Monday, September 27, 2010

Life Lessons, part one

If you have been reading since my return to talking through the things I am most passionate about, I have been thinking through the changes in my life, and how the future will be affected. I seem to be busier than ever, but DUH, I'm getting married in under four weeks. Regardless, I have really enjoyed being really busy. It's good to be able to think, "Ah, crud. I didn't get XYZ done today, but I did do ABC." It's way better than getting to the end of the day and thinking, "Why didn't I get anything done today," and then rattling off a litany of justifications for getting nothing done. Which leads me to the start of what I hope to be a several-part blog series about life lessons. They are observations about the parts of my life that I learned the most. Good or bad. I don't know how many there will be, and I doubt they'll be in any order. I certainly don't think that they'll be sequential by any stretch of the imagination. I have the attention span of a gnat some days (who am you kidding...all days! -ed.), and I may just throw out a one-off here and there. Who knows, maybe this will be an ongoing series. At least it will be catharsis for the screwball things I've done to screw up my life at times, and hey...maybe you gentle readers will learn how not to succeed and avoid doing that. I've always said that if you can't serve to be a shining example, be a horrible warning.

Life Lesson 1: Don't feel the need to defend your ground.
That's just one of the bad habits that I have had to shake over the years. I think it has something to do with always feeling the need to justify my career choice to my family. I think it was a bad thing to fight with people over why being a voice performer was a good career choice. Seriously. I wasted so much time doing that. I wrote an article in the VoiceLympics 2009 program that was nothing but me thumping my chest justifying why I do what I do. Don't get me wrong. It was a good article, and it touches on a lot of the things that men specifically have to deal with in being in a career that isn't always consistent in pay and benefits. I think that the whole thing is the natural inclination of men to defend their honor, land, whatever from outside hostility...but I digress. This lesson is for everyone.

The fact is, we shouldn't be wasting our time defending ourselves in an industry where we post samples of our work and stick to the mantra of, "the demo says it all." When it comes to auditioning, I have been taught to make choices and stick to them, then leave the audition in the booth. Instead of fighting with people, I should have just done it, and ignore the naysayers, and thus, show them the consistency in success that was their main beef with VO in the first place. I mean, why am I talking to people for free when I should be talking to get paid! It sounds like I'm an advocate for Nike here, but the lesson learned is: Just do it.

I sometimes think philosophically about my career, and the hard lessons I have had to learn from putting myself in situations that have been detrimental to not just my career, but also my health, my sanity, and relationships with friends and family. Here lately, I have started to really think about the situations that led to bad times in my life. I figure, if I recognize the situation that led me in a certain direction, then I'll know to choose carefully when it happens. More of these lessons will come, and more of my foibles will too, I promise.

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