In part 1 of this blog series, I focus on your first and main identity as a professional voice over talent: Voice Over Talent. For most of you, this is why you got into voice acting. In my opinion, there are three main tasks for the “Voice Over Talent” identity:
Create. Do. Improve.
As a “Voice Over Talent”, you create constantly. You create pictures with words for listeners and consumers. You create a message for a product, service, or company. You create an emotion for that message that goes along with words on a screen. You create new and intriguing ways to convey that message so audiences will act appropriately and clients will hire you.
How do you motivate your “Voice Over Talent” identity to Create?
For many of you, the ability to create or perform was why you got into voice acting. You love this part of the job. This is easy for you. You let your creative juices flow, and it’s effortless. However, for many of you, you find it difficult to create. Your creativity is held back somehow. You need motivation to create. How do you draw that out and stay motivated to create?
It must come from within. Researchers have found that when you directly reward creativity with an extrinsic (outward) reward like money, it stifles true creativity and inventiveness. However, when you allow someone to create for the sake of creating or through an intrinsic (inner) motivation, as a choice to create, you promote true creativity. And so, you must find an inner motivation to create. If you look at some of the most successful voice actors in the industry, you will notice a commonality: they LOVE to perform. They create for the sake of creating. Because of that, they create brilliant work.
Focus on creating as a performer for the simple enjoyment of performing.
Focus on creating as an explainer for a product. Focus on the good you are doing for a company in conveying that message.
Focus on feeling good about yourself for doing a good job as a performer and creator.
Do not think about making money or becoming famous as a reward for creating. This will inhibit your creativity and brilliance as a creating “Voice Over Talent.”
As a “Voice Over Talent”, you must do. You audition and when hired, you perform the spot. This is simplistic and obvious, but it’s important. You “do” constantly. If you don’t audition and perform, your voice over business will fail.
How do you motivate your “Voice Over Talent” identity to Do?
This is often the hardest part for the “Voice Over Talent” identity. It can be exhausting to just do the act of auditioning and performing, day in and day out. According to researchers, when performing simpler tasks, rewarding yourself with an extrinsic (outward) motivation can be highly effective. Performing and auditioning is not simple, but you must look at the act of getting the performances and auditions done as a simple task. Try to focus on extrinsic motivations to get them done:
Give yourself rewards for completing auditions and performances: take a break, listen to your favorite song, watch cats run into walls on YouTube, see what your friends ate for breakfast on Facebook, etc.
Give yourself specific timelines for auditions and performances: According to psychological studies and Parkinson’s Law, if you give yourself too much time to complete a task, you will make it harder, more complex, and will take more time to complete it than if you give yourself less time. For auditions, find your timing “sweet spot.” Find a small, set amount of time it should take to perform certain auditions or performances. Clearly, DO NOT RUSH. But if you give yourself too much time, you’ll probably wear yourself out and give a bad performance. As I’ve heard celebrity voice talent Rodney Saulsberry say before, sometimes your first read is your best read.
As a “Voice Over Talent”, you must improve. If you don’t stay on top of the voice over trends, you will fall behind. If you don’t improve your acting and improvisational skills, others in the industry will pass you by. If you don’t learn how to communicate effectively with a producer, director, or anyone else directing your performance, you will fall behind. You won’t book any more work.
How do you motivate your “Voice Over Talent” identity to Improve?
To me, this may be the most important part of the “Voice Over Talent” identity. As I said before, to survive and thrive in this business, you must always get better in your “Voice Over Talent” identity. In the journey of a professional voice over talent, you often struggle. According to researchers, if you struggle at a task or have some sort of failure, one of the best ways to motivate yourself to get better is to have self-compassion.
Don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail. Understand that acting, performing and communicating with directors, etc. is difficult. Other voice over talent have struggled with the same thing. If you focus on this, you will be more motivated to improve on your performance in the future.
Don’t compare yourself to others…too much. Yes, you should see what other successful voice over talent are doing to make sure you are on the right track, but don’t worry about their success as compared to yours. Worry about yourself only. When you constantly compare yourself to others and don’t focus on your own strengths and qualities, you will only feel worse about yourself and struggle to have self-compassion which is necessary to motivate yourself to get better (as stated in the first tip).
Similar to the Create motivations, focus on the intrinsic enjoyment of getting really good at something.
I hope you found this information useful and encourage you to apply some of it to help you motivate your “Voice Over Talent” identity.
Next Friday, I cover how to motivate your “Audio Engineer” identity.
Subscribe on the upper right hand side of this page so you don’t miss any of this 8-part blog series about “How To Motivate Your 8 Voice Over Identities.”
Amabile, Teresa M. “Motivating Creativity in Organizations: ON DOING WHAT YOU LOVE AND LOVING WHAT You Do.” California Management Reiew 40.1 (1997): 40-58. Ufl.edu. Web.
Falconer, Joel. “How to Use Parkinson’s Law to Your Advantage.” Lifehack. N.p., n.d. Web.
Grant, Adam M. “Motivating Creativity at Work: The Necessity of Others Is the Mother of Invention.” American Psychological Association. N.p., July 2011. Web.
Paul, Ph.D., Margaret. “Do You Compare Yourself to Others?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 12 Mar. 2013. Web.