Happy New Year to All!!

What do you hope for in 2015? What would you like to see come to fruition in your life next year? 

First of all, I want to say that I am very thankful for those of you who have enjoyed these little articles which I post on my website from time to time.

As I begin thinking about taking out the old and bringing in the new, I’ve been thinking about my bucket list. Do you have a bucket list? Actually, I never thought about this type of thing before until this year, but I began to think about how our lives are so short, and I’ve begun to ask myself, What is really important to me. I know that I’d like to do some traveling, possibly learn a language, and I’m sure I’ll be adding more to my list as we get in to 2015.

Now what’s important to you  is probably totally different than what is important to me, of course, but I think what counts is the fact that this is a time for reflection. What do you want to take away, and what do you want to bring in either in your professional life or in your personal life.

Would you like more relaxation or more inner peace? Would you like a promotion in your career? Would you like to be able to spend more time with those who you are closest to? What’s on your bucket list. Whatever it may be, whether it’s something that seems totally crazy to everyone around you, or whether it’s something very simple, just go for it. Isn’t that what the new year is all about?

Here’s to a happy, healthy, prosperous and joyful new year for all of us. 

 

Better Than Ever!

After attending a voiceover conference and meeting voiceover actors from all over the world, I’ve returned home feeling empowered once again, ready to improve my acting skills and to return to the craft that I love with a lot more energy than I had   in the past. Isn’t that what conferences are all about?For me, that’s why I went in the first place, to get pumped up, and that’s just what I did.

This year’s theme was entitled Better than Ever. This was the third conference that I attended, and this one was, without a doubt, truly better than ever!

Most of the time, voiceover actors are isolated in their home studios for hours at a time, and I’ve discovered that at times, it can be a very lonely profession. This is only one of the reasons why it’s such a great feeling to see colleagues from all over the world getting together in one place, laughing, learning and just having a great time exchanging all sorts of information.

Of course, just as with anything else in life, time flies when you are having fun right?The challenge comes and the work begins, when you have to leave the mountaintop, so to speak. All of a sudden, it’s back to reality! It’s back to paying bills,and attending to whatever responsibilities  happen to be your responsibilities. And, of course, we all know that we can’t stay on that mountaintop forever, right? We’d all end up exhausted if we did, especially the hosts of the events.

I believe that there are several steps we can take to get that back to reality momentum going again.

#1 Bask in the memories. Think about the new people you’ve connected with. Some of those people will turn in to life-long friendships.

#2 Take a look every once in a while, at  those pictures you took. They will always be there to enjoy and to treasure.

#3 Think of the knowledge that you came away with. I believe that there is great joy when you come away with something new wherever you go, and then when you find a way to apply it in your every day life, that’s even better.

It’s like turning over a new leaf, or closing  a book and beginning a new one.

What lies ahead in the future can only be good. What do you think? Or maybe even better than ever!         

After attending a voiceover conference and meeting voiceover actors from all over the world, I’ve returned home feeling empowered once again, ready to improve my acting skills and to return to the craft that I love with a lot more energy than I had   in the past. Isn’t that what conferences are all about?For me, that’s why I went in the first place, to get pumped up, and that’s just what I did.  

This year’s theme was entitled Better than Ever. This was the third conference that I attended, and this one was, without a doubt, truly better than ever!

Most of the time, voiceover actors are isolated in their home studios for hours at a time, and I’ve discovered that at times, it can be a very lonely profession. This is only one of the reasons why it’s such a great feeling to see colleagues from all over the world getting together in one place, laughing, learning and just having a great time exchanging all sorts of information.

Of course, just as with anything else in life, time flies when you are having fun right?The challenge comes and the work begins, when you have to leave the mountaintop, so to speak. All of a sudden, it’s back to reality! It’s back to paying bills,and attending to whatever responsibilities  happen to be your responsibilities. And, of course, we all know that we can’t stay on that mountaintop forever, right? We’d all end up exhausted if we did, especially the hosts of the events.  

I believe that there are several steps we can take to get that back to reality momentum going again.

#1 Bask in the memories. Think about the new people you’ve connected with. Some of those people will turn in to life-long friendships. 

2 Take a look every once in a while, at  those pictures you took. They will always be there to enjoy and to treasure.

3 Think of the knowledge that you came away with. I believe that there is great joy when you come away with something new wherever you go, and then when you find a way to apply it in your every day life, that’s even better.

It’s like turning over a new leaf, or closing  a book and beginning a new one.

What lies ahead in the future can only be good. What do you think. Or maybe even better than ever!            

Pay It Forward

I don’t know about the rest of you, but for those of us who live in southern California, wouldn’t you say that with our beautiful weather on a daily basis, we should really call this place paradise? Well, not counting the traffic, of course. Wouldn’t you say we are on the spoiled side?

In the Me society that we have become accustomed to living in, how often do we think about giving back.

The other day, I was listening to a radio station where they had put a contest together where, if you entered this particular contest, and your name was drawn, you would win $500. But there was a catch to winning that $500. The whole object of the contest was that you could keep half of the $500, but give the other half away either to your church, to your favorite charity or wherever you wanted it to go. What a concept!   Now wouldn’t the normal inclination be to just keep the $500 for yourself? We all have bills to pay right?

But then again, there’s something contagious about giving something of yourself without expecting anything in return.

When you attend a business networking event and you are meeting someone for the first time, do you find yourself saying as you exchange business cards, What can you do for me. Do you think you can help me? Is there anyone you know who can help me step up my career?

What if instead, you said, Now how did you decide to get in to the career that you chose or Is there anything that you feel that you are needing right now that you think I might be able to help you with. What if you just simply formed a friendship. That friendship that you form could possibly bring you business leads down the road or it could turn in to a lifelong friendship, and how nice would that be!

I think there’s an inner joy that we all experience knowing that we’ve helped someone along the way, and later on down the road, I think we experience the joy of the help that we are looking for coming back to us in ways that we never thought possible. It’s a natural sequence of events, not something that’s forced.

The other day, I went to breakfast by myself, and while I was sitting at the table, I ran in to someone who I had met at a networking event several years ago. She told me she was sitting on the patio having breakfast with a small business networking group and invited me to join them. Now she did not have to do this right? She could have just gone on her way. But because I did decide to join this group, I met some very nice people. I don’t know whether it will lead to work or not, but I just met some nice people and got to hear an interesting speaker.

So rather than saying, what can you do for me, turn it around, and say, what can I do for you. Try it once and see what happens.  It’s all about paying it forward!

Self Promotion

If you are someone who happens to be self-employed like I am in the voiceover and music industries, what are you doing to promote yourself on a daily basis or are you even promoting yourself at all. Are you the type of person who is not afraid to assert yourself, or would you say you are on the  quiet and shy side. Are you afraid to tell people about what you do because it may feel a little uncomfortable or maybe kind of like you are bragging? Are you afraid of coming off too pushy? Or, on the other hand, because you have a passion for what you do, does talking about it come naturally to you everywhere you go?

As I write this, I’m thinking back to when I recorded my very first demo. I was very excited about the professional quality of it, and when it was all completed, I was all set to sit down and begin making phone calls to introduce myself to prospective clients. All of a sudden, I felt paralyzed. Does this sound familiar? Have you been there? I remember thinking, Oh this can wait a few days, and then a few days turned in to a couple of weeks. Subconsciously, I was making excuse after excuse and if I remember correctly, I was probably spending a good part of the day on Facebook instead, not that there’s anything wrong with spending time on Facebook, but I think you get the gist of what I am saying.

So what was it that snapped me out of this, you might ask. Honestly, I had to do some self talk and give myself a wake up call. I woke up one morning and said, If you don’t do this for yourself, noone else is going to do this for you. This is your business, not anyone else’s.  I realized that I had to take a chance and jump in with both feet. There was no boss standing over my shoulder saying You’ve got to make those phone calls now.

I have now become very used to making phone calls and introducing myself to people, and it has become second nature to me. Have I made mistakes along the way? Of course. We all do, and we learn from them. That’s the cool part.

I’ve put together some possible suggestions which I hope may be helpful, especially to those of you who are getting started in your own businesses:

1: Before calling and introducing yourself to the Marketing Director of a Fortune 500 company or the Creative Director of an ad agency, do a little homework. Look at the company’s website to find out exactly what they do. Jot down notes about things that you particularly like about their site so that you can compliment whoever you are speaking with  regarding what you noticed.

2: Before picking up that phone, put a little script together sticking to the main points so as not to get off track. In other words, put your 30 second pitch together.

3: Test it out on a close friend who has been in his or her own business for a long time, and ask them to critique it.

4: Now. Go ahead and make that first call, and when you do, be yourself, listen carefully to how the person on the other end of the line is responding, and don’t forget to smile.

These are just a few little suggestions to encourage you to get started.   I believe that There is an art to this thing called self promotion.

If any of you would like to respond or have any other  thoughts after reading this, I always welcome new input.

Isn’t there an old saying that says Practice makes perfect?I believe that the more you practice the art of self promotion, it’s bound to get better and better instead of scarier and scarier. Go for it, and good luck!

Thank You Notes…

Thank you notes you say? Who does those any more. And What about hand written thank you notes.  Now you probably think I’ve totally lost it. Isn’t  the thank you note considered to be quite archaic and very old fashion in the thoughts of the millennial generation these days?Besides, you can just send a quick thank you email right?Or maybe just saying thank you to the person before they walk out the dorr will suffice or you can even send a quick text.  The possibilities are endless!  Who needs to write a note.

Being that we are at the height of the holiday season where gifts are exchanged, cards are sent and festive meals are put together, I began to think about the thank you note and how it seems to have become a lost art. Who has time any more when we have so many projects calling our attention.

When you’ve established  an excellent rapport with a client, and you’ve come to really appreciate working with them, after the job has been completed, what do you do?

On a more personal note, I’ve attended weddings where I’ve really taken time to search out just the right gift, and all of a sudden, when the marriage is about three months old, I’ll think to myself, I did give them a gift didn’t I? Did they ever  receive it?

Now, there’s nothing wrong with sending a thank you email, and there’s nothing wrong with running to the store and grabbing a box of thank you notes that you can write in. But why is it that every once in a while, it might be a good idea to write a hand written thank you note.

I believe that a hand written thank you note says to a colleague or a close friend, You took the time for me. So I’m taking the time for you. When you write a note that is totally written in your own words, You are saying to your friend or colleague, You are important and you are worth it.

Once you do something like this every so often, you might just discover that that little extra special touch goes a long way.

Happy New Year!

Well I just realized as I began working on this article that I’ve been blogging for one year. How did we get to January, 2014 so quickly?

If someone had told me over a year ago that I would write little articles and post them on my website, I would have said, No way. I can’t do this. I’m not a writer. That gift belongs to someone else. Little did I realize that eventually, I would come to enjoy doing what I resisted doing for so long.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever surprised yourself?

I don’t know about you, but I believe that at our birth, we are all given so much more potential than we believe could possibly exist inside of us, and if that is true, then we have the capacity as human beings to stretch ourselves. In other words, the sky’s the limit!

So if there’s something you’ve been wanting to try like learning a language or taking up a new sport or even entering an entirely different profession from the one you’ve been in for the last 20 years,what’s holding you back? Isn’t now the time? This moment will never be back. So if it’s fear of new and unfamiliar territory that holds you back, or just plain negative thinking, try putting  all of that aside just for fun, and see what happens. Then go for it. What have you got to lose? Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

Well I just realized as I began working on this article that I’ve been blogging for one year. How did we get to January, 2014 so quickly?

If someone had told me over a year ago that I would write little articles and post them on my website, I would have said, No way. I can’t do this. I’m not a writer. That gift belongs to someone else. Little did I realize that eventually, I would come to enjoy doing what I resisted doing for so long.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever surprised yourself?

I don’t know about you, but I believe that at our birth, we are all given so much more potential than we believe could possibly exist inside of us, and if that is true, then we have the capacity as human beings to stretch ourselves. In other words, the sky’s the limit!

So if there’s something you’ve been wanting to try like learning a language or taking up a new sport or even entering an entirely different profession from the one you’ve been in for the last 20 years,what’s holding you back? Isn’t now the time? This moment will never be back. So if it’s fear of new and unfamiliar territory that holds you back, or just plain negative thinking, try putting  all of that aside just for fun, and see what happens. Then go for it. What have you got to lose? Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

Put First Things First

Don’t ask me why it’s taken me such a long time to get back to working on my blog. Could it be the rush of the holiday season? If so, that’s a pretty poor excuse, but whatever it is, it’s good to be exercising these writing muscles again.

I thought I’d write something a little more personal this time around, but I think this really applies to both our personal and professional lives.

When you hear the word priorities, do you cringe? Would you rather not think about what your most important priorities are on a daily basis because maybe this reminds you  of those projects that  you’ve been procrastinating on?  Why do we find ourselves so often neglecting our most important priorities.

Now that we are in the midst of the holiday season, we’re all rushing around as we do every December, feeling more stressed, and wishing we had more time to get those cards out, those presents wrapped, and then there are the bills that still have to be paid, and the regular daily jobs that we have to do.  Right? They never go away just because the holidays are here. Life still goes on.

If you stop to think about what is important for you to accomplish on a daily basis in comparison to what is urgent,   For everyone, it’s something different, depending upon each personality and lifestyle.

What about putting first things first, whatever that may mean to you in order of importance. If we look at what we consider to be urgent, then we need to ask ourselves, How urgent is this? Is it really  necessary that I  get this done immediately?Or is there something else that’s a little bit more important that I’ve put on the back burner for a while that I need to give my attention to.

What about making two lists, one for  the things that you feel are urgent     and one for those things that you feel are important.    You might discover that the things that you’ve thought of as urgent, are really not that urgent after all. Only you will know the answer, and you probably will end up learning a lot about yourself in the process.  Just some food for thought.  Happy holidays!

Tina

A One of a Kind Conference

Now that we are in the month of September, (and isn’t that hard to believe),  schedules are getting busier, kids are back in school,and our calendar dates are getting filled up once again.

As for me, I am very excited about being a part of an up and coming conference which will take place next week on the 18th, 19th and 20th,  and this particular conference     is the  first of its kind!   it’s called Voiceover Virtual!

Now I have to tell you that I’ve always loved attending conferences whether  they’ve been  church conferences or  business conferences. I’ve always loved everything from the travel to the networking to the workshops.

But this particular conference is a one of a kind three day event where you can attend the workshops without having to get on a plane, without having to stay in a hotel, and believe it or not, without having to miss one single job because you are out of town. You can attend this three day conference right from the comfort of your own home!  There will be over 50 trainers conducting workshops along with the opportunity to have consultations with them on a one to one basis, there will be a virtual exhibit hall, and there will be hangout lounges for socializing and networking. Oh, and there will also be a virtual food court set up just in case you get hungry while you are listening  to the presentors.

So for those of you who may be afraid to fly? No worries. You don’t have to go anywhere! And if an appointment comes up that you absolutely have to be at or a job comes up that you can’t miss, no worries. You can always come back to the recordings because the recordings will be available on the Voiceover Virtual site until November 30th!

To find out more details and to register, visit www.voiceovervirtual.com or www.voiceoverxtra.com. Hope to see you there!

The End of an Era

I decided to talk about something on a more personal level today.

We all have memories from our life experiences whether they be  memories to treasure, memories that are vague, funny memories,  or sentimental memories.    After hearing yesterday about the passing away of one of my all time favorite singers, Eydie Gorme, I began thinking about how we are at the end of an era musically and memories came flooding back of growing up on  the music of Eydie and Steve.

As a voice artist and vocalist, like many other artists, I love talking shop. But surprisingly enough, Eydie Gorme’s passing hit me on a more personal level after losing my mother just a few months ago. I have memories of my mother and I sitting back, listening to an album of hers, and marveling at her vocal control. Both of my parents gave me a love and appreciation for big band music, better known these days   as the Great American Song Book. I grew up with   Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence records all over our house along with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, and you name it. Now I’m really outdating myself, I realize, but I couldn’t help thinking today about the wonderful memories of the great music that I grew to love and appreciate through my family. Oh yes, and not to mention Tony Bennet, who is 85 years old and still going strong

Of course, we have some wonderful jazz artists out there now, and people like Michael Buble and Renee Olstead who are carrying on the big band tradition.    But with losing as many great entertainers as we have lost, (oh, and I forgot to mention George Duke),it makes me realize the way the business as a whole has changed, the way the marketing has changed, and the way our entire world has changed, not to mention the fact that life is short, and we all have to make the most of it.  These people will never be forgotten, and as strange as this may sound, I almost feel as if they were personal friends. There was an elegance and sophistication about them that will be greatly missed.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are many of today’s artists who I absolutely love whether they be country, jazz or pop. There are many great talents who have been discovered from shows like StarSearch, American Idol, and The Voice, to name a few.

But the people who I want to  give special attention to today are people like Eydie Gorme, Sammy Davis, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin, and I could go on and on. They left us with something, I believe. A kind of sophistication and refinement that could only come from living in that time period. Even though we have come to the end of an era, I am thankful for the joy of the music that they left with us that will never die. A joy to treasure, something that will remain with those of us who knew them, so to speak. Their voices will always be with us. So will their stories, and also their memories. I’m thankful for the legacy that they left behind,   their music that will continue to live on,and the memories to be cherished that noone can take away. Aren’t memories the best?          

Rejection: That R Word

Rejection: That R word. We all hate it, right? How does it make you feel when you even hear the word.

I don’t know about you, but when I even think about the word, all sorts of negative thoughts come flooding in.

As we all know, there are all sorts of rejections that come along in one lifetime, and we all experience it at some time or another in some way, shape or form. You didn’t get that job you so desperately wanted, and you were so close to getting it.  You didn’t get accepted to the only college that you really wanted to go to, and then there was that person you wanted to go out with that turned you down. These are only a few examples of the types of rejections that can come along, of course. There are many that are much more inward than these that maybe you’ve held on to for years.

If I had known when I went in to voice work, how many auditions I was going to end up recording that passed right by me and that were given to someone else, well, I often ask myself, Would I have still gone in to this? I always come up with the same answer, Yes, I would have, and I have no regrets. When you are in the entertainment field, whether you model, act, or sing, there will always be auditions, and there will always be rejections. I’ve always heard it said that you need to have a very thick skin to be in this type of business, and now I know that it’s true. If I truly know that I felt good about my audition after I   sent it out, and that I did the best that I could, when I receive a new one, I get it out, and forget about it, knowing that another one will come along before I know it.

What if we all did that with every type of rejection we received in life rather than stewing about it. Wouldn’t it make life a whole lot easier? You could just move on and keep running the race.

Have you ever noticed that when we want something so desperately, whatever it may be, we try way too hard to make it happen, and that can make us forget to relax and be ourselves. If we could all just do our best, and then let it go, we could actually enjoy life more and maybe breathe just a little bit easier. What do you think?