There can be miracles…when you believe

And not just in animated movies.

 

Houston and Carey had it right

Whitney Houston quote: There can be miracles when you believe.

In 1998’s The Prince of Egypt, a wonderful song was delivered by two pop divas.  No, not Ethel Merman and Jessica Rabbit.  The other two divas: Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.  I’m talking about the theme song, “There can be Miracles.”  Wow, what a matchup!  They were a team…er…sort of.  Two divas duking it out with all their vocal gymnastics and sending us a beautiful message about the possibility of miracles, even in the midst of a giant scratch-your-eyes-out-listen-to-me-do-audio-acrobatics-right-over-you-cat-fight to prove who sings better.  And then if I remember correctly, Mariah Carey launched into an octave that only dogs on Pluto can hear, glass shattered, ears bled, and it was all over.  Whitney’s “One Moment in Time” turned into “I Have Nothing”, and then we all bade her farewell with “I Will Always Love You.”  Ah well.  Not all miracles end happily.

But there truly can be miracles when you believe.  I recently did an Instagram video on this: about the power of belief.  Every time we set foot in the studio, we had better be armed with the utmost of belief in our abilities; otherwise it’s time to give it all up and apply for a position as “Masky, The COVID-19 Clown” for birthday parties and bachelor stripper cakes everywhere.

We’re actors – we have the ability within us!  But sometimes it’s the belief that evades us. As much as we might hate to admit it, we lose sight of such things sometimes, and they do evade us.

Let me give you an example.  For our household, what evades my wife and I is sleep.  We have a nice California King sized bed that our preschooler has somehow figured out how to slither into, undetected, in the middle of the night, and proceed to stretch out all his limbs to the point where my wife and I are shoved off of the bed and smushed into opposite corners of the room.  I am not kidding. I don’t know how he does it, but he does it.  Look at him, lying there peacefully while we slowly slide down the walls in our own ooze, reaching in vain for the Ambien.

Belief evades us.  This blog is here to help you get it back, and to soar high, high in the sky once again – just like Mariah Carey’s paint-sniffing dog-friendly Pluto-notes.

 

Fly High and Proud

Melissa Manchester - Don't cry out loud - YouTube

Don’t Cry Out Loud” by Melissa Manchester.  Another song, and a wonderful Top-40 hit that encourages us to suppress our emotions, and entirely renounce grieving, you sad sap of a wuss.  In the same vein as the truly horrifying song “Smile” (Charlie Chaplin), it’s one of those feel-good songs that tells you to shut the #@$& up and stop your blubbering.  Yay!  More please.  Add in the creepy 1978 music video with depressing fluffy clowns, and you’ve got yourself all the makings of becoming a certified whackjob.

But oh the enchanting melody!  Thank you Dr. Melissa!  What powerful delivery. And such invaluable advice that is sure to help me learn to be an expressive human being and truly be vulnerable with other carbon-based lifeforms.  I’ll put that nice poppycock hootenanny in my pipe and smoke it.

But, to her credit, a few lines later, we have the anthemic exhortation to “Fly high and proud.”  What ministry!  What positive urging!  What encouragement to spread your wings and sail on the headwinds of life!  If only we could have such belief as we head into another round of auditions, preparing to produce a read the likes of which this world has never seen.  We’re going to knock ‘em dead, I say; not just somewhat sleepy.  Those producers and casting directors will flat out weep upon receipt of our audition: they will wail and mourn because of the sheer goodness that has been foisted upon them, begging for mercy from the onslaught of perfectionist gravy that we ladle over them.  That’s when we’ll hit ‘em with Mariah’s thirteenth octave until they finally relent and promise to cast us for every single voiceover until Jesus returns.

Lately, I’ve been struggling a bit with belief, as sometimes the auditions can seem like monotony.  I just did one.  Or I’ve already done thirty.  Or I hit a dry spell today.  Or I’m tired, have a hangnail, and the stay-at-home neighbors won’t stop blaring Juice Newton, which was something I truly didn’t know you could blare.

But do let’s talk about one more song, because this blog is all about music and singing and joy and hope and light streaming down through hallelujah choruses, and creepy clowns.

I humbly present Gavin DeGraw.  He of the “I Don’t Wanna Be” fame has a beautiful song called Belief.  Here are the lyrics for you:

Belief makes things real…Makes things feel, feel alright
Belief makes things true…Things like you, you and I

Tonight, you arrested my mind…When you came to my defense
With a knife in the shape of your mouth…In the form of your body, with the wrath of a god
Oh, you stood by me, belief

Belief builds from scratch…Doesn't have to relax, it doesn't need space
Long live the queen and I'll be the king…In the color of grace

Oh, tonight, you arrested my mind…When you came to my defense
With a knife in the shape of your mouth…In the form of your body, with the wrath of a god
Oh, you stood by me, belief

I'm gonna yell it from the rooftops..I'll wear a sign on my chest
That's the least I can do, it's the least I can do…

Thank you, Gavin, for imparting lyrics that deal with Belief.

 

Believing is Seeing

Believe

What do we need to believe in?

  • Belief that we’ll make it through this pandemic?
  • Belief that we’ll be provided enough funds to survive?
  • Belief that that voiceover role will be awarded us?
  • Belief that there is more to life than worry?
  • Belief that our nation will vote the correct man into, or back into, office this fall?
  • Belief that whatever we set our minds to, we can accomplish?
  • Belief that we can read every script with passion and…well…belief???

Oh, with a knife in the shape of your mouth…in the form of your body, with the wrath of a god…

Oh you stood by me, Belief.

Just for contrast, let’s look at some incorrect beliefs:

  • I will be awarded every single job
  • I can mix a gallon of bleach and a gallon of soap in my washing machine, let it run and disinfect my entire house in 40 minutes
  • If you hit your head really hard, you might have a caucasian
  • A pandemic is not enough, God.  So please add in some Murder Hornets, you know, to spice things up a bit.
  • I sound exactly like the perfection that is Sam Elliott and Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones wrapped up in one beautiful mammal
  • If I’m dissatisfied with my chocolate fudgesicle, I can simply slather a cup of BEHR Ultra Premium White on it, and voila! I humbly present vanilla.
  • If Christopher Reeve and Henry Cavill can do it, why can’t I? *jumps from ledge, does NOT fly, curses R Kelly all the way down*
  • Those little tiny “bump indents” on your steering wheel are in Braille so that blind drivers have no trouble finding the horn to alert other drivers when necessary. #themoreyouknow
  • I have worked hard. Therefore I am entitled to enter that bank vault unescorted.
  • If there is a thermonuclear war, you should move to Niʻihau, because what are the odds that they'll be able to hit that tiny island?
  • Any side of the highway will do; whichever side gets me to my destination faster wins
  • Every producer will cast me every time
  • If you take four pregnancy tests and they all come out positive, you’re having four babies, dangit, so you better get ready

Now that you know that those are just plain silly beliefs, lets revisit the real ones.

There are laws.  And there are helpful tips and guidelines for those suffering from a Wee Bout of The Stupids.  Ultimately, belief is grounded in reality.  It is a reality that we can in fact succeed within physical limitations.  It is a reality that we can do what we set our minds to as long as it’s safe and productive and we’re not plummeting from buildings while singing "I believe I can fly." It’s a reality that there are laws to keep us alive.  Belief grounded in reality moves us forward and helps us live.

Belief moves at the very leading perimeter of reality, and pulls us along.  Belief makes things real.  Believing is seeing.  There CAN be miracles…when we believe.  I pray we stand in belief that everything we need will be provided for us, and that we’ll all be OK.

As it pertains to auditions, I pray you stand in the unassailable belief that you have everything it takes to get under those words, lift them off the page, and bring them to life.  Because you do.  Breathe.  Know.  Step up in faith and deliver valiantly.  You can do this.

Even dogs on Pluto know this.

 

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HEY.  WAIT JUST A S.E.C.!

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Joshua Alexander
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Talent for hire
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19 thoughts on “There can be miracles…when you believe”

  1. Thank you for this insightful blog Josh.
    Not that it matters to anyone but myself…I have had extreme doubt in my abilities, myself and wonder at least twice a day if I should just give up being voice actor.
    I feel lost, unsure and depressed as of late.
    BUT…when the opportunity arises to audition for a video game or some other voice related project, I pull myself up, get into my “hole in the wall” and give it my all!
    As I say often…NEVER GIVE UP.
    NEVER SURRENDER. (but somedays I want to say bullshit and give up)

    Anywhooo… I hope you and your family have a good day.

    1. Love ya buddy. You can do this. I hear your frustration and I’ve heard it online. I will tell you again: YOU CAN DO THIS. That sounds like a great mantra! Hole in the wall, give it your all! Make like Commander Jason Nesbit and never give up, never surrender!

  2. “ I’ll put that nice poppycock hootenanny in my pipe and smoke it.”

    Nice read today, thanks… Not sure I’ll ever hear that sentence again in my life. 🤣

  3. Yet another wise foray into the mind of Joshua Alexander! You had me teary, you had me laughing, feeling hope and despair. What a way to start a Monday! You always have such insightful links and references, I hate to say it BUT… You missed one. Yup! The infallible armour has a chink! This is the link you need for the words …” I Pray You…”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atBg9zLI2bA

    Your welcome! And Thank you again!

    1. HA! What an awesome piece. I certainly did miss that one! I’ll have to make sure that is linked from now on. Good catch! But just know that I don’t pray that your brakes go out or that a flowerpot falls from your windowsill.

  4. Aah, the struggle is way too real. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    Hope you and your wife get a good night’s sleep soon….. Hahaha, sorry, that’s funny isn’t it? Hahaha, because my kids are all way past waking up and sneaking into our bed, but there’s plenty of other ways they keep us awake at night! Ha! Kids!

    Sorry. No sleep for you.

  5. Thank for your encouragement to spread my wings and sail on the headwinds of life!
    Working “alone” this is sometimes the kick in the…..** that you need.

    Keep writing – it’s emotionally uplifting. (and occasionally hilarious)

    1. You are most welcome woman! And no asterisks needed here! If you truly needed to say “multioptipupiloptomy”, you don’t have to obscure that with asterisks. This is a safe place!

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