Read, or enjoy the audio version below...
The Threenager Cometh!
Hi, I’m a Powerless Voiceover Artist With No Voice. And No Power.
Many of my readers know that I have two sons. I have written extensively about the unequivocally vexing will-numbing soul-sucking life-depriving fresh hell absolute joy of parenting before, concerning my now 6-year-old. Such blogs as:
- Whaddaya Know? I’m Omniscient.
- Please…For Your Own Good, Get a Voiceover Toddler
- Are you a Voiceover Dinkleboo?
- I Kinda Like Being a Storyteller
- Please: For Your Own Good, Rent My Child, and
- My Toddler forbids me from doing Voiceovers
...have intrigued readers all the way from my house to the sidewalk. Audiences remain absolutely riveted reading about the gallivanting adventures of my firstborn. By audiences I mean my mom. By gallivanting I mean something having to do with a horse.
But with Asher, I sadly only have a single blog to his credit, and that blog has to do with the pain and trauma he caused by nearly splitting my wife open at his birth, much like the way one of those Facehugger victims were in any of the Alien movies. In one particular blog, I alluded to the fact that we were teaching him manners, but ultimately, as that blog has a shared credit for Brennan, Asher unfortunately has no exclusivity claim. Asher REALLY needs his own blog, and it is actually downright UNJUST of me to have devoted SO many blogs PRIMARILY to Brennan, leaving Asher, ESSENTIALLY, in the dust. It’s NOT right, it’s NOT fair, and so I have made the DECISION that CAPITALIZED AND ITALICED WORDS STOP HERE.
Justice for Asher! I shall now embark on a blog dedicated solely to Asher!
You Have No Power Here
Brennan was really the same, but I am beginning to think that Asher has it even worse than Brennan. I am referring, of course, to the Attention Span of a Box of Hair.
You see, small humans are generally incapable of paying attention to anything large humans say. This is because way down in their brains, there is a tiny, tiny microphone that is only barely designed to slightly pick up the muffled and distorted sounds of grown-ups. However, covering this microphone is a large layer of mucus designed to squelch any such sounds, particularly those of commands, orders, or lectures. And covering that is a thick layer commonly known as The Cartoon Layer. This protective layer is activated anytime there is a Pixar movie or cartoon displayed with tantalizing lights and sound effects, in order to further disassociate the small human from all other forms of larger life that might issue commands. Why God created small humans this way is a mystery, but I believe Daniel Tiger* is partially to blame. *NSFW due to annoyingly loud website greeting
Ergo, when Daddy barks an order like “Clean up your room!” or “Put your toys away!” or “Buy me 500 shares of AAPL!”, these trivial commands usually do not find their way to the small human’s audio cortex. The only way to successfully navigate through the two layers is to use codebreaker words such as “Who wants juice?” or “Would you like some candy?” This is why small humans are often kidnapped.
Which brings me back to Brennan. You are welcome to kidnap him so that I can continue to work on Asher, in order to surgically navigate through the Layers Of Resistance, so that he will listen. It will take time. Asher is turning 3 next week, and he is already exhibiting strong signs of Parental Resistance Syndrome (PRS) which thankfully manifest themselves in short bursts only during the hours of 12am and 11:59pm.
Now that he is nearly a Threenager, Asher is demonstrating that he enjoys the following:
- Not listening
- Not listening even a little bit
- Not listening ever
- Listening to others instead of me
- Pretending to listen, but actually not
- Calling people on the phone right when I start talking
- Listening to what I say, and then doing pretty much the exact opposite
- Reiterating that he was directing a question to MAMA, and my response is therefore not welcome
- Not listening, not hearing, not heeding, oh and also pretending I do not exist
- Walking away from me while I am speaking (which is essentially 9B).
- Only responding when I use Sock Puppets who offer candy and kidnappings
The impudence. I assure you, when I myself was a child, I remember with great clarity when my parents were trying to talk to me, and to this day I clearly and vividly recall, verbatim, that what they said to me was something about something.
These days, I, the Accomplished Voice Artist Who Is Able To Compel, am then rendered powerless before Asher's pint-sized audacity. It is at this point that I place my ad on Craigslist in the “Children For Trade” section to see what kind of deal I can score.
Used by permission from OpenIcons via Pixabay
Ever felt like you have no voice, or like your voice simply does not matter? Here are some classic situations you may find yourself in as a voice talent:
- You feel like the upper voiceover echelons are a clique, and you don’t have a say if you are not venerated or featured enough
- You suffer from Imposter Syndrome and think you will never be as good as So and So
- Your work schedule does not facilitate you receiving or submitting auditions on time
- You are not a paying member of a desired association, for example WOVO
- You belong to only the “free” tiers of voiceover marketplaces like Voice123, Voices dot com, VOPlanet, Bodalgo, etc.
- You sent in an incredible audition that you were positive you would be cast in, only to find out you were not
- You were cast, and then UN-cast due to a client change in direction (this just happened to me with a $5000 job because apparently I am not a woman.)
- You tried to post something in a Facebook voiceover group, and it was declined
- Your marketing efforts are not gaining traction, or you are being responded to with animosity
- You really wanted to be on that one agency's roster, but they never responded.
- People are unsubscribing from your blog, or no one reads or interacts with them
- Other examples that may or may not involve inattentive threenagers
So what can you do? How can you cut through The Cartoon Layer and make the Ashers of the world take heed?
First step? Breathe. Your voice is uniquely powerful. Give it time. Ask to be heard, and then wait. You might be surprised at the inroads you make once you reach an empathetic ear, because you were courageous enough to ask. It is far too easy to suspect people of sinister intent until you boldly ask for an audience, and realize not everyone is as nefarious and cliquish as you may have at first suspected.
Second step? Don't sweat the petty stuff, and don’t pet the sweaty stuff. Over time, I have learned that I do not need to worry if my readers unsubscribe…if my posts are disallowed…if I am not awarded that voiceover job I desperately wanted…if a potential client responds with a cordial “go to hell.”
Brennan - who this blog dedicated solely to Asher is also about - was the same way. He is listening better, now that he is a Sixnager. He is not perfect by any stretch, but he at least has started to register that I am screaming “Duck!!!” prior to throwing the remote at him.
Asher will go on to be a Threenager, and then he will go on to become a Teenager. I suspect there will only be partial listening until he is Thirty, at which point I will be Three Thousand Three Hundred and Three years old, which is the age where I stop making any sense whatsoever and can only dribble and spit up while feebly mumbling something about wanting licorice.
Which brings me back to “Would you like some candy?” I suggest trying this to effectively get through The Geriatric Layer, at which point I may or may not listen depending on quantity of candy presented. And stop that accursed horse from gallivanting, will you? I can't hear myself chew my licorice.
YOU HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END, AND I SALUTE YOU.
- Like this blog? My children are counting on you to put bread on our table through the purchase of one of my books. Do it for the children.
- If you would prefer not to purchase one of my books but instead hurl large wads of cash at me, please know that I do not refuse such cash gifts if it means I can pretend I am a church
- Check out my whole UNIVERSE of blogs right HERE!
- This is a fourth bullet point.
AND HEY! WAIT JUST A S.E.C.!
- S-UBSCRIBE & S-HARE!: If you enjoyed this blog, please consider subscribing and sharing with friends and family, and encouraging them to subscribe and share. Offer treats for doing so.
- E-NCOURAGE: Go encourage someone else today with a single, simple sentence of affirmation. Tell them, “I like your earrings”, unless of course they are manly men, in which case you should compliment them on the size of their chainsaw.
- C-OMMENT: I want to hear from you. Please feel free to comment below! Comments with lots of “You’re wonderful” or “You’re the best” will receive instant approval and acclaim.
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15 thoughts on “You Have No Power Here, GanJosh The Grey…”
Oh boy, this one hits just a little TOO close to home. Sometimes, I feel my daughter is going to surprise me when she holds eye contact and keeps her hands at her sides throughout the duration of my word-making. Alas, she inevitably follows up such stellar performance with something along the lines of, “So-and-so fell of a chair at school today and it was kind of funny.” I wasn’t talking about school. I wasn’t talking about friends at school. I wasn’t talking about shenanigans at school. I was talking about flushing the toilet and washing your hands EVERY time you go to the bathroom.
All that to say, I’ve come to the conclusion my daughter’s lack of listening exists to give me practice talking and developing my skills as a voice actor. I’m not being heard or listened to, so I might as well get SOME benefit from continuing to try, right?
Great stuff, Josh. I think sometimes the actor mindset has us chasing external validation more than we should. We view successful auditions as ones that book rather than ones where we did great work and may have made the casting director take notice even if we weren’t right for the project. We look at the upper echelons of VO as a clique rather than a group of pros who worked their asses off to get where they are. In my blog just last week I said, “If you haven’t taken ownership of what you can control, that will ultimately be what harms or kills your voice-over business.”
Thanks for bringing the goods every week, sir. Always a pleasure to read.
Mindset, right? I love the phrase, “We were given two ears and only one mouth for a reason.” If we spent less time complaining with our one mouth, and more time listening with our two ears, we might just get to where we’re intending to go, faster.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh boy do i remember those days josh! our kids are all grown now but please beleive me your blog threw me back in time and into a memory funnel, ha! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Here’s to Asher listening more! Good luck. Those times are precious
I bet you do, Kris! Yews, they are indeed precious, and I’m totally kidding. I would never trade that little chump. He is utterly precious to me, and he’s just going through his motions of growing up. These days are blessed, and so am I. 🙂 Thanks for reading!
You’re wonderful! You’re the best! Always fantastic storytelling and entertaining! Thanks for the good chuckles, Josh!
See? Your comment got instantly approved! 🙂 Thanks Theresa!
“Don’t sweat the petty stuff, and don’t pet the sweaty stuff.”
I love that.
And I needed to hear that list of situations. I do find myself in some of those pickle-zone-mindsets at times – a lot, lately. But at the end of the day, I need to remember: breathe, and it’s my journey. It’s all learning opportunity and lessons in some shape or form.
I’m cheering for you, friend!!
And I am cheering right back at you, my friend! I am especially cheering for “Pickle Zone”, an intriguing new and previously undiscovered phrase that now has me pickle-tickled! I love it. Breathe, buddy. You of all people know how important oxygen is. PS, Atho says hi. 🙂
Not sure if mine got through, so I’m trying again, lol.
Asher gave you the answer – Audacity! The best program ever! hahaha. I was all DAW and then it hit me, like the city where Auda lives! hehe.
Seriously, I get it. Getting through the cartoon layer is hard enough! I tried to show my niece The Cat Returns, but she would have none of this stupid cat movie – it was either some rando’s neighbor Totoro or Mermaid Barbie… Oh well! Next time, I’ll try a cartoon mask with licorice! 😉
Thank you Marius! Glad you enjoyed it, and THANK YOU for understanding the dreaded Cartoon Layer!! My nemesis. Hmmmppphhhht! 🙂
Your toddler neighbor.
Just kidding – Preach, Brother, Preach!
Thank you for feeling my pain of our OWN little wrecking ball over here!
i had to reread this – such a fun blog. thank you josh!