Basic Training Is Over

– 10 –
Basic Training Is Over
     Okay, it’s completed. What’s completed? What do I do now? Who do I do it with? Who do I do it to? When I do it, how do I know what I should be doing? How come I’m so confused?
     Those questions are similar to the questions that many of the troops ask upon completion of basic training; four of the most intensive months of your life. You’re supposed to be a soldier. Anyway, that’s what they told you. The problem was, is, and will always remain: until they shoot at you with live ammunition, you haven’t really been tested. There weren’t any penalties. During basic training, if you fail, all you have to do is get up and walk away. 
     Ah, but now what’s happened is that you find yourself trying to be part of and a participant in the real game; the fabulous and competitive world of voice acting. Voiceovers. Sure, you’ve learned what they are. You’ve learned how the game is played. And you’ve also learned that your success is measured by how much money you might earn. Well… maybe yes, and maybe no.
     Here is a quick word of advice—the words of the late and great John Houseman: “Don’t measure your success! Don’t allow others to measure your success. Don’t strive for stardom. Be a journeyman actor. Your job is to work at your craft each and every day of your life.” Mr. Houseman’s words have, by now, been echoed all over the world. Echoed is not synonymous with success. Practice is!
     Get the audition. Get as many as possible. Read, read, and read, damn it. If it’s printed, then you read it. Out loud and with honesty. Honesty and verve. Complete passion, and a total lack thereof. It’s the same old story. If you can deliver either with conviction, you’re on the way. If you care, feel and show it. 
     And now for a simple drill. I’d like each of you to spend the next moment or two searching your memory bank for a reflection of one of the following: a place in time when you were either totally comfortable in a situation, or totally at peace, emotionally. Or a time when you were completely uncomfortable and ill at ease with yourself. When you have this moment clearly in your mind’s eye, share that moment in a one-minute capsulation. Tell it as a story worth telling. Your goal…. total honesty. The payoff? You’re one step closer to success, whatever that looks like.
“I don’t mind helping people as long as they don’t get in my way while I’m doing it.”
– HK

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