My Most Important Blog Post, Yet?

Uncategorized Jan 29, 2021

This may be my most important blog post, to date. It might also be my shortest. Lucky you.

Some of you know I’m a big fan of The Tim Ferriss Show – a podcast/blog about the most interesting things you never knew you needed to know. Each episode is full of fascinating, thought-provoking ideas and guests, replete with tons of usable motivation. One of my favorite books of his is Tribe of Mentors – check it out. You will not be disappointed.

Right now, however, I want to highlight an idea mentioned by a December 2019 podcast guest of his: Adam Grant. Mr. Grant is a psychologist and author who specializes in organizational psychology. He currently teaches at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, having received his tenure ten years ago at the age of 28 (28!)  In the aforementioned podcast, he shares a tool developed by some of his colleagues from The University of Michigan, which he employs with all his students and his clients....

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The Boundary Paradox

Uncategorized Jan 21, 2021

I don’t know about you but, depending on my mood and how many plates I have spinning, I vacillate between wanting more auditions and bookings, and wishing they’d all go away.

I vacillate between thinking I’m a superhero who can leave her phone on the nightstand with the ringer on high to be the first to catch those east coast, early morning ASAPs, and thinking I just want to be left alone. Like, forever. This past year, I dropped some coin and put together a small, fantastic travel case with recording gear that duplicates everything in my booth at home for recording on the road. But what I really want is to get on a plane and spend a week away without my gear. Back and forth, back and forth… Oh, how I vacillate. It’s a conundrum.

You know what I really want, though? Balance. I want a career AND I want a life. And what I’ve learned in my years on this planet is that balance requires boundaries.

We voice actors are bombarded on social media with...

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Do Not Grow Weary of Doing Good

Uncategorized Jan 05, 2021

2020 smacked us all across the face.

Many got smacked more harshly than others. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s been like for those who’ve lost friends or family to COVID, nor for those who were stricken by it and still recovering. Add to the ever-lurking virus itself the realities of being locked down to varying degrees for the past 9 months (and counting) and it’s abundantly clear there’s a lot of suffering going on around us and in our homes. Many of us have lost work, had difficulty receiving our proper UI benefits, and are struggling to pay our rent, mortgage and debts, let alone get food on the table. Parents who are fortunate enough to have kept their jobs and are working from home are now also learning to home school their children – which, as a homeschooling parent myself, I can tell you is no easy task. Rates of depression, abject loneliness, suicide, spousal and child abuse, and divorce have all skyrocketed. Stress is off the charts....

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Self-Sabotage and the Valley of Despair

Uncategorized Dec 08, 2020

I had a brief email exchange this week with a voice actor I’ve never met.

He had reached out a couple of times in response to my blog posts, and we ended up conversing a bit about the frustrations and hurdles we often face as voice actors. When I asked him what his biggest hurdle is, he was honest and vulnerable enough to answer: Self-sabotage.

Self. Sabotage.

I am truly compelled to be of support to my voiceover colleagues whenever possible, and I generally perceive myself as capable of doing so. In this instance, however, I felt utterly ill-equipped. I also do a lot of self-sabotaging, and of late, it’s been… how shall I put this… out of control.

As I understand it, self-sabotage is behaving in direct opposition to that which would bring our dreams and goals to fruition. Allow me to illustrate:

I’m working on a big project, which requires a great deal of energy and focused attention. I want to get to bed by 9:30pm so I can wake up at...

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I Never Wanted to Be a Voice Actor

Uncategorized Dec 01, 2020

I realize this blog title might sound tone deaf, as I'm a longtime voice-actor and coach writing a blog for aspiring voice-actors who often struggle with their careers and feel like they're not making any progress. I certainly don't mean to sound ungrateful. It's just not the career I planned for.

Any way my life was measured, from my adolescence to my early thirties,  I was destined, not to be a voice actor, but a singer. A recording artist. A "star." I was singing in church at the age of 9, performing in public by 12, and winning national singing contests by 16. I had a “demo deal” with CBS Records at age 19, replete with songs written by a hugely successful writing duo, a Grammy winning producer and Grammy winning music director; a demo deal which ended unceremoniously when that music director sexually assaulted me. In my wildest, most naive dreams, I never saw that one coming.

Not surprisingly, I set music aside for several years...

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The Audition Really IS the Job

Uncategorized Nov 17, 2020

From the time I started working in commercial voiceover in 1986, I booked about one in every ten broadcast tv and radio commercial auditions.

Frankly, just about every female voice actor I knew in the Los Angeles market did, too.  And the ratio for my male vo colleagues was even better. There was a small circle of us who worked regularly, and those of us who thought about such things knew every one of us in the lobby of any given casting house was perfectly capable of doing whatever job we were there to audition for. It was just a matter of time before it was my turn or theirs. 

But there were some in the lobby who were anxious and jittery and unnerved. They made everyone in the lobby uncomfortable. They looked around with suspicion, as if they could tell what a voice actor sounded like by looking them up one side and down the other. I can only imagine how fraught their auditions were. They were the ones you just knew pestered their agents as soon as they walked out the...

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Are You Brave Enough to Give Your Work Away to Another Voice Actor?

Uncategorized Nov 10, 2020

We voice actors are constantly striving to make our mark in the Big Wide World of Voiceover, which is why I talk a lot about the importance of being ourselves in order to distinguish ourselves.

It’s a bit nebulous, though, right? Like, how can I not be myself? I am, after all, myself. Yet as I continue to coach others in their voiceover careers, I see a persistence of low-grade anxiety and “in-my-own-skin” discomfort. An audition arrives in our inbox and the questions begin. Where do I start?  Who are they looking for? What do they want? Do I fit the spec, and If I don’t, can I jury-rig myself into it make it work?  What if I can't? What if I'm not good enough? And then… all of a sudden… imposter syndrome sets in. Ugh. We ask ourselves this litany of questions because we really want the job. And we want the job, not only for the paycheck, but because we have this misguided notion that getting the job somehow...

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Go Ahead. Get In Bed With Your Agents. Just Don't Sleep With Them.

Uncategorized Oct 27, 2020

Agents. We love them. We fear them. We want them to be our friends. Or do we?

Actors are a sensitive bunch. Landing an agent is priceless validation for us. Being dropped by one is a monumental blow. Aside from wanting our agents to provide us with opportunity (and lots of it) we want our agents to like us. Really, really like us. We want them to have lunch with us and take our phone calls and consider us friends. I’ll never forget years ago the first time I visited my agents at Atlas Talent in their New York offices. I popped my head in to Jonn Wasser’s office and said, “Hi Jonn! 'Don’t mean to interrupt! 'Would love to have lunch sometime this week while I’m here!” Without skipping a beat Jonn said “Well, we could spend two hours having lunch and that would be nice. Or I could spend two hours securing more opportunities for you. Which do you prefer?” Quintessential Jonn Wasser. In that one exchange, our business...

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Hey, Orson Welles... Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?

Uncategorized Oct 16, 2020

There is a famous story about Orson Welles recording a voiceover campaign for frozen peas.

If you’re over 50 you should be familiar with it. If you’re not, check it out here and take a listen. It’s old-timey and absolutely splendid. Then, check out Pinky and The Brain - Yes, Always to hear a send-up of it which is old-timey and splendid in its own right. Serious kudos to Maurice LaMarche for his impeccable Orson Welles imitation. The episode is a half million dollar inside joke. But I digress… 

By the time Orson Welles was sitting in this infamous voice over session, he had written, directed and starred in one of the greatest movies OF ALL TIME: Citizen Kane. He had found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which aired on the radio series The Mercury Theatre on the Air and drove our nation into widespread panic, it was so believable. He was a celebrated ...

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Eternal Truths of Voiceover

Uncategorized Oct 05, 2020

Hello my dear voiceover colleagues. Welcome. And thank you for joining me here on yet another social media platform: The blog.

Some of you may know that through the course of my voiceover career, I've also been a writer. However, I've never written about voiceover, preferring instead to write poems, collections, short pieces, and the like. Well, we're well over 6 months into COVID realities and I'm all poem-ed out. It's time to do something new, something pithy, something helpful for the community I work in and love. So, to begin this blog, over the next weeks and months I'm going to share with you some of the eternal truths and insights I've gleaned over these last ... ahem... 3 decades in the magical world of voiceover. Now, my experience is just that. My experience. Make of it what you will. Take it or leave it.  Actually, I hope you take it - if only for the sake of my having been around as long as I have. Surely I have a VoiceOver leg to stand on. ;-)

The voiceover...

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