In my award-winning interview with Val Kelly on the “Live with Squacky” podcast, Val asked me a few questions I want to share with you today:
What or who inspires you?
Me: “Acts of kindness. People being nice to people moves me more than anything. Today’s world can be cruel, cold, and unkind. We don’t need more billionaires and gazillionaires. We need people who are kind to others and who are kind to our planet.”
What’s your favorite travel destination, and do you have any travel plans now that things are sort of getting back to normal?
“That’s easy. My favorite travel destination has to be the Netherlands. It’s where I was born, raised, and educated. It’s where most of my family lives, and where my dearest friends are. Can’t wait to see them. It’s been too long.”
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Actor Stephen Merchant, known for his collaboration with Ricky Gervais, and for shows like “The Outlaws,” was once asked what kind of a superhero he would like to be. Without skipping a beat he answered:
“Bullshit Man. My job would be to show up in any situation where people would talk nonsense with the intention of deceiving or misleading. I would appear out of the blue, wearing my cape, and loudly call BS.”
When I heard his answer, I thought: that’s kind of what I’m trying to do with this blog and with my daily musings on Instagram. I often feel like the kid who tells the grown-ups that the emperor is wearing no clothes. That a voice over career is no get rich quick scheme, and that some Pay to Plays don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart.
But I’ll tell you a secret. I already have a superpower: an invisibility cloak. As a voice over, people hear me, but they don’t see me. I can teach them, entertain them, help them fall asleep or keep them awake. I give people new ideas, inspiration, and practical tools to make them better at what they do. And I do it all with my voice.”
What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced since starting in the industry and how have you overcome them?
“The biggest obstacle (and opportunity) was coming to America. When I arrived, no one knew who I was, and I didn’t know anybody in the industry or even outside of the industry. In Holland I had had a very successful training business teaching seminars on personal growth and development. Before that, I had a career as a broadcast journalist and news anchor.
Coming to the USA, I wasn’t even allowed to work because I came on a tourist visa. My first real job was as a waiter… coming from a six figure income to having to rely on tips. How did I survive?
By not complaining, and by using the situation as a learning opportunity. As a waiter you learn a lot about people and about selling. I found out that people were charmed by my accent.
To me, my accent was normal, but to them it was something special. I realized that with my voice and European manners I stood out, and was able to sell people food and wine they didn’t even know they wanted. That’s a valuable skill to have when starting any kind of business.”
You can find Val’s podcast interview with me on any podcasting platform. Click here for part 1, and click here for part 2.
Joshua Alexander says
Thank you for your blog and your daily Instagram musings, my friend. If you were a Superhero (and let’s face it, you are), then I hereby dub thee NO-BullShitMan! Up, up, and away!
Michael Apollo Lira says
I always say it costs nothing to be kind. And to me, being a good-natured person outweighs just about everything else a person could be.
I don’t swear much, but imagined a superhero that would swoop in and cuss someone out for me.