Upside down white kitten.
Photo by Pexel from PixaBay. Used with permission.

Today, I am thinking about the people who have enhanced my voice-over excursion so far, and although they might never know it, how meaningful they are to me.

The first ones that come to mind are those who have coached me or otherwise have added to my knowledge and given me a leg up into the voice-over saddle as it were. Here are a few of them.

Coaches

Peter Dickson and Hugh Edwards, via Gravy For The Brain. Being a member of GFTB has been a great experience and I recommend it to newcomers regularly. In fact, I have made friends and met colleagues here that extend beyond the forums and Zoom sessions. I have never met you gentlemen, but I want to thank you for building this resource and making the cost reasonable enough that beginners can afford it.

J. Michael Collins. Our time together in training and demo production has been invaluable. I must say I especially appreciate your ability to get frustrated with me but never lose your professional cool by throwing beer bottles at me through our Zoom sessions. Or, in your case, would it be champagne bottles? However, just for future reference, if you wanted to throw one of those SOVAS awards my direction, I would be okay with that. Seriously, I regularly send thanks in your direction, not only for things you have taught me, but also for the classy behavior you have consistently modeled for the entire community.

Marc Scott. Has anyone put out as much valuable, free information as Marc Scott? Blogs, podcasts, videos, Free Advice Fridays on Facebook… and Lord knows I need all of it. I am still in the process of implementing his Voice Over Marketing Playbook, but without it, I would probably be lost. Many, many thanks.

Wait, there’s more!

Others I am thankful for who have positively impacted my training and education include Kay Bess, Brigid Reale, Bev Standing, Graeme Spicer, Penelope Rawlins, Anne Ganguzza, Uncle Roy Yokelson, Rob Bee, Tanya Rich, Carrie Olsen, Kim Handysides, Nancy Wolfson, and Gabrielle Nistico. Some of these I have never spoken to, but somehow, something they put out into the world landed on my doorstep and made a difference. Thank you.

I am also grateful for the wide variety of professionals with various areas of expertise we have to choose from to get the training we need. Are you kidding me? There are so many more I want to work with!

Of course, this is an incomplete list. Trust me, I didn’t leave anyone off the list on purpose… it is just that my one remaining brain cell isn’t always awe inspiring in its ability to remember what I want to, when I want it to.

So what?

So, I hear` your question. Why should you care about which coaches I am thankful for? What I really want is to encourage you to take stock of your own life and career with the intent to realize all that you have to be thankful for. Take a moment to really appreciate them. Then—here is a crazy idea—take the time to reach out and thank them personally. That way you might become a blessing to them in return.

Not the ending

I could have ended this post right here and I won’t blame you for wishing I had. This isn’t named the TL;DR Blog for nothing, you know. However, taking my own advice, there are a few other people in the VO world I want to mention.

If you start reading voice-over related social media, it won’t take long before you notice a recurring thread of thankfulness and appreciation for an industry that doesn’t eat its young. More to the point, there are an extraordinary number of people who don’t mind answering questions for new people, are free with their advice and surprisingly, actually genuinely care about people that they don’t know and who are potentially their competitors. And then there are those who are encouragers and those who simply make your day better when you are around them, even virtually. The fact that these types of people aren’t rare in voice-over makes it all the more of a rarity in comparison to the rest of the business world.

So, I want to take a brief moment and offer my thanks to a few of the people within this industry who have—and are—a blessing to me.

A few more for the road

First, I will start with these three: Brad Hyland, Patrick Kirchner, and Joshua Alexander. Each of these men has been a help to me nearly from the beginning. They have generously offered their time, their knowledge, and their encouragement. I consider them friends. I mention this because in all my years in the “normal” world of work, I have never had friends among my colleagues. So yeah, voice-over really is different.

Trish Sarson. Yes, you. Trish is one of those people I met through Gravy For the Brain. Her friendship, and her fearless honesty, mean a great deal to me.

I met a few people at the One Voice conference this past August that brighten my day every time I come across them online. We don’t really know each other, but they bring a smile to my face whenever I think of them. Among them are Jenn Henry, Diana Birdsall, Carmen Wilson, Melissa Disney, Torian Brackett and Gina Thompson.

There are many others, but I know I have already bored you beyond any reasonable expectation to read this far. If you have followed along with me to the end, I offer my sincere thanks, and my condolences.

Here is what all of this comes down to. If you’ve been in voice-over for 5 minutes or 50 years, you have a lot to be thankful for. It pays real dividends to take stock of the people in your life who have helped you along the way, inside or out of voice-over. Take the time to appreciate all you have been given and then—here is that crazy idea again—tell them how much they mean to you.

Oh, and the photo of the kitten at the beginning of this post? I just put that there for no other reason than that I like cats. And… Josh Alexander doesn’t. What are friends for, right?

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9 Responses

  1. Thank YOU, JG! Thank you for having a smile for a friend, a kind and encouraging word, the expertise to tweak an image for a logo! Thank you for being cognizant of the community it takes to build our careers. And most of all… thank you for being a friend!

  2. Oh dear! I am late to the response party. It has been a delight and pleasure to know you, Jon, listen to your sagacious advice – that’s the long word for this comment – and feel that my feedback is welcome. I give belated thanks to Gravy For The Brain for putting us together; and having you in my life as a buddy, and more, as a friend.

  3. I was musing on your “fearless honesty” comment and have to confess that, last week during a “Who Do You Think You Are” webinar, I was analyzed: age, education, marital status, and so on based on my voice alone. I confess I decided to go with widowed as my marital status because my late ex husband sounded like a sex toy rather than a dignified if “poor man’s intellectual” as he called himself.

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