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Voice Coaches Radio #423 – Yup, it’s THIS EASY to get over your voice acting career stalls…

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh. He is Sam. We are de lighted to have you joining us here today. Sam, how we doing, my friend? Josh, I am doing well, my friend. Thank you for asking. How are you doing, Josh? You know what, I can't complain.

Good, glad to hear that. I can't complain. It's getting a little warmer outside. Oh my gosh, it is, isn't it? Oh my gosh. Yeah, yeah. That, that, that little, uh, surprise snowstorm threw me off my game. I'm not going to lie to you. Threw me off my game a little bit. Still coming to terms with it. And, uh, and a little gun shy right now.

Like, I need to seed my lawn. And, uh, I'm almost afraid to at this point. But I think this weekend, I think this weekend's going to be it. I feel, I feel it. I feel it. I think we're finally out, out of the cold. This morning was actually warm. that's what they want you to say. I know, but I'm believing it. I'm a positive, positive person, Josh.

I am the yin to your yang. I am the sunshine to your, to your night. They are just lulling you into a false sense of security so they can crush your hopes and dreams. My spirits, yeah, that's why I'm always disappointed. That's fair, that's fair. Uh, so, um, So what do you want to talk about? Well, you know, we've had such a great response in the last few weeks from a number of our listeners, believe it or not.

We've had more and more people, which is super exciting. Please keep it coming. Send us questions that they'd like us to discuss. It's true. We're lazy and don't like to come up with ideas on our own, but we want you to do it for us. We would love that. We would love for you to jump in the fray with us and help us solve this problem.

But also it tells us what you need to know, what you want to know, and where areas we might be neglecting. So, Jeff, Jeff wrote in a great question that I think is something we all face from time to time, and I want to address that today. I think we've already have started facing that recently. Yes, we have.

You and I can, uh, talk first hand to that, but let me get into the question first. Jeff's question essentially was this, and he wrote, I was wondering if you would mind discussing a topic on the podcast concerning those that gear up to begin their journey with voiceover, and then And he's, and he said, uh, he's one of those, as are we all, Jeff.

So thank you, first of all, for bringing that up. Super super grateful. And it's super brave. Like how many people have done this? So many people have done this, but Jeff, thank you for being the person to say it because you are not alone in this. We have all been there. So Josh, what do you think? What do you think about this?

You start, you get excited, you, you make your demo, you start down your career. You're like, here I come to save the day. My name's Josh. Is this on? Sorry. You stop. Sorry. Oh, yeah. And then you stop. And then you stop. And then all of a sudden, it's like, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah. Yeah, and I think, you know, I think it's extremely common, and unfortunately, I think many times, once people get to that point where, you know, life happens.

Life gets in the way. That is, that is pretty normal and it doesn't become a priority and that's understandable. Um, and I think more often than not, uh, that person thinks, Okay, I gotta get back into this, but how? Uh, maybe, maybe, maybe it's just for the best. And, and probably don't try to get back into it.

Probably take that as a sign that, uh, that this just isn't for them. That, uh, they had other priorities and, and, and they're, and they're done. Um, and that is, that, that's It's not necessarily the case. It doesn't have to be the case. And, and, and I think, you know, one of the reasons why, why this is such a good question is because so many people get to this point where, you know, they have kind of put it on the back burner for a while and are not sure if they can bring it back to the forefront.

And you can. You absolutely can. And here's the great thing. The great thing about it is the way to get restarted, as it were, is the same way you got started. Just start. Just start. Just start again. Just start again. Right? We, you know, we, we, we, we, we, we overthink things. We make things big deals, right? And we think, oh man, I, I need to, I need some grand re entrance into this.

And, and, and you don't, right? Just like, just like we talk about when you first, when you're first getting started, when you're out there with your demo, you're starting from scratch. Well, you know what, Jeff, you're starting from scratch again. And that's okay. That's okay. As long as you're starting again, as long as you're starting again, start, you know, everything we talked about previously, talking to people, getting your name out there, right?

Um, word of mouth, handing out business cards, all that stuff that was so important when you first started. hasn't changed. It hasn't changed. And so, you know, I almost look at it as if it's not so much a false start. It's just a delayed start. It's a delayed start. So we stalled out a little bit. Well, let's start back from the beginning.

Yeah, it's a very good place to start. It's a very good place to be. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. So if I had a dime for every time, I'm like, Oh, it's over. This is all done. I've never I'll never work again. Like that is such a human thought. I feel like we all have this moment. Ability as human beings to create a narrative around our lives that is much, that's bigger than the actual situation that we're in.

It's this all or nothing mentality where it's like, I'm either doing it or I'm not. I'm all in or I'm out. And really, it doesn't have to be that stark. It doesn't have to be that black and white. You can, you can, you know, I know David sometimes talks about like taking breaks. You know, like, what is that?

What does that even mean? If you're a voice actor, like, you take a break from it. But like, this does happen sometimes. And really, it's not That you're taking a break, it's just, you're not doing it in that moment. That doesn't mean it's all over. If you stop for a minute, and you are not voice acting in this moment, that does not mean that you are no longer a voice actor.

You still are. You lose your voice actor card. Yep, let me. Your voice actor card is revoked. Give me that. Give me that. And if you walk around telling people you're a professional voice actor, you are a liar. Liars. It's true. Liar. Yeah, and that's what it feels like, right? It does. It does. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Cares. Exactly. It's not like the voice acting police is going to be like, Oh no no no no no no no no no no no, You haven't done this in six months. You, sir, are no longer a professional voice actor. May I see some identification please? You have to earn that again. I need to see your voice acting identification.

Right, I mean, it's ridiculous. Yeah, totally. But, but, I, I, I get it. I get it. Right. And you know, we, we talk about how hard it is to get started and, and that you have that sheepish feeling that, uh, I shouldn't say I'm a professional voice actor because I'm not. Right. Yeah. You have that fraud feeling and you know, it's tough to get over that.

And I imagine that, that, you know, taking a break or, or, or whatever it might be and getting back into it. It's like that even more, you know, cause you're like, not only am I fraud, I'm a failure. And by the way, you're neither. You're neither. Yeah. Yeah. I will say every time I step up to the microphone, every single time, I feel like getting better and doing more work as a voice actor has diminished this, but it still has never quieted it.

Every time I have an audition, I have a gig, even when we do this podcast, there's a moment where I'm like, you're a fraud. What are you doing? You're a hack. Who is this guy? You're a phony. He's a phony. You're a fake. You're a fake kid. Who are you? And they, this creeps in so fast. And when I was younger, this voice used to be really strong.

It was a huge thing that I had to overcome because it was, it was crippling and it was getting in my way. It was preventing me from actually doing the work. But now it's still like, sometimes it like, it pops up, but then I start and I'm like, ah, oh yeah. I remember how to do this. I know how to do this. So, my first advice to you, Jeff, and anyone else who relates to this is start again.

Do it again. Put yourself out there. And you'll be surprised. You haven't lost as much as you think, because there was nothing really to lose in the first place. Yeah, I mean, that's, that's, that's absolutely true. Um, you know, I remember when I first sent in some auditions for things and, and I almost didn't even send them in.

You know, I was like, why am I even wasting my time? I'm not gonna get this job as it happens. I didn't, but that's not the point. Yeah. Getting rejected is fine. Right? Oh my gosh. Yeah. Getting, getting rejected is good. Getting rejected is par for the course. It and know it. I know. It sucks. It does. It hurts. I know.

It's annoying. But, but it really has nothing to do with you. And this is such a, I need this reminder all the time. Like, I don't get something I think I'm bad. Really, it might not have anything to do with that. Sometimes, like, gigs don't even happen. I've auditioned for things that I found out after the fact that didn't come to fruition for anybody.

So me taking that personally, you know, maybe I would have been the guy in line for that job, but it didn't happen. Nobody got it. But probably not. Who am I kidding? You're a fake. You're a fake kid. You're a phony. You'll never work. But yeah, I mean, it, it, it, it, I think we've mentioned it before, there's, there's that old saying in sales, like, I want to get no's.

I want to be turned down. I want to be turned down, you know, 10 times a day. You know why? Because that means I've at least reached out to 10 people a day. And I get turned down by all of them. Okay, that's 10 more people that I've reached out to. And if I have that fear, then it's gonna be zero people I've reached out to.

Yeah. And I'd much rather reach out to 10 people and get turned down every single time than not reach out to anybody at all. Right? You end up stuck in that purgatory of, um, And it's all about fear. You're stuck in that purgatory of, Okay, I don't want to get turned down, but I don't think I'm good enough to not get turned down.

And so you're, you're, you're kind of stuck in this place because getting turned down is, is tough. It hurts and you, you know, don't want to have to deal with that. But I think it's worse just not knowing. I think it's much worse just not knowing. It's like when you, and you probably had this, you audition for something and you don't hear anything.

I used to apply for hockey jobs and would just not hear anything. I'd much rather get a letter saying hey thanks or an email just like, you know, thanks for sending your stuff out, we're moving in a different direction. Do I like getting that email? No, of course not. But would I prefer that? Absolutely. As opposed to finding out I didn't get it when.

I hear they announced who got the job, and I'm like, oh, okay, well I guess I didn't get it. I'm a huge fan. Look, for those people who have companies, who have businesses, who work for companies, who are in hiring, I respect so much that company that instantly is like, no, we're going in a different direction, or no, thank you so much.

It can be a phone letter. I know it's so valuable. It can be a phone letter. I don't care. Just tell me. Put my name in there. It doesn't even have to have my name in there, like, Dear Applicant, you didn't get it. Okay, thanks, but thank you for taking the time to, at the very least, send me an email. Which costs zero.

It's amazing. You know, the only cost is somebody's time, which really, it's not much. But that said, we can't control the world, Josh, as much as we would like to. I know you and I Our plans for world domination, which are coming to fruition slowly, but surely through this podcast, we can't control what they do.

Same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world! I'm making spit bubbles in here. What do to know it, Brian? Same thing, I loved, loved Pinky and the Brain. I haven't thought about that show in so long. Started with Animaniacs. Oh, the Animaniacs, oh my god. And then when they made their own show, I loved Pinky and the Brain.

The best. I always loved the God, the Godfather. Do you remember that? It was like the pigeon who was like the Godfather. Yeah. Yeah. Oh my gosh. Animaniacs. Love. Yep. They get baloney in their sex. I mean, what can you say? What else needs to be said? Every now and again, like, I think I may have on my, like, my iPod, the, um, uh, the, like, all the countries where they list out all the countries, United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama.

And I'm like, oh yeah, it's all the countries. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, it's so good. Oh gosh. It's so God. I know what I'm doing after this podcast now. Hours of Animaniacs. Fact. It's gonna be amazing. But Josh, don't you have a story that you can relate to this about like starting anew? I do. I do. So we all know, and this has been well documented, that, um, you know, the past month plus has not been quite as fruitful as I might have hoped.

Um, you know, we talked about how February was going to be where I really start getting out there and talking to companies and fully admitted that did not happen. March has not been quite as fruitful as I might have hoped either. However, this morning, This morning, this is a true story, this morning, I went to the gym this morning, and um, you know, I don't usually work out at 6.

30 in the morning because it's 6. 30 in the morning. Um, however, I did, and uh, and so there are people there that I know, and that I've worked out with, but I haven't seen in a while. And there's one there who I know. Has, uh, he's a lawyer, and he just opened his own law firm, maybe about six months ago, maybe not even that long, and I've been thinking to myself, I need to, uh, I need to talk to him, I need to give him my card, and, and he was at the, uh, at the gym this morning, and I didn't get a chance to, to really talk with him, uh, during the class, the workout, and, uh, it was afterward where, uh, we were in the locker room, and I happened to see him in the locker room, and he was shaving.

And Uh, he was at, he was at the sink and he was shaving and he was asking if I, like I said, I haven't seen him in a while, so he was asking if I still do hockey broadcasting, you know, with the team having moved and I was like, no, I don't, I don't really do much of that anymore. Still freelance a little bit.

Um, and, and then he, uh, he was like, oh, so what are you doing now? And I said, you know, like. I work for a studio and I do, you know, production and instructing for people who want to get into voice acting. And, uh, I'm also pursuing, you know, my own voice acting career and, and we talked about that for a minute.

And, uh, and literally he has shaving cream on his face at the sink. And uh, I grabbed my, my wallet from my, from my gym bag. And as we talked about last week, uh, made sure that I had some cards in there before I left. I put more cards in there the other day and, uh, and, and said, look, I know that, uh, Uh, you know, you have your own, your own law firm and, uh, you know, I don't know if you ever need, but you know, if you're interested in, uh, in voice acting services, let me know.

And I slid my card over to him and pretty sure right through a puddle of water on the sink. But notwithstanding, right? And, and, and, and what was nice is that, you know, he asked, you know, what kind of things I do and, and, and whatnot. And I don't know if he'll, if he'll need my services. It's a pretty small outfit right now.

I'm pretty sure he's the only one, uh, in his office at the moment. But it's something that could ultimately grow. Who knows? But, you know, what was nice is we were able to kind of relate momentarily because I was like, I was like, yeah, you know, I, I used to do some stuff when I was with the hockey team, but now I'm trying to, you know, pursue it more earnestly, uh, you know, in, in the voice acting world and, uh, really got to start putting myself out there a bit more.

I was like, you know, you just started your own company. And he was like, yeah, he goes, you know, I got into, he literally said, he goes, I got into law and became a lawyer cause I didn't want to be a salesman. I didn't want to be a businessman. He goes, now I have my own law firm and I'm a salesman, a businessman and a lawyer.

And he's like, it's, it's tough. He's like, I hate it. I hate, you know, uh, all the, you know, the putting myself out there like that. He goes, but you got to do it. And I was like, I'm with you. It was every day. It's like, yeah. So we, we kind of, you know, commiserated about that for a moment, but, uh, had a relatable moment and, uh, and it ended up with him saying, and yeah, if I, if I know anybody who I can pass this along to, I definitely will.

I was like, that'd be fantastic. BAM! Will that turn into anything? I have zero idea. Statistically, probably not. Probably not. That's okay. But you don't know that. No, and it was a And what harm did it cause me? Not at all. None. It was a pleasant conversation. And what you did there, you didn't let the, like, May I see some voiceover identification, please?

Like, you didn't let the cops come in and, like, take you away and keep you fraudulent in your mind. You actually did the work, and you put yourself out there. That Is the work that is the job it is and and so I mean maybe my hiatus as it were my uh, my break, my stall was was shorter just because I haven't been in it as long.

Um, mine was a couple months, maybe a month and a half or so, but it felt like a lot longer. And, uh, and so for for Jeff, it's just it's it's as simple as that. Get back on the horse, my friend. Just get back on that horse. Be like Josh and get back on the horse. Be like Josh and get back on the horse. Boom.

That's how it's done, Josh. I'm so proud of you. That's awesome. Thank you, my friend. I appreciate that. Get back on the horse. Don't be like Josh. No one, no one wants that. I tell this story all the time. I think I've told it on the podcast, but my first job, one of my first jobs came this way. I did not expect it.

Someone asked me what I was doing and I told him I was a voice actor from a studio I went to and sure enough, he knew it wasn't from that person. It was from somebody he knew. So again, like you were just opening yourself up at the yoga studio, right? The yoga studio. Yeah. And you're opening yourself up to more opportunities.

It's not just about that one moment. It's about all of those tangential moments that are attached to it. So by doing that, I commend you. That's awesome. I'm so glad to hear that. And Jeff, totally. You can totally do this. There's no shame. in starting anew because that's what we're all doing all the time and that is the work.

We are constantly reinventing ourselves. Reinventing ourselves day out. You have emerged from the cocoon of your slumber and arisen a monarch butterfly. I've been watching a lot of nature documentaries, um. I didn't, I didn't know that that's how those really went though. That's, that's amazing. No, not especially, but I've been watching a lot of nature documentaries, um.

There's, uh, Our World right now. It's David Attenborough. Our World! I couldn't remember the name of it. Oh, it's just, it's so good. Oh, check it out. It's kind of depressing because it basically is like, Hey, we're, these are all these amazing things in nature and we are destroying all of them. And then it's like, here's what we can do to stop destroying them.

But, it's David Attenborough doing it so it sounds super impressive and smart. And sweet. And fancy. Yeah. And, uh, and I love it. You just want to listen to I do. I do. Well, it's funny. I mentioned that because like he was just talking about this certain kind of butterfly and, and, um, and how it, do we have time?

Okay, so this, this particular butterfly lives all the time. We got nothing but grasslands. Um, and I can't remember where, but it lives, it lives in the grasslands. It's the only place that's available. And the, the, the female lays her eggs on top of a specific flower that only grows there and it's a tall flower.

So the, the, the seed and eventually the caterpillar that, that comes out of it, the caterpillar, It is safe from predators, specifically from ants, which apparently eat baby caterpillars, which is gross. However, as it gets a little older, it spins a little bit of silk and drops itself down, kind of, uh, belays itself down to the ground.

As it's doing that, it releases a scent, a hormonal scent, that smells just like Like, a baby ant. A larval ant. And so the ants think it's a larval ant, pick it up, bring it back to their ant home, whatever it is, ant den, that's the technical term. And, uh, and literally put it with the other Baby ants, like baby ant larva, and feed it, and take care of it, and give it shelter, and Then as it gets a little bigger, it emits a different scent that smells like the queen ant, and so there are times when food is getting scarce Scarce, that, that they'll actually, the ants will actually feed this caterpillar instead of their own children because they think it's the queen.

They stay there for two years getting taken care of by these ants until they pupate and eventually come out a butterfly and then leave. Like that is unbelievable. So wait, they, they just use the ants to develop themselves and then they leave and then they leave That's a beautiful story. They pupate, the ants are like, what is happening?

That is a beautiful story. And then they come out as a butterfly and fly away. Oh, nature. What? That is unreal. You know, I've been sitting here thinking of like what other like jokes I could say like throughout and like different moments But that, that's a beautiful story. Dude, that's bonkers. I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna touch it.

Like how crazy is that? How crazy, like and it's basically like that for an hour like for like a dozen episodes and it is Fascinating. I just want to be like an ant and keep feeding that story and keep feeding that story for two years and wait until it keeps blossoming like a butterfly and then it can even grow bigger.

Boo. Boo. Boo. Don't rain on my parade. Boom. Don't rain on my parade. Boom. No, I loved it. I really did. I'm going to watch my nature documentaries while drinking coffee out of my NASA cup and you're going to leave me alone. Oh yes, NASA. Yep. I have a, I have a cup, I have a coffee cup that my wife got me and it's, it has the NASA logo on it, like the ones that they drink at Mission Control.

And so I sit at my little control center here, as it were, and uh, when I produce demos and uh, and, and drink from my NASA cup and pretend that I'm, uh, uh, you know, I'm, I'm, I work for NASA. Because that's what I wanted to do when I was a kid. I wanted to be an astrophysicist. I wanted to be an astronomer. I love that stuff, man.

That stuff fascinates me. Do we talk about the the picture of the black hole that came out? We haven't. We've talked a little bit about it offline. Oh, man, there's not enough time in this podcast. I could go on for hours about that and how interesting it is and all that. Oh my god. I love that stuff. I love that stuff.

And this is where you go, nerd alert, and I'm gonna go I don't care now. You know what? Because I don't care. I've, I've, I've shed that. I'm like a butterfly. I've shed that behavior and I've grown beyond that. And I support you, Josh. Actually, it's like a cycle. I'm like those ants again, feeding your development into an astrophysicist.

Yeah, this has taken, this has taken an odd turn. This is taking an odd turn, but you know, ideally the point is still the same. Um, you know, you Jeff, you are, you are a caterpillar and we are the ants that are feeding you so that you can emerge like the glorious butterfly that you are. That's not David Ember at all.

I don't know what that is. Don't care though. Don't care. I'm totally, I'm with it. I'm all in on this. I'm all in on this. But again, ultimate point of the story. Just get back, man. Just, just, just start it up. Start it up again. That's all you can do and that's all you need to do. That's all you need to do.

Start anew, start fresh, whatever happened beforehand, learn from it, and move on. And that's fine. That's totally fine. Uh, I, I guarantee you, guarantee you, the majority of voice actors who are professional voice actors currently, they've had that. Maybe it's a month, maybe it's a few months, maybe it's a couple years, who knows?

Breaks happen, right? Pauses happen. Life gets in the way. Get right back at it. That's the important part. That's how you're going to be successful. Being. You know, proactive like that. I love it. Awesome. Well, and again, thank you, uh, Jeff for, for sending that to us and, uh, and good luck and keep us posted. Let us know how it goes posted out there.

Tell us where you are. So, and, and again, you can go back to any number of podcasts that we've done that, that go over, you know. Best practices for, for starting because that's what you're doing. You're just starting over again. But, um, again, we'd, we'd love to hear more from that. We'd love to hear from, uh, from those of you listening, if you've made it to the end of this podcast, I understand if you haven't, that makes total sense.

Once I went off, I bought the butterflies. I've been like, okay, I'm out. Uh, I get it. I get it. But if you made it all the way through the end, congratulations and thank you. Um, but, uh, we'd love to hear from you guys. Um, you know, questions, comments, concerns, topics you want us to cover issues you've run into documentaries that, uh, you want me to discuss.

You know, different, different types of documentaries. I can, I'll watch them all. I'll watch them all. I eat that up. Um, next week, we'll be talking about the Serengeti. Um, That was a little more David Attenborough. So, uh, so that's about it from here. Anything else you want to add? I do have one last thing I want to add, and this is a direct quote from the email that Jeff sent.

He said, again, I quote, I love the podcast and the chemistry you have with Baby Bear. Boom! Baby Bear comes back! Yes! Baby Bear lives! What was the subject of an email that you got? Uh, something about Don't Let Baby Bear Rap? Yeah, something like that. Uh, just for the record, my rapping is amazing. It's true. I don't rap that much.

That's, that's this guy over here. That's I don't We need to get a better name. We need to get a nickname for you. Um, well What do you find one that sticks? Maybe the rapper. I don't know. That doesn't sound like it. That sounds like a candy wrapper or something. We're gonna call you We're gonna call you Booty Trap.

Yeah, that works. Booty Trap! Booty Trap! Yeah. Anybody seen the Goonies? Anybody? Goonies? Oh, I haven't seen I haven't You've never seen the Goonies? No, I've seen the Goonies. I grew up with the Goonies. I don't remember that moment. Oh, that's um, that's uh, the little kid. He's, he's um, you know, he was talking about booby traps, but he keeps calling them booty traps.

Mm. Anyway. Anyway. Um, I was more of a chunk fan myself. So, um, thanks again for everyone for tuning in this week as always and, uh, hope to hear from you. And, uh, yeah, that's, uh, enjoy the, uh, the, the warm weather. And if it starts getting cold and snowing again, you can blame Sam, booty trap, booty. You're trying.

Sam at voice coaches. I don't love it. I don't love it. Uh, same at voice coaches. com is the best way to get in touch with us. So that is the best way to get in touch with us. Same at voice coaches. com. And, uh, and again, yeah. Let us know what's going on. We're happy to talk about it amongst other things. Sam, always a pleasure, my friend.

My, my pleasure, Josh. So for Sam, I'm Josh, and until next time. So long, everyone. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

To view upcoming sessions of our live, web-based introductory sessions, visit

Voice Coaches producers Josh and Sam answer a listener question about how to make it through voice over career stalls without giving up.