Eight years ago, I was asked to be the host of a corporate video for my then current employer. That “gig” expanded a bit into being a semi regular host of the same videos as my company merged with another. It also gave me the chance to go into a recording studio for the first time in order to record some wild lines to go into the video. Walking through the studio, sitting in the booth in front of the of the first Neumann TLM 103 mic I had ever seen, reading the script: I was smitten. I asked the very friendly and helpful people at the studio how to get to do voiceover work. They directed me to research, practice and come back, and they would make my demo and give me some contacts to get me started.
I moved forward, getting a demo done, making contacts and getting gigs. Voiceacting was most definitely my side work to my main job, and I many times reassured myself that I was perfectly happy with that arrangement.
I’m here to tell you that I was not.
I have worked with some outstanding voice talents during the intervening 8 years. Men and women who had been in the game for many years, and were making the vast majority of their income in the voice acting arena, voicing almost every day. And that experience caused that little knot inside, the one that whispers in your ear “You can do that…you KNOW you can,” to grow. To make me jealous of their choices and their success.
Now, today, I am exposed to more talented voice artists than ever before. Twitter, Voiceover Universe, the reports back from VOICE 2010, Facebook, all of them give me insight to the motivated, talented professionals that populate this field in all of its many areas of expertise. And I’m not going to lie: that knot of jealousy is still there.
But now I am doing something about it. And that is the key: doing something about it. Taking that feeling of “You can do that,” and moving forward with it. Yes, it will be while trying to balance every other thing in a busy life, but that’s no different than any other aspiring, working voice actor. This is manipulating the “jealousy” into self motivation, determination, drive. So that I am like my “heroes” as the Gnarls Barkley quote lays out above, living life out on a limb.
My goal is at least one good project every day. I’m not there yet, but I can see it from here.