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

Back from a (surprise) week off!

Hello, hello, hello!

After a mixture of bad weather, a sudden fever, and sometime off I have returned. I took sometime to myself to rest, something I don’t do often enough. I often push myself (which is good!) and never take anytime to rest (which is bad!). I’ve been trying to schedule in a couple of days a month to rest, rather than working everyday. I’ll adjust this as time goes on, but I needed to start somewhere and having a healthy balance between work and rest is important.

These past two weeks I’ve been dealing with terrible weather. Having to dig my way out of the house every week and prepare for a snow/ice storm eats up a lot of time, but fortunately I can usually navigate around that. However – something I can’t really navigate around is becoming ill. If I’m sick there’s not much I can do to change that except take the time needed to recover.

I’m currently on the mend, but this is day 3 of being ill and I’m almost certain I’ll remain sick tomorrow. My hope is that by Monday I’ll be back in fighting shape!

Before I got sick I did manage to finish recording my final project and now I only need to edit and polish it. I was surprisingly satisfied with what I had produced when I finished recording on Monday. Hopefully when I comeback to edit I’ll still feel I did a good job.

I’m particularly interested in going back to one section in particular. I found myself falling into the text with ease and was extremely happy with the bit I recorded. At the time of recording I felt it was one of my better pieces. I often struggle to really connect with the text as an actor, but in that moment I felt at ease as I did so. I’ll often have to do a lot of start-stopping to keep myself from going neutral as I read. This is where slowing down has helped me a ton. It’s much easier to connect with something when the words have a chance to land rather than rushing right through them. I’m looking forward to continuing to perfect and improve upon my craft!

But I could go on for hours about these details. In the meantime here’s a picture of Cooper. Pretty sure I shared this one already, but I love it.

Week 4 of January, 2020…week 3 of my reinforced goal

Another week another audiobook. I spent much of my time this week editing the project I’d finished recording last week. Those of you who read last week’s update (there actually were people, and hello again if you’re here for this week!) will recall I was unhappy with what I had produced. It’s normal for me to not like what I make though, so I was trying to reserve judgement until I went back and had a chance to fix things.

That brings us to this week. When I began to edit the audiobook there were two things that stood out to me. The first was that, yes there were a number of places I could be better and needed to improve/fix. The other was that, no it wasn’t as awful as I thought it was (dare I say it was good in places!?) and I need to stop being so hard on myself.

This is an outcome I was happy to arrive at, even if I had suspected that this was the issue from the beginning. Taking a moment to step away from the art we’ve made and coming back to it fresh is so important. Without hitting that reset button in our brain we’ll see everything just as we saw it a minuet ago. Time and space can give us a more objective look into things, plus we’re typically a stronger artists after a project than before that project

This reminder certainly made my day and filled me with the determination to finish the editing. When I walked away I felt like I had produced something of quality. It’s been a while since I’ve felt a week of work go as smoothly and as harmonious as this past one. It certainly made me eager to get to work on my next project and to keep cracking away at audiobooks!

Sorta like how Cooper is always exploring the woods when out on a walk with the family! Here’s our obligatory picture of him below.

Family Photo
Cooper exploring the woods out back.

It’s a title…

It was a good week, and it was a bad week. Ever do I seem to face the duality of life. I’ve managed to complete my latest audiobook and I’m ready to begin editing and polish it. That’s all good! Sadly I wasn’t terribly happy with how it came out. I’m often not happy with my work though, so I can’t say if this is par for the course or if it actually needs a lot of work.

The problem of course is that I’ve developed the skills to notice what’s going wrong (when compared to the masters), but lack the talent and skill to truly fix it. I’ll wager that this is something that many new artists struggle with. Hopefully I’ll learn, through practice of course, somewhat quickly how to correct these issues I feel my work has.

All this said, I’m sure that once I fix my current problems I’ll then fixate on the next problems that I see in my work. It’ll never end, and yet that’s how I like it. I like knowing that I’ll always be improving. It’s like how freeing it can be to see the more human side of actors I look up to and teachers/professors I’ve had over the years. Getting to have that moment of, “that’s right they’re in the same boat I am, they’ve only been here longer to practice it.”

Intellectually I know this of course, but getting to see it is special. As I head off to bed and prepare for the next week of work have a picture of my family’s dog, Cooper.

Cooper says hello!

Step by step…

I submitted another finished manuscript and I have 3 more scripts that I need to look over. I haven’t done nearly enough this year, but I’m hoping to close out strong. I’d to see myself be able tend this year on an upswing and make it a strong start for next year.

I worry that I’ll run into the issue that I did this past year, which was AndrewsUK running out of scripts for me to record. I record faster than they could provide. It’s a nice feeling to know I can keep ahead of the authors that AndrewsUK has, but that doesn’t help my royalty shares. I’ve tried writing my own stuff to fill that gap, and while that is a nice bonus it’s not something that’s going to be my primary solution.

I NEED to make sure I’m applying myself to other audiobooks besides those provided by AndrewsUK. The scripts I get from AndrewsUK are great for keeping me practicing and they provide a little side cash, but unless I’m promoting myself more keeping my skills sharp and continuing to practice has limited value.

The next “step” I take needs to be part hunting for new books with bigger payout, but also to make sure I’m networking and keeping up with folks within the industry. I called this blog post “Step by step…” and that’s honestly all I got. I’m too slow to rush this stuff down, so I need to make sure I’m grinding away endlessly.