Step by Step…

The great challenge for myself is, at it always is, to maintain my own progress. I always feel as though I’m taking 2 steps forward and 1.99 steps back. I’d really like to eliminate that .99 (I’d go for the whole 1.99, but baby steps), and this week has been a good step in the right direction. I’d certainly like to continue in this direction.

On top of finishing a recording of short story, I’ve been talking with a company on doing a voice over for a documentary. I’m not really convinced that this documentary job is going to happen, however it’s something I saw and reached out for rather than letting it float by. Another point that I’m proud of was my attempt to determine a fair price.

I have a poor habit of not valuing my own work and low balling what it’s worth. However – in this instance I went through a number of sources and compared prices to figure out what would be a fair quote. I was sorely tempted to cut down on the price, even after triple checking my numbers, but I reminded myself to value the work I do and the work that my fellow actors do.

It’s a small thing, but for me I felt it was important. Putting value on my work is always difficult for me, even more so when it’s a monetary value.

In the next week I’m looking at completing another 2 short stories and starting to redo my narration demos and to get demos for other types of voice acting. Getting a variation of demos for all the different types of work I wish to do will be helpful when looking into other opportunities (and making sure everything is properly separated and easy to find ).

Honestly I’m thinking it’s about time I begin pulling out my monologues and start looking at performing in local theatre shows again. I’m feeling the pull and hunger of performing, and I certainly would love to have something on hand if I ever meet some director or casting agent who asks, “hey do you have anything for me?”

Point of order: Here’s a picture of my family’s dog, Cooper. Yes, Cooper is as sweet as he looks.

The Lonely Website

I’ve been at a loss for sometime what I should do with this website and how to best use it. While I’ve been recording for the past 3 years (I can’t believe it’s actually been 3 years already) I’ve mostly been recording erotica and it’s often not very good. I’ve been happy to have these works to cut my teeth and develop skills, but they’re not works I’m sure I want to showcase. I would prefer to show off only the best.

That said I have a bad habit of simply hating what I produce. I can’t tell if it’s actually good or not. However – given how long I’ve been recording and some of the feedback I’ve been getting I’m starting to believe that maybe I’m a bit better than I give myself credit for. I’m no S rank (or even A or B rank) narrator yet, but I’m firmly in the professional category.

Given my growth I think it’s high time I reevaluate what I’m doing and what I can do to further my career. The first is to make sure that I’m keeping this website up to date. Creating a list of audiobooks that I’ve produced and making a newsletter are also things for me to consider if not jumping straight into. At this point I’ve done enough (and should be confident enough) in my own work that I need to be promoting it.

I also need to remember to keep taking lessons and to check in with myself as an actor. Trusting myself to do good work is important, but it’s also important to remember that you’re never done learning and getting an outside view is important.

In the meantime, as I try to figure out what I’m doing next and what’s the important next step to becoming a full time narrator, have a picture of my family’s dog. Cooper says hello.

Just Plugging Along…

It’s been sometime since I’ve last used this website. I’m not very good at the business side of the acting industry. I’m much happier acting and creating than I am working on the business. That includes everything from networking, using social media, maintaining this website, and pretty much everything else that’s not the acting part of the work.

Sadly, I can’t just ignore the business side of the industry. I’ve had my ups and downs, which is something I think most of us have experienced. Last year was a down year for me. I fell into the rut and trap that was 2020. With APAC coming around again this year I’m paying a bit more attention to the aspects of the business that I’ve overlooked. (That’s basically everything, but it’s good to take a step back and review what needs to be done!)

So here I am, just plugging along and trying to keep on keeping on.

Been a while

Almost time for an update…

It’s been sometime since I’ve updated this website, and it’s time for a fresh coat of paint. For one thing I’d like something that’s a little less grey, blocky, and just “belgh” would be good. For another I know I can do much better with my audiobook demos.

On top of all of that is the fact that I need to create demos for other voice acting roles that I wish to do. The thought of making demos is weird to me. I’ve never really needed demos before and I’m not exactly sure how to go about making them. I was taught how to be a stage actor and we don’t exactly have demos for that – just monologues on hand. (Though I should really get some new monologues developed too.)

While the world is still being gripped by the need for social distancing, I should be taking this time to learn what I need for a demo. Like what is the material that’s expected, what are the kind of ranges you should consider, ect. There are a few places I can ask around, and I should look up voice actors websites to see if they have good demos I can listen to.

The challenge – as it ever is – is to get it all done. With so many other things to work on, I am fortunate enough to still have a day job during this pandemic, it can be a challenge to balance things. Especially with days bleeding together and everything feeling like they’re in suspended animation.

Regardless – I would love to come out of this pandemic with a freshly designed website, new audiobook demos, new demos for new types of acting, and my feet planted firmly in the ground.

Photo by Kevin Mueller on Unsplash

Working without going to work

With the challenge of social distancing stretching before all of us, for what looks like months to come, figuring out how to remain active as a voice actor and audiobook narrator grows more important. Having a home studio is critical.

However – it’s more than just having the ability to record whenever you desire. There’s the issue of finding work and committing to it. Being alone and not going outside isn’t what’s been disorienting for me, but the complete collapse of my schedule and usual plans. Going from “I do this on this day, go here at this time, and then immediately do this” to “what does it matter!” has shattered my productivity.

I’m someone who benefits from having a schedule and having that schedule mostly full. I need some extra space for new projects and to make sure I have time to rest if I need it. However, I need to make sure I’m keeping busy. When I have all the time in the world I don’t actually have anytime at all. Far too much “I can do it this afternoon!”

Exercise with the family was my linchpin in my schedule. After exercise I’d immediately have breakfast with the family (and my shower of course), and then I’d immediately head into my booth and get work done. Having everything tied together made moving from one thing to the next made my Monday mornings easy to transition through. I was more productive than I’d been for well over a year.

As I’m not able to go exercise with my family any more my entire schedule has fallen apart. I can still try to do my own exercise, but it’s spotty and never set to a rhythm or strict schedule. I’ve tried, but exercising at home doesn’t work for me the way going to the gym does.

To combat this I’ve been trying to give myself tiny goals, things that are super easy to achieve, and switching them up day by day. This way I’m still getting something done, even if it’s at a glacial pace, and the constant change helps keep me engaged. I’ve done okay with this so far, and I think it’s about time that I start expanding my goals. Only a little though!

It’s very easy to trigger my own sense of “I’ll do this later!” Especially when I don’t have someone else asking me to do the work. If someone isn’t counting on me I’m much lazier than I should be. I have a problem where I value other people’s time and energy far more than my own. Another thing I’ve been striving to improve on.

But I’ve done enough rambling. Step by step I intend to re-find my focus, so even when someone isn’t waiting on me I can be proactive! I love telling stories too much not to.

Family Photo of Cooper

Oh – blarg

It has been a while since I’ve said much. Part of that is because it feels as though it’s been a while since I’ve done anything of value and part of that is due to the recent events of the pandemic. A pandemic throws many normal patterns out the window. This website wasn’t one of those patterns, but it certainly didn’t help.

I hope all reading this are as myself and my family are, hearty and hale.

I’ve been in self isolation, as many folks have been, for sometime though perhaps not soon enough? I am fortunate that both my day job and my audio work are both things I can do while this pandemic rages on. I am in a rather blessed position, I know many others aren’t as fortuitous, and it’s something I’m grateful for daily.

Before the pandemic kicked into full swing I had managed to sneak in a couple of auditions, though by this point I’ve heard nothing. I’m guessing that means the ones looking have found their preferred narrators. Either that or whomever is doing the hunting is taking their time, but I have time to spend.

Going forward I want and need to make sure I’m auditioning and emailing my contacts more often. COVID-19 might have stalled and slowed the industry, but things are still happening and it will end someday. I’ve been mostly idle these past few weeks, but that needs to change.

A sleeping cat catches no mice.

My goal for this upcoming week is to do my taxes (whoops! Much later than I normally like to do them!) and then I should like to do at least one audition. It’s time to get back in the saddle again.

A picture of a brighter future!

Another day another week…

Today was a weird day to cap off a weird week. For starters I’ve started going to the YMCA in my area for exercise. I’ve been making a new push to be active, as I tend to spend a lot of time sitting down. I’m almost always at my computer, which – of course – is not good for your long term health.

Add on top of these new efforts to be healthy and I’ve changed hours at work for the next month. I’m still working the same amount of hours (I would honestly be happier with another 4-8 hours), but we’ve shifted hours around for the benefit of one of my coworkers. They have family in town and that necessitated some change for the next month.

Add those two schedule changes this week together and I’ve been totally thrown off.

Work wise I’ve done mostly paper work. I didn’t audition like I’d meant to, but I’ve been keeping up with my contact in AndrewsUK and I’ve set my calendar for APAC this year. I’ve been debating if I should go, as it’s expensive and hasn’t gotten my anywhere as far as I can tell.

However that’s how these things work isn’t it? You don’t see the good they’re doing until years later. As this is my only real chance to meet and interact with people within the industry face to face I think this is probably something I really should do, even if it’s outside my comfort zone and stretching my budget.

Things I need to do for next week though? Emails. Always more emails. Another task is I have to do some preparation and check in for APAC. Going does me no good if I don’t have a place to stay or a place for my car. Maybe I’ll take a train the whole way into New York? That would be fun! Sadly that would also cost money I really don’t have, but it’s an option.

(I also need to update this website. Not only can I do far better with my demos, but this website is so boring to look at. It’s not the most important part, but I think presentation is important to a degree!)

I also need to find an audition and submit. I’ve enjoyed working with AndrewsUK, but I can’t pay my bills with them alone. I need a wider net. Hopefully with baby steps in auditioning and APAC I’ll get that wider net!

This photo was taken by my dad during our family trip to Yosemite. It was awe inspiring.