It Works if You Work It - How to Cultivate a Stronger Mindset for VO Work
Having the right mindset for success in your VO business is so critical, I can't even tell you. But I'll try with a few points that hopefully inspire you to let your talent shine a little brighter.
Auditioning and Directed Sessions
Everyone that starts out sometimes lacks confidence in the booth. You're by yourself (even in a directed session) and there is a lot of uncertainty in the beginning of your VO career. There's so many choices we make as voice actors (tone, inflection, characters etc.) and it's easy to second-guess yourself, even with experience. Let yourself flow. If you make mistakes, it's ok-- we all do. Learn from them. Learn from others' mistakes too.
I distinctly remember a directed session in my first year of VO with a new client, where I was trying to give/match the tone the Creative Director wanted for a corporate, brand-style video. I was apologizing for it taking longer than we expected and feeling my confidence plummet. He reassured me in the middle of the session with these words: "Take a breath, it's ok. We want you, and we love your voice." If I had more experience at the time, I could have told myself the same thing. Oddly enough, even though they paid me, they ended up using people in the office to the VO!
Marketing: Reject the Thought of Rejection
It's also easy to wonder when you are marketing yourself and submitting auditions. Fear and doubt can creep in.
"Why didn't I get picked? "
"I thought I did great... so why haven't I heard back from them?"
"I sent them my best demo/sample. Maybe they don't like it."
Uncertainties in life are, well, certain. You need not let those uncertainties turn into 'what ifs' that cause you anxiety.
Silence does not mean rejection. Even when someone else wins the audition you wanted, it's still not rejection.
An email you sent with no response does not mean you should stop or give up. Be persistent. You could hear crickets after emailing someone every 3-6 months for a year or two and then all of the sudden, they reach out. This happens more than you think.
There are so many factors that go into the decision to choose talent in any situation. Look at your perspective. Counteract those negative thoughts with better choices that will keep you moving forward. This includes affirmations, written in present and future tense. "I am _________." "I will ________."
The Company You Keep
Your friends, associates and others that you spend the most time with will impact behavior and mindset. So be intentional about putting yourself in places where there are people who have that same positive outlook, mindset and drive (voice actors and other entrepreneurs), either because they're going in that direction, or have already "made it" to where you want to be. Listen to inspiring podcast. Meditate, read the Bible or another uplifting book-- whatever it takes to center your mind for at least 15 minutes everyday. Make this a daily practice in your morning or evening routine, and watch the change that not only impacts the level of success in your business but all aspects of your life.
I say this all the time and I'll say it again: You are unique. No matter what else you've been told, no matter how many other Black women are on a roster, no matter how much competition you may see, there is ONLY 1 YOU. So do what you do, the way you do it, with that flava that ONLY YOU bring to the table. Feel me? There is enough work for everyone and someone out there needs that thing that **only you** have-- they just have to hear it!
Focus on your strengths.
Keep up your training.
Remind yourself of your why so you can keep going.
Give yourself the permission to be great.
Embrace your worthiness.
Be kind to yourself and support your sisters in VO.