As I went through my evening auditions, I wasn’t feeling well. I was really tired and to put it mildly, not really connecting to the scripts. No matter how I tried, my performances sucked. I swear I couldn’t say my own name in a believable way. Frustration growing, I struggled through a few auditions and submitted those knowing it was fruitless. The rest I put aside; I wasn’t going to be able to do them justice and it would be disrespectful to fake it.
There was, however, this one particular audition that had captured my attention. It was for a major brand name and I knew my voice and style would be perfect for them. It would feel so natural that it wouldn’t even require trying. Despite my condition and attitude, I decided to give it a shot. The theme of the night held true; it was garbage. It was in the center of my wheelhouse and I couldn’t do it. Couldn’t even come close.
Feeling worse and getting more frustrated as I went, I gave up and went to bed. I read a little while to calm my mind like I usually do, then laid back and tried to go to sleep. Emphasis on tried. I tossed. I turned. I waited. I counted robotic sheep (don’t ask). I waited. I turned and tossed some more. Waited some more. Counted flaws in the ceiling above me. After about three hours I crawled out of bed, sans pants, more frustrated than ever, and trudged back up the stairs to my studio.
For ten minutes I sat and stared at my vocal booth, mad at it, mad at my inability to perform earlier and my inability to sleep. My mind swirled with self doubt and apocalyptical predictions about my future as a voice actor.
Lacking anything else to do and with that choice commercial audition still on my mind, I walked into my booth. At this point, I could have cared less. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to deliver the read I wanted. The effort would be a waste of time. Regardless, I stood there in my skivvies, cold, discouraged and utterly spent. Feeling foolish, I turned the mic on. I opened my mouth.
What came out was magic. Flawless. First take. At the risk of sounding cocky, it was so good that I knew that if they didn’t hire me, they were making a terrible mistake. Confused and panicky, I rushed through the little editing needed and sent it in, afraid I would wake up and find it was a dream.
Later, as I lay in bed my mind wrestled with a new problem. I was trying to reverse engineer the butterfly effect. How had that particular string of seemingly unrelated circumstances added up to the perfect take? If I could figure that out, I could reproduce it! My success would be assured. My fame would spread across the land. Generations of children all over the world would speak my name in hushed tones as they fantasized about becoming a famous voice actor like me. (Did I mention how tired I was?)
What was the formula? It couldn’t be that I hadn’t been feeling well. I am certain that I have never heard a voice-over coach encourage to exhaust themselves before recording. High frustration levels don’t seem like a likely cause. So, there is only one thing remaining . . . it had to be the lack of pants, right?