The majority of what we do as actors and voiceovers, I would say probably 90% of the time, is look for work. Seriously. Even those that are in successful shows are looking for their next gig. At last year’s Emmy’s, Kristin Chenoweth, who won for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy for the recently canceled Pushing Daisies, commented in her acceptance speech that she was once again looking for work so if anyone had anything, please call her . The woman had just won an Emmy and she needed a job. WOW. How’s that’s for a reality check?!!
Because so much of our time is spent looking for work, we rarely get to do the work which is why we got in the business in the first place! Our days are filled with cold calling, auditioning, connecting, marketing, and hardly ever with acting and performing. Which is why a recent exercise I did was so important to me. I think I’ve mentioned before that a group of like minded Voiceovers are banding together and organizing an unconference called Faffcon. The name is a made up name derived from the British term faffing about which means goofing off. An unconference is a meeting which is unstructured in that you don’t have a speaker droning on from a podium or a dais and you are sitting in a darkened auditorium and your only participation is passive. Instead it is a collaborative meeting with everyone as a presenter. Anywho, one of the multitalented members of the group, Peter O’Connell, was putting together a video to help potential attendees understand what Faffcon was all about. He sent out a script and asked whomever was interested in participating to record themselves on a video camera doing the script. Well this got my little noggin all stirred up with excitement. Instead of doing the 3 takes of each line so Peter could cull the best for video, I chose to record several characters that happened to take roost in my brain. I did the lighting, the sound, the costuming, make-up, and of course the acting in each one. And let me tell you, I had a blast doing it. I almost didn’t send Peter the takes because I was all in my head thinking about were they stupid or embarrassing but in the end, I sent them off with a smile. Acting is about taking chances.
I needed to be reminded of how much fun it is to do what I do for a living. I am so fortunate that I am able to play for my job. I just need to remember to do more of the play while I’m doing all of the other stuff that has to happen so I can play more.