I’ve observed a rather unexpected, unusual element over the years after coaching and producing so many of our Actors’ SOUND ADVICE clients. Considering we spend a great deal of time and attention getting to know the strengths and assets of each individual talent prior to and during the demo production process, I’ve noticed this surprising phenomenon manifest with even the most dedicated, reliable of talent, which can completely derail their progress.
Here’s the issue: once the voice talent receives their demo, instead of running with ball in the middle of the play to score a touchdown—they suddenly stop all the momentum it took time and attention to create, only to rest on their singular accomplishment: producing the demo itself; as if that was the end goal.
I mention it as a caution, because it’s a misstep that can and should be avoided. If you stop you’ll inadvertently disrupt the forward projection of your career before it’s been given a chance to get off the ground. There’s a great deal to be said for momentum. It’s physics! To quote Sir Isaac Newton, “A body in motion tends to stay in motion.”
Seems all small business owners, regardless the field, harbor the deep-seated desire to set their business on autopilot. Problem is: left alone, nothing happens. Nothing at all.
Certainly losing traction can happen at any point in a career, a life, or a relationship. And it doesn’t mean all is lost, but rest assured it will take a concerted effort and more determination than it did the first time to rev that engine up again at a later date. This could account for a great many dashed dreams.
Of course, not everyone is graced with persistence. Like performance, it’s a muscle that requires conditioning. I’d guess only 20% have the drive and tenacity needed to overcome even average obstacles as a professional freelancer. Lacking the drive to continue, when you’d rather throw in the towel, could explain why some “make it” and others don’t.
In my observation, talent that don’t let up, and lean in the moment they receive their newly minted demo tracks tend to see the greatest return on their investment, and a great deal sooner. The only thing I can equate to this is momentum.
It’s not due to the fact they’re the most talented. If you think about it, we’ve all known someone who had incredible natural ability that went unrealized and died on the vine. The world doesn’t come to you—you have to go to it! We’ve all known individuals who came from affluence who had every opportunity, but no ambition to act on it. And even if you’re the most knowledgeable, or experienced in your field, application and tenacity is key. The trick is keeping them in play till you garner results. And that requires momentum.
Granted training, recording and preparing the components necessary to establish and further your professional career is a terrific achievement, and I have no intention of lessening what a feat it is to complete such an undertaking. It takes a great investment of time, money and self to get your self through this daunting obstacle course. But then, that’s why I started SOUND ADVICE in the first place. Creating and forwarding a career has more parts than a car. We all get side tracked from time to time, or tire of the demands necessary to continue. It’s easy to do in this business.
It’s funny how we lull ourselves into a state of accomplishment, when the true mission has yet to be realized. Still, so many well-trained, intelligent, committed talent uncharacteristically sit back once their demos are produced, instead of striking while the iron is hot.
This is such a common phenomenon, my motto is, “Do it right, and do it right now!” I want to have it sewn into a sampler, and hung on our studio wall. And not just for our voiceover demo clients, but for our entire staff to live by. Otherwise, you’re continually starting over and frustrating yourself.
Best advice: do it right the first time, so you don’t have to double back and correct what you should have done in the first place.
Momentum is a precious commodity, and there’s no time like the present.
Your career could very well depend on it.
Copyright © 2021 by Kate McClanaghan. All Rights Reserved.
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