These Are A Few Of My Favorite Lies

When The Dog Bites, When The Bee Stings…

Favorite Lies

 

Did Mariah Carey Have it Right After All?

 

“Baby it’s all in your mind, yeah-ee-eah-eh-eh-eh-ee-yeah-ee-yeah-eh-eh…”

I believe those last few notes reached cats on Pluto, but that might be beside the point.  Though Mariah Carey’s song is admittedly about concern over love slipping away - like when you reach the end of a sleeve of Fig Newtons - it contains a profound grain of truth:

Many things are simply “all in our mind.”

We truly make mountains out of molehills.  My 6-year-old is notorious for this.  He will obstinately avoid entering the garage to take the garbage out unless he has turned on all the lights in our entire city, including the hallway leading up to the garage.  Also, I am required to be standing right there at the garage door threshold to protect him from the monsters that supposedly lurk therein, and whom I have been starving in anticipation of his arrival.  It has proved pointless trying to assure him that they are not in there at all, and rather are simply waiting in his closet until he goes to sleep.

Now, I know Imposter Syndrome has been killed off, no one struggles with it anymore, and everyone reading this is supremely confident and well-adjusted.  By killed off, I mean alive and well.  By no one, I mean everyone, and by supremely confident and well-adjusted, I mean not.

Since I was a child, I have been familiar with the concept of lies.  You see, a child is a small human who is part politician.  They are able to tell you things, and be utterly convinced of what they are saying, even though every other human is effectively saying this in response:

That is one big pile of shit. | Reaction GIFs

I thank you for allowing me to repurpose that colorfully fine GIF from last week's blog.

Let me give you an example.

I once found a book of matches in our junk drawer when I was about 7, which is The Age of Deception.  I lit a match, purely out of curiosity.  Oh!  Also because of the burgeoning arsonist within.  Realizing instantly what I had done, I put it out, and tried desperately to wave the smoke away.  In an instant, The Sentry was upon me.  I am talking about my mother.  You see, Mother Units are robot sentries who are always present, and come equipped with Smoke Detection and The Hand that Spanks.  There would be no escape this time; the smoke still lingered in the air as I saw her veer into view around the corner of the wall, nostrils flaring.  She raised her blaster and shot a laser fire hole clean through my guilty conscience.  My reply?

“Well, you see Mom…stammer stammer…there must have been a matchstick on the ground...shuffle shuffle...near the matchbook that was...stammer stammer...perfectly aligned with the strike strip, and when I...shuffle shuffle...walked on it, it must have clung to my shoe and...stammer stammer...lit itself as I walked across the matchbook.”

I am not kidding. That was my well-crafted spur-of-the-moment defense.  I then asked to be excused from the interrogation as I picked up the phone and called United Airlines to ask what flights they had to the Island of Tristan Da Cunha so that I might live there free from robot sentries.  I then asked them if they provided complimentary matchbooks.

I was the pitiful architect of this unclever deception, and The Mom Sentry saw right through both it and me.  I do not remember what punishment I was given, because I believe I blacked out from the rage, and went to my happy place.  When I regained consciousness, there was still the smell of smoke lingering in the air, but I am sure this was actually from the laser fire.

Apparently, lying is genetic, because the ability to lie definitely came baked into my 2-year-old as well.  The question, “Asher, are you poopy?” is routinely answered with a nervous “Noooooo...?” even though my wife and I know that is a lie.  You see, horseflies have already begun their slow migration from Kathmandu to his butt, and Richter Scale alarms in China are still trembling from the recent audio rupture emanating from his pull-up.

Lies.  It turns out we are not really fooling anyone.

 

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

Fleetwood Mac Little Lies GIF - Fleetwood Mac Little Lies Stevie Nicks - Discover & Share GIFs

But sometimes, do we even try to fool ourselves?  Here, dear reader, is where you say, “Why yes, Josh, I do believe we do.”  Good reader!!!  Pat-pat.

Whether it is Imposter Syndrome or his older and no-less-nasty brother Inferiority Complex, we are not immune to the lies that come from mercilessly doubting ourselves.

Baby it’s all in your mind.

Voiceovers are a competitive and passionate vocation and art form, and we are all in a race to do them well and to make them our career.  Along the way, here is just a smidgen of the lies we tell ourselves in voiceovers:

  • That I should not use the word smidgen.
  • That I’ll never be good enough.
  • That I’m too old to begin voiceovers.
  • That I don’t have the time to commit to voiceovers.
  • That smidgen is a smaller amount than a “scosh.”
  • That I don’t need to conduct direct marketing.
  • That I don’t need to exercise in this sedentary career.
  • That no agent would want to hear from me.
  • That I don’t need coaching.
  • That the P2Ps are all I need.
  • That a smidgen is a cross between a Smurf and a pigeon.
  • That I will never be as good as So and So.
  • That every word of a script is gospel, and not to be changed or deviated from.
  • That if I quote high, I won’t book.
  • That if I take a day off, my career is over.
  • That they’ll hate me if I ask them to change verbiage in their contract.
  • That celebrating my success on social media makes me an egomaniac jerk.
  • That I'm not good enough for market rates.
  • That smidgen does not taste great on a cracker.

So.  What lies are you telling yourself?  By the way I can see you with that matchbook.  SentryMom will be with you momentarily; I would recommend you start practicing your stammer shuffle now.

 

We Are Men Of Action. Lies Do Not Become Us.

44 Popular Cary Elwes ideas | cary elwes, cary, princess bride

As Wesley said to Count Rugen in The Princess Bride, “We are men of action; lies do not become us.”  And so we are: we voiceover artist men, and voiceover artist women, and voiceover artist women who are men.  We are all men, and women who are men, of action. All of us.  The men AND the women.  Who are men.

I do not think that was my point.

My point was that lies do not become us.  The truth is always so much more appealing, much like like Yanni music and Double-stuffed Oreos.  The truth, dear reader, is that every one of the lies listed above are hollow and empty, which means hollow.  If you are telling yourself any one of the lies listed above, ask yourself why.  Then ask yourself: what fear does that lie stem from?

Many times I find that my lies are simply excuses to protect my fear.  As Pope John Paul II once said, "The party don't start until I walk in."  But after that, he said, “An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded.”  Eeek.  Far be it from me to erect a walled garden and iron bars around my lies in order to protect them.  They cannot be freed, and they will always be inside me, corrupting me from within.

So here is what I prescribe for you.  Today, adopt a smidgen of Hope, because that is what we need to see beyond the traps of our lies.  Bereft of hope, we will simply knock our heads against the wall and relinquish the dream of one day escaping.  Additionally, we will have to use words like “bereft” in a sentence, which sounds like a word that would precede a “Bless you!” and a Kleenex wipe.

Lies do not become us.  Renounce them.  As Gandalf said to Théoden:

Gandalf Lord Of The Rings GIF - Gandalf Lord Of The Rings Lotr - Discover & Share GIFs

Give up those lies, and start breathing truth:

  • I CAN do this.
  • I AM enough.
  • I WILL get there.
  • I DO have what it takes.
  • I AM as good as So & So.
  • I AM worthy of market rates.
  • Smidgen DOES taste good on a cracker.

Im Good Enough Im Smart Enough GIF - Im Good Enough Im Smart Enough Dog Gonnit - Discover & Share GIFs

Pardon the profanity, and meaning no disregard to the subject matter, but let the lyrics of this song from Pink sink in.

My 2-year-old will be by to drop off his pull-up later.

 

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Joshua Alexander
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire
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31 thoughts on “These Are A Few Of My Favorite Lies”

  1. First of all, Josh, get out of my head! (No, not about the crackers.)

    Second, thank you for sending me down a Princess-Bride-rabbit-trail of favorite quotes!! “…only MOSTLY dead!” “No more rhyming, and I mean it! …?”

    And thirdly, I spent the first 2-hours of my pre-alarm clock wake-up buzzer, reading some great wisdom from the book of Proverbs (Chapters 15/16, if you must know), followed by articles about SELF-SABOTAGE. And this – for understanding my dieting failures – but application to my Voice Over sabotage did not evade me. GREAT BLOG!!!

    1. Was it about the poopy pull-up? No? The Princess Bride stuff? No? AH! Must have been the proverbs then. I hear you, Barby. And I know you’re not self-sabotaging, but I can relate to where you’re coming from. Put down those lies and do an about-face, lady! And hey! Enjoy a smidgen on me.

  2. Hmmm… I find it interesting that you begin a blog about lies by slyly trying to insert the falsehood that there is a planet called Pluto upon which cats might exist to receive Mariah Carey’s high notes. No, don’t try to convince me otherwise. I attended an elementary school pageant just this past Friday that assured me there are only EIGHT planets in our solar system.

    Also, I DO know you didn’t ACTUALLY assert Pluto was a planet, but then my not-so-cleverly clever quip about you lying about Pluto being a planet wouldn’t have worked, so please just go with it.

    Also also, I miss Pluto being a planet.

    In terms of your actual point: I couldn’t agree more. As someone who looks up to, respects, and hopes to follow in your footsteps regarding VO, I appreciate the reminder to check my mindset and kick those lies to the curb.

    Now excuse me while I go make sure my address isn’t available to your son… life provides enough stinky things on its own; I don’t need poopy diapers arriving at my doorstep.

    1. I’m just gonna put this right here, in which you will see ZERO mention of the word ‘planet’:

      “I believe those last few notes reached cats on Pluto, but that might be beside the point.”

      Josh 1, Tyler 0.

      Flaming stinky pull-up inbound!

  3. Fantastic stuff, Josh.

    This is why mindset is so crucial. If your mind isn’t right and you’re not grounded in your own value, it will affect your reads and just as importantly how you come across in your outreach messaging. If you don’t know your own value, how will anyone else?

    1. Knowing your own value is critical, isn’t it? The problem of voice talent (and heck, ANY entrepreneur) underselling and undervaluing themselves is epidemic at this point, and we see that in the continuing erosion of rates. The lack of confidence in presenting oneself to a potential client as well…yeeshk. All stemming from lies and mistruths. Heck, maybe some of them WILL never make it…maybe some of them AREN’T good enough…but while you’re trying, why not try to at least fake it until you make it…even if “making it” is an exit from voiceovers? That way, during your tenure, at least you’ll have put your best *voice* forward.

  4. This was one of my favorites of your recent blogs. Great references!
    And I identified greatly with your 6-year-old, as I was once almost eaten by a monster when my mom was unable to stand at the base of the stairs and talk to me while I used the upstairs bathroom. However, I AM still pretty sure that clients hate me when I ask them nicely to change contract verbiage. They won’t ever SAY it, but I’m sure it’s true.

  5. No poopy pull-ups for me thanks been down that road before, hahahaha 🙂 🙂 thanks josh. Another fun one! Boy have I told myselff some of those lies and am in need of serious reconditioning here and there. Thanks for the pick me up!

  6. Well into my arson phase- and yes it was phase – I discovered the physics of conduction by inserting a metal pipe into a fire I had made on a beach. Said pipe went on to burn my hand. Quite badly. Obviously, mother unit could not find out about my foray into fire building so I told her some stupid story about trapping my hand in a big door (obviously not understanding the difference between a blood blister and a heat blister). This did not end well.
    This confirms your well written and excellent theory that lies will bite you in the ass every time.
    Chose to believe you can succeed. The only one stopping you is…YOU.
    Great blog Josh.

  7. Josh …. my Mom taught us never to lie. Not to ourselves or others. She pointed out that if you lied then you’d have to remember THAT lie when you went on to another ….. So I don’t lie.. However, DOUBT does creep into my mind from time to time. It’s at those times that I have to slap myself and say get over it, you’re fine, take your time, do your best …. Move on to the truth.
    You can do this (whatever that happens to be). Thank you for the wise reminder not to lie …. Great blog with so much truth stated.

    1. Thank you Diana! Abraham Lincoln said “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.” And it was Mark Twain who said “you should tell the truth, because then, you won’t have to remember anything.” How true!

  8. Haha, sentry, haha. That is kinda what it felt like. It’s like in some shows: “The jig is up boys!”

    Always loved that goon accent – feels like a strange mix between New York, Boston, Chicago and Italian. I know the mafia scene was quite huge in those cities, so eh, makes sense, hehehe.

    Totally agree, we can, we will, are well able (which means can+1) and we do not give up! 😀

  9. Only 1:20 in, and have to note my amazement that you’ve been able to train your 6-year old to take out the garbage, regardless of lighting. Excellent work, sir!

  10. This was so relatable and inspirational to me! Some of those statements did give pause to my reading and make me think twice – these are some things I let slip past my guard at times.

    And what is an excuse but a lie guarded?? Whew. I had better think twice the next time I even think about creating an excuse about something. That was powerful.

    My first impulse in regards to offering insight or advice for your little one dealing with scary, dark hallways is to share this with you: https://youtu.be/Qgrff5fpRRg

    But you are my friend and I know you care about the integrity and safety of the home you live in. Starving monsters is probably a better form of psychological warfare against them anyways. As you were!

    …. AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

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