A Clarification from Mr. Franklin

Ben Franklin was a man of many wise saying that still have relevancy today.  You know, “A penny saved is a penny earned”, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”, “He that is good at making excuses is seldom good for making anything else” and of course every hostesses favorite “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after 3 days”.  One of my favorites is “Never confuse motion with action”.  This one has really resonated with me, especially recently and has led to a slight change in how I’ve been evaluating opportunities.  I’m a big proponent of taking workshops and classes even if I’ve had to travel to take them.  Let’s just say I’ve never met a workshop I didn’t turn down.  I’m not that bad about it but I do take a lot of them.  I do believe there is something to be learned from any situation and of course there are contacts to be made.  I am pretty choosy about who I take classes from so I’ve been able to avoid most of the shysters that prey on the acting and voiceover community.

Recently though, my thought has turned away from learning and more towards doing.  I realized that all this traveling to take workshops really threw a monkey wrench in my schedule.  There was a gearing down and gearing up time that took energy and attention away from my progress.  And because I was out of the studio and wasn’t in town, it was affecting my ability to audition both on the mic and on camera.  I realized that while I was learning from each opportunity, what I was giving up wasn’t being paid back in kind.  I was confusing motion with actually taking action and making progress.

As a result of this, I’ve said no to several recent workshop opportunities.  I realized I needed to practice what I’d learned at all the other ones I’ve taken.  So my suitcase remains in the closet.  I’ll be attending workshops again in the future but for the time being, I’ve got my feet planted right here at home and I’m no longer confusing motion with action.  Besides, the heat finally broke and it’s heavenly here.

New Horizons

A few weekends ago I took part in a VoiceOver workshop taught by Marice Tobias.  I’ve just started working with her this past year and as with each good coach I work with, I take away something new every time.  Not just all the really great talent I meet at these workshops, and let me tell you I’ve been in the midst of some of the stars in our business who are amongst the most generous I could hope to meet, but I often leave with a completely new perspective.  One I hadn’t considered before.  And it’s not like I’m making vast and dramatic changes like all of the sudden switching from being left-handed to right handed, or to actually liking mushrooms, or to speaking Latin as my primary language.  These are the subtlest of changes to my delivery, my approach.  The interesting result of these tweaks is once I am done incorporating them into my process, I look up to find a brand new horizon in front of me.  Not that the old one was bad.  But this new one is a result of a refinement to the path I’d been on before and now was no longer traveling.  That’s the cool thing about learning.  Once you learn something, you can’t go back to not knowing it.  Your perspective is forever changed.  It can be a bit uncomfortable, always having to adjust your vision, but this is far outweighed by the opportunities that stretch out before you as far as the horizon.  And the exciting thing is realizing this horizon is in front of you for a brief time, that there is another equally amazing horizon to come.  And another.  And another.  You just have to keep embracing the tweaks and the changes they bring.  Now that’s cool.