Enjoy the success of now

When I first started contemplating getting into voiceover (something I’d dreamed of since I was a kid – see here) there were 3 bigs aims, my ultimate end goals:

1) Perform a major role in a Disney Pixar film
2) Perform the lead in a Naughty Dog video game
3) Perform a major recurring role in an animated TV series

Lofty aims I know but that’s what I wanted (and still want) but these past weeks I’ve come to realise the importance of enjoying the success of “now”. What exactly do I mean by “enjoying the success of now”? Well it simply means ensuring that you appreciate the achievements you make without analysing them in the shadow of your bigger dreams.

I’m just at the end of what in all honesty has been a stellar week for my VO career, I’ve performed a character voice for a documentary for the History Channel, a case study for the Red Cross, recorded a character voice for an upcoming video game and recorded a new commercial demo with the fabulous coach Nancy Wolfson and the amazing Santisound Studio in Hollywood. It would be all too easy to go “yeah that was great but it wasn’t the Naughty Dog game” and that has two effects; first it reduces your confidence (something killer in a business based on performing) and second you completely miss what’s right under your nose. The things you’re achieving today, no matter how small, are all the building blocks to those dreams you’re aiming for so don’t do them the injustice of belittling them for not being the dream they are leading you to.

My animation coach (Richard Horvitz – also fabulous!) told me a story of someone he knew who applied for the MacArthur genius grant every year for 25 years and didn’t win, he watched colleagues, friends and other prestigious people win it but he was always over looked. When he finally won it and was asked how it felt his response could be summed up in a single word “meh” He had spent so many years maligning the fact that he hadn’t won that he’d completely missed all the successes he had achieved.

The important thing here is to take your achievements in the context of their time, don’t let them live in the shadows of dreams you’re yet to achieve. The best analogy I can think of would be a journey from New York to Los Angeles, if you went that whole way only thinking of the end destination think of all the things you’d miss along the way…

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