and learn that push your  success even further.  Be wise in how your spend your time as it is a limited resource but don’t let pride get in the way of a good experience.

Looking for the upside

So often, I get to the end of a day and all I can focus on is what I didn’t get done that day.  Blog posting wasn’t written, demo wasn’t finished, meeting wasn’t scheduled.  All reminders of the failure that the day was.  But I recently read a quote on a friend’s blog and it reminded me that there is an opposite and even more compelling story to be told about the day.  The quote was from Ilan Shamir and it said “A thousand things went right today“.  And reading it flip flopped my perspective right on it’s collective patootie.  It made me think about all the things I did get accomplished that day.  Maybe not all of the things that I had planned to get done, but instead were opportunities that presented themselves and couldn’t be ignored.  Like the great TV show looking for a host in my age range that had remodeling skills.  Or the software I finally got installed properly in spite of being disconnected 6 times trying to reach the tech support people.  Or the sound effects put together for an audio book for my nephew that made me laugh.  Not quite a thousand things yet, but you get the picture.  Changing the inner monologue from the negative to the positive isn’t easy but it’s so necessary.  It’s too easy look at the glass half empty instead of half full. What doesn’t get accounted for in all of that is the chipping away of self esteem and confidence with each little nick at the “what didn’t get done” board.  The other things will still be there tomorrow and I’m pretty sure there is going to be a tomorrow.  Paying attention to what did get done instead of what didn’t starts the momentum in a positive direction.  And with momentum, it’s just as easy to build up as it is to tear down.  It takes discipline to focus on what did go right today instead of what didn’t happen but the payoff is well worth it.