Is your life’s dream really, and I mean REALLY your dream?
At the risk of using the word REALLY twelve more times, I’ll put it this way: is it your dream in theory or in practice?
When people learn what it is that I do or we get to talking about it, quite a few tell me that their dream is to be a voice actor and do voiceover full time, or even to get started in it. There’s a lot of interest in it from the get-go. So when I casually ask what steps they’re taking to make that dream a reality, it’s often met with a long pause, an “I’m busy with x, y, and z”, or they run away. Just kidding. That hasn’t happened yet…
If your dream is to be a singer and compete on “American Idol”, but you’ve never taken a singing lesson or performed onstage, how far do you think you’re really going to get? If your life’s passion and mission is to be a veterinarian and save animals, but you haven’t even filled out the application for veterinary school… do you see where I’m going with this? It’s not really much different than voice acting — the key to getting started is to get started. Sign up for coaching, take voiceover classes, listen to podcasts on voiceover, read books and articles on it, learn as much as you can. Take an acting class! If you want to be a voice actor, you’ve got to know how to act!
I totally get it… doing something new is never easy, and it’s harder to think about what happens if we fail. What if it doesn’t work out the way we hope it will? What do we do then? What will people think of us? How will we go to bed at night with the feeling of absolute failure? Now, take a step back for a second and breathe. Un-clench your jaw, relax your shoulders, and take a slow, deep breath. Now do it again. Then come back to read some more. We’re not ending on that note 🙂
Chasing after our dreams can be overwhelming. Sometimes it’s a daunting feeling, met with overwhelm and equal parts joy and terror at the thought of succeeding. Many people are terrified to fail, but even moreso of success, because it changes everything (but we’ll do another post on that later). Maybe you’re just starting out, or you’ve been doing this for a while and aren’t sure of what’s going to happen. That’s okay! Nobody knows, and nothing is guaranteed. The future is putty, and it’s in your hands to shape it. Not knowing is scary, but at the same time, it’s liberating — because anything can happen.
Wondering what can you do right now? Take a step — any step! It doesn’t mean packing up your bags and flying on the next plane out to Los Angeles. But start where you are and take one step forward. There are so many resources available to you now, and so much information out there (hello, Google) — and lots of people who are ready and willing to help you! You don’t have to do it alone.
It might seem strange, but I often look at things this way: the future isn’t guaranteed to any of us, so if today was your last day and you didn’t try to make your dreams come true while you still had the time, would you regret it? If you weren’t taking any steps towards making your dreams come true, I hope that gives you some food for thought and motivation to take one step today.
So, I’ll ask it again: is it your dream in theory, or in practice? The only way you’re going to find out is by actually taking the steps to making the dream a reality. Your dreams aren’t meant to be experienced in theory. They’re meant to be lived.
Hailing from Los Angeles, Bonnie has been acting on the stage, television, film, and a voice actor for over 20 years. Credits include Isabel in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, Margaret in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, and Glory and Rhonda in ALMOST, MAINE. She also recently performed in COMING BACK FOR ME, the winner of Project Chrysalis 2.0 with Cary Playwrights. Voiceover clients include Amazon, Buick, NC State, Toyota, and K-Swiss. She has a Bachelors in Theatre Arts from CSU San Bernardino. When she’s not recording in the studio, she can be found hanging out with her dog Marcel, drinking too much coffee, and serving on the board at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre. You should totally check out her website at vosuperhero.com