Hey! Get off my Yawn!

Stretch that Mouth…and those legs

Take that Break

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Woke up tired and you have those auditions piling up?  So?  Take a break.  Rest a while. There’s a reason you feel this way.  Your body is signaling for you to take a break, and it’s ok.  Say that with me.  “It’s ok to say a break.”  There.  Sit, Ubu sit.  Good dog.

I remember when I would play catch with a friend in the thick of summer in 1990 when I was a senior in high school (sorry for dating myself).  Suddenly, after playing for a while, I would crave an apple.  An apple?  Why an apple?  I have no idea.  That’s just what my body was insisting that I have…and I can’t explain why.  Some can.  For me, I just knew that I all of the sudden needed an apple, and I would be a bit faint and sweat a little bit until I had one.  Low blood sugar, most likely.

It’s OKAY to take a break.  The industry of Voiceovers is so reactive: you’re waiting for the next “big break” at any given minute, the next big “mortgage-paying job” at any given moment, and you want to jump on them.  It’s reactive.  You get that beep, you drop what you’re holding (hopefully not the baby), run upstairs, trip over something on the way (hopefully not the baby), and scream into your studio and start recording like a sweaty-toothed madman while you race to shoot something through the computer to them (hopefully not the baby).

So what if you don’t do that audition for that $5k job right away?  Have you been auditioning like crazy?  You feel tired for a reason.  Take that break.  There will be other $5k auditions coming your way.

“Now, wait a minute, Josh, I see what’s happening here,” you say.  “I know what you’re up to.  You just want me to forego auditioning on that job so YOU can audition for it and be awarded that job yourself!!!!”

Yes.  Precisely.  Now go rest until you’ve regained your sanity and evaluated people in a healthy manner again.  I’ll send you a commission check from your job that I won and you didn’t, you weirdo.

May the odds be ever in your favor

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Remember this?  The odds are in your favor that blessing will come around soon. Here’s a great explanation.

Any week can change just like that.  I’ve had weeks where I haven’t scored any jobs until Wednesday or Thursday.  I’ve had weeks with 8 jobs and I’ve made $2500.  I’ve had weeks with only TWO jobs and I’ve made $6000.  Every week is different.

May the odds be ever in your favor.  There are certain laws at work of sowing and reaping.  Have you been auditioning like crazy?  Some of those jobs will come around.  You can take a breather and then dive in again.  Everyone needs to come up for air once in a while, unless you’re Cuvier’s beaked whale.  But even it needs to replenish its oxygen supply.

Keep up the hustle…

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There’s nothing wrong with hustling.  The early bird catches the worm.  The race goes to the swift.  The hunter always gets its pray.  Keep at it.  Those moments of being awarded a job are also times to rest and back off.  To drink deep in the wonder and awe of a job well done, of a pursuit in the sun, the satisfying victory of a race well run.  Keep at it, certainly.

This industry requires great, Great, GREAT perseverance.  But doesn’t anything?  What does this industry require that another doesn’t?

  • Perseverance
  • Tenacity
  • Determination
  • Goal-setting
  • Goal-hitting
  • Realistic expectations….and….wait for it….
  • REST

Here’s my acronym for rest.  Real, Earnest, Satisfying Time-out.  Take that break when you need to.  The hustle demands it, because once you’ve hustled, you earn a break. Then, once you’ve recharged, only then can the hustle begin anew.

…but know when to relent

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In business, after 12 years of self-employment, and 26 in voiceovers, I cannot even tell you the sheer number of times I’ve been awaiting an answer on a particular job, or been hesitant to steal away because the next job inquiry could come in via email and I HAD to respond in the same lickety-split fashion that I usually did, or I would lose it and they would go to someone else, only to return home after deciding to take a much-needed break….and there was nothing to worry about.

Seriously!  I was fretting being away.  Several years ago I would go camping with my best friend and cousin and it requires of me the single most difficult thing I can ever try to do: be untethered from a satellite signal.  It is maddening.  Who’s texting me?  Is everyone alright?  What auditions await?  Did my main client need something?  Is the house ok?  What marketing sources am I missing?  This cavalcade of questions just barrages me as I’m away…but eventually, I learn to rest.  Returning from many of those camping excursions, the millisecond I was back in coverage range, I would quickly scroll through all of my notifications and find that there had been nothing to worry about, not one iota.  Everything, and everyone, were just fine without me, thank you very much.

Chill out.  Say it again with me.  “It’s ok to say a break.”  Do you believe it now?  You must chill.

Family First

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It’s OK to take a break.  Say that with me until you own it.  “It’s OKAY to take a break.”  There will be those frenetic awesomely busy days where you’re running back and forth between your control room and the studio to record either auditions or paid jobs.  Those days will come.  They’ve come before, and they’ll come again.  But for now, sit down.  Breathe and meditate.

One of my most favorite times of the day is the morning.  Not because of all the auditions that await me – although that’s exciting – but rather because I get to breathe.  I get to sit down and have a devotional, pray, and meditate and breeeeeeeeeeeeathe.  To prepare for a rigorous day.  In fact, I’m prompted all throughout the day to breathe by my Apple Watch.  SUCH a helpful piece of equipment that really makes sure that I’m taking care of my body as it’s taking care of my finances.  Breathing is key, and you can do that best when you take a moment to chill out and calm down.

Take that break with your family. Get away. Take a vacation, for crying out loud. You spend so much time sitting in a small room, or sitting at your computer editing your audio. Get away from it all and recharge your batteries. It’s, healthy, it’s right, it’s good. And they need you.

Don’t let ANYONE tell you you can’t rest.  Stay away from the rat race.  You need to recharge your batteries.  Tell them “Hey!  Get off my Yawn!”  Take that Rest:

  • Real
  • Earnest
  • Satisfying
  • Time-out.

Take it.  You deserve a break today.  Now go enjoy that Quarter Pounder and hear your arteries hardening as you lay back and relax.

 

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Joshua Alexander
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Talent for hire
joshua@voicetalentseattle.com
206.557.6690
www.saysomethingjosh.com
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