Gone With the Wind is my favorite movie of all time. I could give so many reasons for liking it, but you would wonder why I thought about it today when this is a blog about voice-over. True, I was born and live in Atlanta, but a ride on public transportation to downtown Atlanta this morning actually reminded me of something in the movie.
Remember the big scene early in the film at the magnificent Twelve Oaks estate, where everyone went for the barbeque? The camera panned to a sign on the grounds that said:
Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
No matter where I go, I always have things with me to advance my voice-over goals. I press any spare time into service. On the way to my appointment this morning, I studied background material for a major audition. Other times, I may:
- read books for upcoming audiobooks
- read marketing books
- write blog ideas and entries (sometimes jot the ideas in my PDA, other times write longer sentences by longhand)
- plan marketing strategies
- listen to audiobooks and podcasts on my iPod
- listen to accents, dialects and foreign languages on my iPod (I have loaded Spanish and French CDs, and I have Italian and German CDs ready to be loaded.)
- make notes about the podcast show that I am developing
- write in my journal
In addition, my PDA cell phone is a Pocket PC, so I can surf the web and get e-mail anywhere. I can read my voice-over newsgroups and blogs while commuting. I also can respond to inquiries about projects and review web sites of prospective companies. Time spent on public transportation or in places like a doctor’s waiting room are always highly productive for me.
Whenever I ride public transportation, I have noticed that a majority of people get on board clutching their cell phones like Linus from the Peanuts cartoon clutched his security blanket.
I have observed that an incredible number of people are chronic cell phone abusers. Even at 7:00am, a girl sitting near me felt the overwhelming compulsion to call someone! She continued her conversation for the entire 40-minute trip; she was still talking when I left the bus.
Riding public transportation in the afternoons is like walking into the stock market, with everyone laughing and shouting into their phones as though they are the only people who exist on the planet. Aside from the fact that no one else around wants to hear these inane conversations — especially at 7:00am! — I have some advice for those of you who are serious about your careers in voice-over.
Hang up the phone.
Think of it as a golden opportunity to rest your voice.
People reach for their cell phones because they are afraid to be alone with the silence of their own thoughts.
I take notes as I read books, and you may have noticed that I love quotes. From one of the many marketing and publicity books I have read, I wrote down this quote:
Make time for self-examination.
[in the example of commuters on a train, the author wrote that]
Instead of contemplating something or giving their thoughts free rein,
they get on their cell phones.
Cell phones allow you to have conversations to pass the time
instead of passing the time in actual thought.
When I arrived at my destination building this morning, I got on the elevator with a girl who had a book in her hands. It was titled French in 10 Minutes A Day. I commented on her book, and she proudly told me that she was adding another language to her arsenal. I inquired about her other language skills, and she said she speaks Spanish and Arabic. She obviously is a girl who is going places — and not just in the elevator!
I often hear comments from people that they would love to start their career in voice-over or they want to do more marketing to increase their voice-over jobs, but….they don’t have time. We all have the same number of hours in a day. Since time is your most precious commodity, the question you should ask yourself is:
How do you want to spend your next 24 hours?