It’s an absolute f’ing myth
No, I’m not talking about Sasquatch. Nor am I talking about the Loch Ness Monster. I’m not talking about Comcast’s delightful and exemplary (this one is a supermyth) customer service. I’m not even talking about Santa Claus. Whoops, made a few people cry there. *pat pat, yes honey, Santa Claus is real, there there…*
I’m going to expose something in this blog that is a hard and fast, outright MYTH. Something that every single one of us, at least one point, want desperately but never have had, and never can have, in any way, shape or form.
Am I going to get spiritual and all Christiany in this post? Um...yeah. I am. Deal with it (he said in a friendly tone of voice). My life view and foundational guiding principles stem from an understanding that God is ultimately in control, and when I attempt to see this crazy, fallen, skewed and outlandish world through His eyes, I begin to understand more clearly.
A recent lesson
If you read or have subscribed to my blog, you’ll know that we recently had a baby. All 6 pounds and 8 ounces of Baby Asher have rocked our world, and really impacted my life over the past 7 days, inside and out, through and through.
Our baby boy was born on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:21pm. His due date isn’t for another 10 days. Why is he here now? One word. Pitocin. Look it up. Ever got your coat caught in the doors of a moving vehicle? Did you have fun trying to keep up? Did you sigh contentedly as you enjoyed the ride? Or did you scream your head off, begging for mercy, yelling, shouting, pleading for relief as you were stuck in that dang door and dragged well past your desire to be dragged, and well into fear? Yeah. That’s what Pitocin does. You’re just along for the ride, and you have to keep up.
My wife was induced. Not what we wanted. My wife screamed bloody murder and I genuinely thought I was going to lose her. Not what I wanted. Our baby boy has lost close to 10% of his weight (it’s normal for babies to lose some weight after birth). Not what we wanted. He has had nursing and latch problems. Not what my wife wanted. We would have totally liked for it to be absolutely perfect in every way, seamless, easy, enjoyable. It was none of those things, at all, in the slightest...not even close.
So what’s all this about?
What’s the myth, Josh?
I'll just say it.
Control. That’s the myth. To quote a longtime pastor friend of mine, "it's an absolute f'ing myth." (He actually said "f'ing", abbreviated....not the real one).
Us having control is an absolute and outright myth...and it's a lie. We never had it. We never will have it. Just like Ellie says to John Hammond in Jurassic Park: “You never had control: that’s the illusion!” John Hammond was still under the impression he was pulling the strings. He was deceived.
Myth stands for:
Seriously. Let’s be real. There are known myths in this world, some of which I outlined above. Some you can’t even see. Not because they’re myths, but because they are principles that you cling to, and you proceed with an expectation that something is going to happen exactly your way, how you desire, according to your own worldview, interests and hopes. You hallucinate and expect that things will be a certain way…but you’re living under an illusion that you had control, which you never did. It’s quite simple.
The thing that DOES have control in whatever situation is affecting you...it’s saying, in the words of Dana Carvey’s George Bush character, “Nah gah dat.”
Nothing you expect is guaranteed to come true. Your dreams are most often doomed to failure and disappointment.
There. Have a nice day.
What on EARTH does this have to do with voiceovers???
It’s simple. And I’ll use plain speech this time rather than taking a while to get to it.
In voiceovers, as in all other things in life, you have absolutely zero control. None whatsoever. Zero. Zilch. Diddly. Bupkus. Nada. Niente.
Think of it this way:
- When you get a speeding ticket, you have no control. You have to pay that fine.
- When you drop that glass on the floor and it shatters, you have no control. You must sweep and mop it up.
- When the price of gas goes up, you have no control. You must pay the new rate.
- When someone you love dies, you have no control. You must mourn, bargain, plead, be angry, then accept it and move on.
- When your baby is born prematurely, you have no control. You must deal with it.
- When your preferred candidate isn’t elected president, you have no control. You must persevere.
- When you receive that diagnosis, you have no control. You must decide to live through it, with it, or past it.
- When your car breaks down, you have no control. You must fix it.
These are just eight examples of the trillions that are out there. Here’s where the rubber meets the road as a voice talent:
- When you didn’t get that audition, it’s because you have no control. You must suck it up and try again.
- When the role you were promised was given to someone else, it’s because you have no control. You must swallow your pride and keep auditioning.
- When you are marketing like crazy and things just aren't happening, it's because you have no control. You must continue to push forward and build for your future.
I know I previously wrote about this in my blog entitled “Stars, Listens & Likes Oh My!” but it pertains here as well: don’t spend all your hours looking back and wondering, or worse, resenting. Pick up that microphone, and yourself, get up off the floor, mop up your tears, invert your frown, and move on.
Sure, you can drive by the speed limit, be more careful with your glasses, shop elsewhere for gas, take care of your loved ones, nurture your body for an optimum delivery, encourage all your friends and family to vote for the president that you want, change your lifestyle and eating habits upon receiving that diagnosis, and try to take better care of your car. This last one is actually the one that pertains to all of them: taking care of. You can try your very best to take the very best care you can of everything. But things break, and they are bound to break, because all things eventually break.
When I step into my studio, each and every time, I say to myself “I intend to get these jobs.” There’s an intention there, sure enough. But what I also pray, each and every morning in my devotional, is “Lord, please turn these auditions into jobs.” Does he do so each time? No. Just like God does not necessarily love the Seahawks.
My best intentions do not trounce control. They never will. They are limited to intention. Control is all-encompassing, and is outside my control. The ONLY one in control, who ever was and who ever could be, is God Himself, because He’s sovereign. So the best I can do is trust and hope.
Flipping it on its head
So. Since we can’t have it, what’s the opposite of control? What CAN we have? What CAN we do?
Hope that all will be well. Trust that your life and times are in God’s hands. Intend to do your very best with whatever resources or people are in question, and then do it. Pray for blessing.
That’s all you can do. That...really is...all you can do. The rest is left to God and blessing, or if you don't believe in God, then it's left to chance, and to a numbers game.
Janine and I hope that Asher will continue to gain weight. He's going better now. We trust that his life and times are in God’s hands. We intend to do the very best in taking care of him that we can. We pray for blessing. But the control over his life is not up to us. We can raise him the very best that we can, and he can be an absolute juggernaut of a man, handsome, powerful, influential, gracious, and confident.
- And then he can be hit by a bus and it is all over.
- And then he can purchase that one doomed plane ticket.
- And then he can die from cancer, or from murder, or from choking on the weirdest things.
Control is not up to me. It’s not up to my wife. It’s not up to you.
As a voiceover artist, I can flip control on its head by hoping, trusting, intending and praying. That’s all I can do. That’s all I can ever do in this lifetime. I can keep auditioning in hope, trust, intent, and prayer, knowing that I'm doing my very best and giving it my all. What I do not want to do is to get stuck in the rut of manipulating clients into hiring me....circling back again and again over that one job I should have had....revisiting and nursing old wounds from jobs that passed me by...hating that I've invested into something and I'm not seeing returns. All of that leads to the genesis of grudges and resentment and bitterness....and ultimately, failure.
In the words of Michael W. Smith’s song, Everybody Free: “It’s only in surrender that our freedom comes.” My dad once told me “Many years ago I had to decide to just release you three boys (his sons) to the Lord; otherwise I’d go crazy.” He’s not crazy. He’s free. Am I? Are you?
Give up control. Live free. Try, sure: don’t ever stop trying. But allow yourself to know that Someone Else is in charge, and He has great big hands and abilities beyond the farthest reaches of your imaginings. He can provide for you in ways that you never could for yourself. It's called Hope. it's called Trust. It's called Faith.
After church today there will be a nice potluck in the fellowship hall. See you there.
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Talent for hire