I feel like I am struggling to get through the process of training, practicing, and improving to become a professional full-time voice actor. Why is this so hard?!? Normally, when I want to be good at something, I identify what needs to be learned, fixed, or done and I just do it. Then I achieve the results I want to achieve. Sometimes, I just figure it out intuitively and I become reasonably good or even excellent at whatever I am trying to learn and do. I’m not trying to brag or “toot my own horn” here, it’s just something that is true about me.
I have come to realize in my 48 years on this planet that I have 2 great skills; I call them my “superpowers” or “spiritual gifts from God”. The first is that I can take things apart, figure them out, and put them back together; that’s both figuratively and literally. I can learn just about anything, and do it reasonably well. You could say that I am exceptional at being reasonably good at many things.
The second “superpower” is my ability to relate, build rapport, and engender trust in others. Building relationships with people, establishing new ones, and keeping them active and healthy for long periods of time, is something I am exceptional at. Professionally I excel at this, though in my personal life, I have a few key relationships that I am NOT exceptional at. But even so, those relationships are not DEAD, they persist. So I persist in trying to repair them, grow them, and make them thrive.
So you would think that with these two superpowers combined, I would have a natural tendency to excel at the process of building a professional voice acting career. You would be wrong. To use a metaphor, I feel as though I am underwater with a thin layer of ice preventing me from reaching the surface, breathing in the sweet air of success, and reaping the fruits of my labor. There are times during my coaching sessions that I do break through and hit the mark, but it feels more like my coach “cut the hole” for me rather than me cleanly and purposefully penetrating that ice barrier.
The good news is I feel as though the ice is getting thinner and easier to break through. It’s just that I am frustrated by the fact that I am struggling harder with this than I have with anything for a long time. I want to rely on my intuition but I haven’t enough experience yet to even have intuition for Voice Over. For most of my adult life, things I’ve been involved in or have done seem to come naturally to me; I seem to have a shallow learning curve on these things. I didn’t have a long period of transition from NOOB to EXPERT. I do LOVE the process of learning new things, especially when it’s not super challenging. I need to train myself on how to love the process when it isn’t easy and when it doesn’t come naturally. In short, I need to “embrace the suck!”
I fully comprehend that the process is necessary. You cannot get the results and success you want in a new career without going through the necessary training, without developing the skill, or without changing your mindset about what it takes to be successful. That is the process I am going through right now. I know it is needed, I am both frustrated (mainly because I am impatient and I want results sooner than later) and encouraged by it, and I CAN go through it. I WILL go through it. I MUST go through it. Because my desire to be what I want to be is GREATER than the fleeting and inconsequential feelings of doubt, failure, or reticence.