I had Voice Over class on Tuesday night, and I found myself acting strangely. I wasn’t taking it seriously and managed to convince myself that I didn’t need to do the work on the scripts that was required and that I would just naturally be able to do it.
Well, I think you can guess how that went.
Amy Jo Berman calls the voice that told me all this crap the “crazy roommate”. You know, that voice that has a lot to say but none of it is helpful or supportive. Sometimes it can sneak in there and cause trouble and I don’t even notice it.
My crazy roommate’s goal is to get me to not take risks.
My main project for the rest of this year is to truly explore and get into Voice Over. I’ve been taking the classes. I’ve bought actual equipment, beyond what some beginning Voice Over artists buy. I have a plan. In other words, I’ve invested.
And here comes my crazy roommate trying to get me just STOP IT. What does she tell me?
- Go get another job right away.
- That there are lots of things I could do and if I choose Voice Over, I’ll miss out on everything else.
- Voice Over is too insecure to get into.
- There’s too much to do on this path.
- That I’ll run out of money before something happens.
- That I’m a mess physically and won’t be able to do the work.
- That if I actually have talent, I don’t need classes. If I need classes, then I don’t have talent and I’m just kidding myself.
I’ve been here before.
It’s been my life, my whole life, my whole fucking life. I “prepare”. I go to school, draw up plans, visualize, think about it, write about it, and talk about it. But I never actually DO anything.
Did you know that I was in a Second City class with Rebel Wilson, before she became famous in the U.S.? Now she’s doing movies, and commercials, and award shows. A big part of me is asking, “What the fuck?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for her. I think she’s doing great. And, I don’t have any envy. At least not in the popular sense of the word, i.e. “Why couldn’t it have been me? It should have been me!”
It’s more a sense of regret. She did the work. I didn’t. End of story.
So many plans, so many ideas, so many opportunities gone. Poof! Out the window.
I am the Queen of Regrets.
They say that it’s not the actions you took, but the actions you didn’t take that you regret on your death bed.
Well, I say to my crazy roommate, “Why would I want to add another regret onto my list? Why not do this? Did we learn nothing from the Apocalypse? There is no time to dawdle, not really.”
And in fact, it’s not that it’s Voice Over that means anything. The big question here, and the big challenge, is to do something, anything, and follow through completely.
Like Software Development…
My head is swimming. There really IS too much to do to get into Voice Over. Voice Over is a business. I’m going to be a service provider. I will have customers. I will get paid. I will pay taxes and fees. Some IRS agent may want to eyeball my books one day.
You might think that it should be easy.
- Learn Voice Over
- Get Equipment
- Get an Agent
- Do jobs
- Get Paid
Yeah, right. It looks more like this:
- Learn Voice Over
- Get Equipment
- Learn how to record properly
- Learn how to do audio editing
- Get a demo reel
- Put together a website
- Get customers
- Multiple Agents (yes, multiple)
- Pay to Play sites
- Keep track of customers
- Get CRM
- Learn to use CRM
- Do Books
- Get bookkeeping software
- Learn to use bookkeeping software
- Keep track of receipts
- Keep track of AR and AP
- Be a business
- Decide what kind of business
- Fill out forms and pay fees
- Get a bank account
- Figure out how to pay income tax and Social Security
- Get legal forms set up
- Set up Marketing, including social media
- Increase Voice Over skills
- Weird noises and sound effects
Now my crazy roommate is yapping about how if I’d decided to write screenplays, I could have put all of this off until I had actually written screenplays. That I could have been focused on one thing, rather than a bunch of things.
But going this way is really stirring up the pot. I have to learn a lot. I have to figure it out. And it’s more time sensitive. I could work on a screenplay for years, and I have…off and on. But Voice Over is discrete. Each job is relatively short. I have to be looking for the next one.
But I think it’s going to help me grow. Especially if I can just stick with it and not listen to my crazy roommate.
Some of my crazy roommate’s concerns are valid. Money for instance. In our world, money is a necessity. I have enough for now, enough to not have to think too much about it until the end of the year.
She also has a point about the job. What I do, manual software testing, is going away. The odds of me ever working in my field are not in my favor. But that’s why I’m also taking Technical Writing classes as a fallback.
Note: I know that many artists poo-poo fallbacks, but until you’ve run out of money and don’t know where you’re going to sleep that night, I don’t want to hear it. Just because it’s acting doesn’t make it somehow “special”. It’s still a business. And small businesses need time to get off the ground and money has to come in. It’s called “Reality”.
Plus, an old co-worker just reached out to me to see if I was looking for work. And I got an email from a Disney recruiter who wants to hear from me when I’m ready to go back to work. I think it will be okay.
The biggest thing about following through with something, anything, is that I get to prove to myself that I can do it.
What does that do for me? Well, it opens doors to other things. With fear reduced, options become viable. They seem more attainable. I can think about them as possible rather than a pipe dream.
And isn’t that the biggest thing that holds us back? Not being able to see ourselves in that situation, having that experience, doing that action, having that thing?
I remember when I was at MITS before the takeover, we’d gone to our Holiday Lunch in a stretch party limo. (We’d waited too long to figure out better transportation.) Those party limos do not have the most comfortable seats. They don’t need to. Everyone is usually too drunk and rowdy to notice. One of my co-workers made a comment about the quality of the seats. I told him that when he orders his limo, he can make sure he gets super comfortable seats. I could see his mind ping pong about. He said, “When I order my limo…”. It was probably the first time he considered that he might one day have a limo.
If we can’t see it for ourselves, how can we ever get it?
Of course, I wouldn’t order a limo. I want a Lincoln Town Car. And a driver. I’ve gotten them, a few times, as rides to and from the airport just to fuel the desire. They aren’t much more expensive than taxis. And much more comfortable.
Point is, this is a process. If I can stay the path, allowing for deviations and opportunities, I think at the end, even if I decide I don’t want to be over-excited about a corn chip, I will have gained both skills and proof that I can do it. And that will inform my future. The Queen of Regrets can take herself to an assisted living facility!
The future is indeed bright for Karin!