Last year, while wandering a hallway at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas in Henderson Nevada, I was greeted by two men. Voice Actor, Anthony Gettig and Producer and Coach, Uncle Roy Yokelson. Though I’d never met either of these guys before, without hesitation they invited me to join them for breakfast. That’s exactly what I did.
Were it not for that chance meeting at WoVOCon II a year ago, this weekend I wouldn’t be traveling to New Jersey. Then again, perhaps it wasn’t chance at all. Between you and me, I don’t believe in coincidence. Instead, I believe God knows what we need, when we need it and He’s more than capable of orchestrating meetings between strangers.
Why I Need A New Demo
When I first began discussing demos with Uncle Roy I was pretty blunt.
“Look, the truth is, I haven’t done a directed session in years. The idea of it intimidates me. I’ve never taken a drama class. I don’t consider myself an actor. My background is rip and read radio. I’m well aware the commercial market has changed. I’m even more aware I’m currently not qualified for it, which is why I’ve avoided it completely. Producing this demo is going to be a HUGE step for me well outside my comfort zone. I’m going to need a lot of work. I know it. I also know I trust you to take me where I need to go.”
I continued, “I’m making a great living for myself right now. My business continues to grow year after year. But I don’t want to stall out. If I’m going to go to a new level, I’m going to have to do this demo and put everything I’ve got into pursuing this market. No matter how uncomfortable it makes me in the beginning. I know it’s what I have to do. It’s time to do it.”
In a nutshell, this is what I told him. He’d attest to it.
It probably wasn’t the greatest set up, and poor Uncle Roy was likely wondering what the heck he was getting himself into. Not one to back away from a challenge, and more than capable of coaching and shaping me, though, Uncle Roy agreed.
That was the first step.
One Step At A Time
The journey to this commercial demo – for me – has been years in the making. Many months even passed from the time I first inquired with him last summer until the time we began coaching sessions. A lot of pieces of the puzzle had to fall into place.
Coaching was a given. Lots of it was expected.
Then there was the financial commitment. The price of a demo. The money to pay for all that coaching. Investments in equipment. Studio upgrades. Booking flights, hotels and a car.
Forgive me for saying it so directly, but, I wasn’t willing to do this half-@$$ed.
Am I going to be the next great commercial voice actor in North America? Well, probably not. Am I going to open the doors to opportunities that I’d otherwise never have a chance at. Without a doubt!
Never Stop Growing!
If you’re not growing, you’ll eventually peak. For most of 2015, I had a sense that I had peaked, or was getting really close.
I’m not the kind of guy that likes to get comfortable and settle in when I’m passionate about something. I’m the kind of guy that likes to take it as far as I can, and then figure out what it’s going to take to go to the next level.
Guys, don’t lose the spark. Don’t give up. Don’t settle.
People look at me and my business and assume I’ve got it all figured out and I’m exactly where I want to be. Truth is, I’ve figured a few things out and I’ve accomplished some of goals I’ve set for myself. But don’t kid yourself into thinking I’ve got it all together.
Through this blog, and the platform I’ve created for myself in this industry, I always want to use it to help people. To provide value through content, training, courses, coaching, etc. I also want to be 100 percent authentic.
I’ve been full-time in voice over since 2012 and I’m making a great living. It’s also taken me this many years to finally be ready to pursue a commercial demo and the commercial market. I’m not ashamed of that. I don’t hide it. In fact, quite the opposite. I share it so that if you’re struggling a bit, or you feel like things are moving too slow, you can see that you’re not alone.
This voice over game is a marathon. Not a sprint.
The next time you’re looking at how far someone else is ahead of you, stop.
The only race you need to run is your own and you’re free to run it as fast, or slow, as you see fit.
With that in mind… next stop… Antland Productions in New Jersey!