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Repeated Attempts Got You Up Against The Ropes?
Used by permission from Fort George G. Meade via Creative Commons
No Fan Am I
Used by permission and modified from tixonov_valentin via Pixabay
An avowed wrestling or boxing fan I am not. I do not profess to know any wrestling or boxing terms. I have watched perhaps only two wrestling matches, though I have written an extensive blog on wrestling. And though this is now my second blog on wrestling, let me assure you that it is only because I like men in tight shorts.
I am kidding. In reality, the only thing I know about boxing is that I would like to be that guy that says “Let’s get ready to rumble!!!!” only so that I could announce it in the original Mordor Black speech: “Lâth brash áshûrz du maukum!!!!”
All of this makes me supremely unqualified to use metaphorical titles to draw in readers, of course, so with that, allow me to go on pretending to be a wrestling expert, because somewhere in here exists a stunning parallel that will leave you saying "My oh my, that was a stunning parallel!"
In wrestling, when one opponent loses the will to continue fighting - which is the same feeling I get when my wife proposes that we watch The Notebook again – he does what is commonly referred to as “the tap out.” This is where he or she simply taps on the arena mat or the body of his opponent, because his leg is now twisted all the way around his neck like a scarf, and his Adam’s apple is now down in his rectum. Or, her arm has been forcibly removed and she has suddenly grown an Adam’s apple.
The tap out is meant to signify to any observant officiant bystander that the contestant has chosen to effectively end the bout, and that the officiant should “CALL IT.” At which point the officiant should pull out his phone and dial the number for computer services. This is the point where both combatants realize with great clarity that he is dumber than a box of hair, and then proceed to soundly beat him to death using only their Adam’s apples.
This move of surrender effectively ends the bout, and both opponents emerge still alive, though bloodied and taken advantage of, which is how I look after paying my taxes.
The point? It is always crucial to know precisely when a match is over, and when to tap out.
Quit Knocking Your Head Against The Wall
When is it your time to tap out? Hopefully before you are bloodied and bruised. The cold, hard truth, is that many are simply not meant to be in voiceovers, much like Michael Bolton in a Grammy lineup. Sure, it sounds fun, and you have heard that it is lucrative, but like any other entrepreneurial pursuit, it requires a commitment higher than that which can be relegated to the level of “hobby.” By "hobby", I mean Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze making a clay pot. By "entrepreneurial pursuit" I mean "entrepreneurial pursuit."
I cannot tell you the sheer number of consults I have performed for newbies interested in pursuing voiceovers, and the minute they sign in to Zoom, I’m greeted with an unkempt, wife-beater-wearing, slurred-speech, half-asleep bedhead who unfortunately has equally annoying humans consistently telling him that he “has a good voice.” Here’s another cold hard truth:
A good voice does not a good voiceover artist make.
I have said before, and I am very fond of repeating it because eventually I hope to be on bumper stickers everywhere: I am a businessman who just happens to do voiceovers. Marinate in that for a while, will you? My identity comes before my craft. Without a vehicle to put these voiceovers on, my career will go nowhere, like Roseanne Barr and starring in sitcoms.
If this is you, you might be beating your head against the wall, your will to continue is more or less ebbing away up against the ropes, and perhaps it is time to end it all. By "end it all" I mean career, not your life. Please step away from the railing and let's talk.
Here are the Top Ten Clues that it might in fact be time to Tap Out:
- The good casting notices continue to elude you, and you are finding that you have all the talent of a cup of warm spit.
- You discover that you are actually kind of a jerk, and only have largely negative things to say about others’, or their approaches, online. You know who you are, Mr. Unnamed.
- You are a serial purveyor of bad advice, and you don't realize it, even with the enormous blowback you continue to receive.
- You routinely refrain from either giving or receiving in voiceover networking communities.
- You are a “perpetual learner”: always spending money on learning and coaching and workshops and courses, but rarely producing any real tangible results. Perhaps you are even getting deeper and deeper in debt.
- You find that your jealousy / envy of others’ accomplishments exceeds your appreciation of your own.
- You constantly whine and complain, and are a generally ungrateful cur who no one likes.
- You are opposed to things that uniformly work for others, i.e., auditioning frequently, direct marketing, and attending conferences. You are more or less resolute that you will not do what it takes.
- You will not treat your voiceover pursuit like a business.
- You are fairly thin-skinned and have no real endurance, like Deb Devries’ post acutely observed.
One of the things that is always encouraged – rightly so – for all voiceover spring chicken, is to get coaching. <<< Make sure and read this awesome article because one awesome Joshua Alexander is awesomely quoted in it.
Before you spend thousands of dollars on expensive voiceover hardware, secure fairly inexpensive coaching. Make the investment in the one thing that might actually save you the thousands of dollars you would have erroneously spent, because you were never meant to pursue voiceovers in the first place. A good coach will have the courage to tell you that you don’t have what it takes, if that is in fact the case.
Time To Tap Out
Used by permission from istolethetv via Creative Commons
"Now, Josh," you ask, "what dark sorcery is this? Why tryest thou to diverteth me?"
I promise I am not trying to divert thee, and please join us in the year of our Lord 2022 where we speak English.
Take a step back and give yourself an honest appraisal. Do any of the Top Ten Clues listed above ring a bell? Are you getting deeper in debt for this “dream” of voiceovers?
If any of the following are true:
- you are consistently experiencing more frustration than reward
- you cannot envision a possible solution or continuing this way,
- spending time and money on this keeps you from more rewarding endeavors or seriously damages your well-being or finances,
- you are staying for the wrong reasons,
- your friends keep telling you to quit,
- Your Adam’s apple is down in your rectum,
...then perhaps it is time to make like Snagglepuss and exit stage left.
Hear this now, and believe it: "Good is always the worst enemy of best." Perhaps something greater than voiceovers lies just around the corner for you? For me, I was made for voiceovers. I know that with every fiber of my being and the fire of a thousand suns. However, if voiceovers are merely a stepping stone to something greater for you, it's time to go, because this is your "good", not your "best."
I don’t say this so that you can leave voiceovers and there will therefore be one less person to contend with in the audition cattle calls. I say this to save your sanity. And your pocketbook.
What the heck, maybe it’s time to try boxing instead?
Say it with me now, loud and proud: “Lâth brash áshûrz du maukum!!!”
YOU HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END, AND I SALUTE YOU.
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- Check out my whole UNIVERSE of blogs right HERE!
- This is a fourth bullet point.
AND HEY! WAIT JUST A S.E.C.!
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Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire
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