In small ways every day.
Our family motto.
Well back when our family was young and growing.
Born out of trying to instill a kind, helpful atmosphere in our home while our kids were growing up and not so into the pulling together and helping speak life to one another phase.
Now those days are a distant memory and that cute motto has found it’s way into the dusty memories keepsakes box with so much other memorabilia.
But I got to thinking about that motto and decided that it could just be time to shake off the cobwebs and show it the light of day once more.
I have been a homeschooler Mom for the past 8 years, teaching my sons until my youngest son declared high school was for him. And I was all for it.
As much as I believe in and enjoyed teaching (who knew?), I had long held a secret passion for voiceover, or voice acting - the two terms interchangeable.
I had forayed into some classes here and there, even rubbing shoulders with some pros too, but the timing wasn’t right.
Until now that is.
So as of this Spring, I find myself with a new title of “Entrepreneur”.
Finicky to spell, and depending on where you come from, odd to pronounce and avoid over pursing your lips to say it.
My son tells everybody with some pride that his Mom is one, love him.
With typical self - effacing British-ness, I must admit it’s taking some adjusting to telling people and allowing the term to feel comfortable.
But I am one, and launching into my dream of pursuing a voiceover career has been quite the learning experience and I like I said, this is only a few months in.
I had a plan to train and prepare and so I spent the last 10 months being coached in all kinds of voice acting styles and finding my niche in which to focus.
My coach Gabby, was patient but laughed at me fondly as I brought my perfectionist self to sessions, while teaching me to look past the predictable and explore the opportunities I had written off because I hadn’t considered my potential.
It could be easy I realized, to pigeon hole myself because of my accent. Using it to market my brand well is key.
I discovered in the process of creating characters for all kinds of voice work be it commercial, or audio book narration for example, and the like-able and not so warm and fuzzy, where my vulnerable places are. I disturbed a whole lot of uncomfortable.
I explored memories I had long since buried but tapped into for the purposes of making them come alive and be believable, finding the motivation for what makes them dark, quirky or funny.
I didn’t know I would have therapy as part of my training package!
With that, I launched my brand spanking new website, was over the moon at my first paying job which now legitimized all the prior work and effort I had poured in.
And then I waited. And waited. And didn’t make the cut in auditions.
And became despondent.
You are warned about this stage. And you never think it will happen to you because you are prepared and didn’t rush into this overnight.
You have a plan, and contacts and you will rise above the despondency because you are a strong capable woman.
But then Facebook and Instagram and all these wonderful social media outlets weave their way into my day heralding all the new happenings and the dispiriting voice tells you it’s going to take you forever to get where they are.
Talk about dark gremlins and goblins.
It was time to do what all us Brits do in a crisis - put the kettle on.
Not the first time major solutions have been found under this premise.
So, with a strong brew in hand I sat myself down for some self -talk:
In small ways every day means doing something every day to grow my goals.
There are good weeks and not so good. - this doesn’t mean I am not skilled or am failing.
I need a plan, and to be disciplined – hard for us creatives.
I have to set achievable goals. Even small ones. Every day.
I need to practice those voices and look at scripts and keep my skills up to par.
I can’t abandon my exercise because it keeps me focused, energized and helps my perspective. I have learnt that I don’t operate well sitting for hours but need to move and be creative.
And the biggest of all - to not feel threatened by others success.
And in reality, in the few short months since I began, I have made progress. Namely in my first audiobook release – which I will share more of in another post.
It was time to stop hanging out with the gloomy, dark characters and put them away for another day.
So, even if you aren’t on the exact same path as me, I hope it encourages you to achieve - in small ways every day.
Now, go put the kettle on……..