“Paul, I get a lot out of your blog – love your Dutch bluntness – it’s always a refreshing addition to my inbox. On my studio wall is a print-out of an excerpt from your blog post about perfectionism. I glance at it every day to remind myself to focus on “practice,” not “perfection.”
There’s nothing more satisfying than receiving a message like this from one of my readers. In fact, words like these keep me going on days I don’t feel like going anywhere.
Being a voice over means signing up for a reclusive lifestyle. As a reluctant extrovert, it’s one of the many aspects of my job that makes it such a good fit. But even though I generally love what I do -professionally speaking- some days I would rather curl up in a ball, and not be recording some poorly written script for an impatient client.
I believe that most of what we see and hear about the life of a voice over, especially on social media, is almost too romantic. It seems too good to be true. There’s all these smiling faces in front of microphones telling us they made even more money this month, than during the same time last year.
Well, good for you!
Look, there’s a colleague who has bought a shiny $4000 microphone. Big whoop! And watch that girl… she just landed a national commercial and wants the whole world to know.
On one hand it’s wonderful to celebrate your successes publicly, but for those who aren’t as accomplished or experienced, it can be pretty depressing and disheartening. Your success sucks! Keep in mind, every time one person wins an audition, there are tons of disappointed “losers.”
I understand the need for certain people to pat themselves on the back in public. For some it’s validation. For others it might be vindication. But there’s a downside to it.
Nothing you will ever say about yourself, will be as powerful as what others say about you.
Your own words will always be taken with a big grain of salt. I mean, why wouldn’t you present yourself in a positive light? In that respect you’re no better than a loud TV commercial people are inclined to distrust.
“Be proud, but don’t applaud yourself,” my mother used to say. “That’s other people’s job.”
Coach and voice over Terry Daniel had this to say:
“I’m all for posting about a booking! There’s nothing wrong with that but when people have to post about EVERY booking, it comes across as a bit insecure. The big-time pros just book and record their work. They don’t feel the need to jump on social media and grandstand about every booking. “
Stephane Cornicard made an important distinction, showing us that it’s not all black or white:
” I think we are all a bit guilty of sharing our booking good news too readily. At the same time sometimes you just HAVE to share… I think what needs to be ascertained is the intent behind the post and analyse our response to it similarly. When someone I am not very fond of, or I don’t think is particularly talented or deserving, posts about their success, it tends to annoy me. When it’s a friend, or when I value their work and talent, it makes me happy for them…”
My colleague Patrick Kirchner put it very well when he wrote:
“For anyone who has been in this job long enough to make the full loop of the roller coaster: When we are at the top, it’s our job to help those whose turn it is to be at the bottom. When we are at the bottom, we’re looking for those at the top to be encouraging, not to remind us they’re at the top. Sometimes that roller coaster moves pretty steeply and quickly.”
When you have someone else spontaneously sing your praises, that’s the kind of exposure money can’t buy. It’s genuine, heartfelt, and persuasive.
So, thank you, dear reader. You’ve made my day!