Just Go!

We have all done it before. Making excuses to not do something because of time, money, or even fear. Whatever your excuse is, I want you to push it to the side and start planning your next trip NOW! Traveling can truly change your life. You get to meet new people, try new foods, and learn so much along the way. It is hands down one of the best things to do for yourself if you ask me!

I recently went on my first trip alone and I fell head over heels for the whole experience. There is just something magical about it. And yes, I said magical. I know, I’m a dork! But seriously though, you never know what will happen next or who you will meet along the way. Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely nervous, but once I put my plans into action, the nerves died down and my sense of pride kicked in hardcore.

Stepping into the unknown is a scary thing, but is extremely rewarding at the same time. The proud feeling you get when you do something you never thought you would do, go somewhere you’ve never been before, or introduce yourself to a complete stranger just because is indescribable.

Life is unexpected and full of twists and turns. Some good and others bad. We will always have bills to pay and another excuse holding us back. But honestly, you only get one life and who knows what might be waiting out there for you! Even if you start small and just go to that place you keep passing as you drive to work that is calling your name. Make the time for yourself, plan a little, live a lot and just go!!!

So tell me, where do you plan on going next?!?

The VO Forecast Is...

“It always rains before it shines. “

Being a performer is no easy task… It doesn’t matter if you are a dancer, actor, comedian, singer, musician, or even a voice over artist. It’s a tough business to break into. We are constantly searching for jobs, auditioning like crazy, putting our heart and soul into everything we do and are still being rejected on a daily basis. How much rejection can someone take before they throw in the towel?

The thing to keep reminding yourself, is that all good things take time. Sometimes we have to take a long walk in the rain before we can enjoy a sunny day at the beach. If you are truly passionate about becoming a professional voice over artist (or any performer for that matter), you have to be dedicated and determined to keep going! Because the moment you decide to give up on yourself and your dreams, is the moment you decide to give up on yourself. And if you don’t believe in yourself, then who else will?

Just because you didn’t book that last gig you auditioned for doesn’t mean you don’t have a future as a performer. It doesn’t mean that you suck or that you have no talent. It just means that you need to work a little harder, push a little further, and practice on perfecting your craft a little more everyday!

Even the most experienced performer never stops working on their craft. They are constantly expanding their minds, taking classes, going to workshops and searching for ways to grow as an artist. So why shouldn’t you be doing the same? You should be taking classes, working with a coach, and practicing your craft daily in order to play with the other performers who have already put in their time to get where they are today. To be great at something, we have to put in the work to get there!

It takes a lot of drive within yourself to keep going when the forecast isn’t looking good, but won’t it be so much more fulfilling when you earn your place in the voiceover community verses having something handed to you? I think it will be. In fact, I KNOW it will!

So hang in there, keep learning and trying new things. We never know what the future has in store for us, but one thing is for certain. It always rain before it shines and you have to be willing to push through the storm in order to see the sunlight that is waiting to shine through!

Get Out Of Your FUNK!

Has there ever been a time where you were in a funk for no reason? Feeling like everything you do is pointless and you just don’t want to do anything at all anymore? You are NOT alone! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that horrible feeling myself. Finding the path out of that funk is one of the toughest challenges out there, but it can be done and I want to share some of my tips and tricks I have found help me when I am feeling out of it myself.

I am no psychiatrist, but I do know that the mind is an extremely powerful thing and it can easily get contaminated with harmful thoughts if we let it. When we start feeling negativity taking over, we need to take a step back and start working on the problem immediately. Only you can make yourself happy, no one or nothing else… So we have to be in full control of our minds in order to conquer any funk that comes our way.

With that said, here are some simple things we can try doing in order to break out of the dreaded bog of eternal stench…

  • Breathe! Take a deep breath, hold it, and exhale… Do this as many times as you need to and take note of all of the great things in your life. We have so much to be grateful for, we just have to realize it! Write them down if you have to and start realizing how rich you truly are.

  • Be present, accept where you are in this moment and let go of the past. Simply put, the past is something that is long gone and we have to accept that. Otherwise you are wasting precious time and energy dwelling on things you can’t change. Instead, change the direction of your energy and focus on the now!

  • Reach out to someone you love. Sometimes we need the extra support, especially when we are not ourselves. Locking yourself away isn’t going to make you feel better, but giving your best friend a call or taking the time to go out with some people who always make you smile… That is something that can definitely help when you’re feeling low.

  • Find a quiet spot to meditate. Clear your mind and embrace the stillness we seem to deny ourselves on a daily basis. Our minds tend to become overwhelmed with everything we have to do and sometimes it is best to step on the brakes before we drive anymore. Playing some calming music while you sit back and take some time for yourself is always a great way to reboot your mind, body and soul.

  • And most importantly, keep moving! Go lift some weights, take an exercise class, or better yet- go do something outside. I know how easy it is to just turn on Netflix, pop a bag of popcorn and binge the night away watching some fun shows when you feel like crap. But is that the best thing to do when you are trapped in a funk of negativity? Try giving your body a jumpstart when it’s feeling low. Your battery just needs a little help to get going again ;)

These are just some of the things that have helped me when I’m feeling lost and I hope they help you as well if you are ever in a state of funk! Keep smiling and be the best version of yourself imaginable. You are loved and too blessed to be stressed. So keep your chin up and keep moving forward my friend!

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Abraham Lincoln

It's ALL Mental

As I approach the weekend, I can’t help but to think about how far I have come to get where I am now. All of the sacrifices I’ve made and continue to make as we push forward into tomorrow completely blows my mind. Still in disbelief that I will be getting a spray tan within the next 24 hours, (which by the way is something I never thought I would do), let alone be judged as I stand on a stage in an itty bitty overpriced bikini for a fitness competition.

I know, it sounds nuts… I keep asking what the hell I got myself into over and over again. But yet, here I am. Getting ready to go for it and see what happens! It’s been a long and bumpy road from the start. But no matter how crazy it has been, I would not change a thing. I have learned so much and am so proud of everything I have accomplished in such a short amount of time.

If you know me, you know how much I love food. I mean, this girl can eat you out of a home! Pizza, chips, buttery noodles, anything carb related honestly is my go to delicious oasis. So needless to say, this whole experience has been super hard for me. Especially when the thought of having something tasty and delicious was all I could think about.

When things get tough, that’s when you need to push harder. Because life isn’t easy, and in order to achieve everything we want, we have to keep going. We owe it to ourselves that much. You need to push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you. Keeping your head in the game and listening to your heart instead of your mind is hard. But if you stick with it, you will be so proud when you finally reach your first goal you set out to do!

How many times have you started something only to give up when you don’t see results right away? Just because your brain tells you things are too hard, you’re not getting anywhere or that you can’t do something. Things take time, so switch those negative thoughts with positive ones and keep grinding towards your dreams!

From the beginning of this journey, I knew I wanted to be in better shape and live a healthier life, but I never really knew why I was doing it. Sure I wanted to look and feel good about myself, but that wasn’t enough to keep me focused on my daily goals of fitness and nutrition. Have you been in the same boat?

However, when I finally woke up and started to realize my why, the purpose behind this path I chose, I knew I was ready for great things. I knew that I want to travel the world, be able to enjoy hiking outdoors and become a model for companies that inspire people to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Having this vision engraved in the back of my mind was all I needed to keep chugging forward. Each day a little more than the last.

Don’t let your mind hold you back. Push all of your doubts aside and take a chance on yourself. You are worth it and the first step is only the beginning towards achieving even bigger dreams down the road. No matter what your chosen path may be, shut off the mental switch and follow your heart!

I hope that whatever journey you are on, you will dig deep to find out why you want whatever it is you are searching for in this life. And if you need a little extra motivation, I recently read that is absolutely amazing and would highly recommend to everyone (even if you’re not a runner)! The Ultra Marathon Man: Confessions Of An All Night Runner is absolutely wonderful, I could not put down for the life of me! Rent it at the library or if you get lucky and find it at a yard sale or thrift store, be sure to snatch it up quick! Or just go ahead and buy it online, that’s what I did. It will give you a completely whole new outlook on what it means to be dedicated and follow your heart. Check it out, it is worth every penny!

DON'T Hold Your Breath!

Ever since I can remember, I have always been a water baby. Like every little girl, Disney’s The Little Mermaid was my all-time favorite movie to watch as a kid. Truth be told, I would spend hours in the water pretending I was a mermaid because of it! There’s a strong possibility you did the same back in the day or maybe still do (like me…)

Over time, holding my breath became second nature. As I took a big gulp of air at the surface and plunged towards the deepest part of the water, I never even thought about how or why I held my breath. I became so focused on becoming a mermaid in that moment, that I just held my breath and came back up when my body said I needed to.

Now, let’s face it… Unless you are swimming, or the air stinks, there is no need for us to hold our breaths. I mean, it is pointless… We need oxygen in order for our bodies to function. In fact, holding your breath for long periods of time can be dangerous to the brain if it’s being overdone or improperly.

So with this in mind, why do we tend to hold our breaths just day dreaming about what we want our lives to look like? Why torture ourselves verses actually going after our dreams with a full breath of air? Don’t you think we can accomplish so much more if we just relax and take deep breaths as we march towards the future we want? I sure do.

Oxygen is a beautiful thing, but we have to appreciate all of the great qualities about it in order to realize how much it will help us in the long run. If you’ve noticed yourself holding your breath while you wait for something you want to magically happen, cut it out and START breathing! Life can be magical and breathing helps in more ways than one. It can calm us down (reducing anxiety and stress), improve posture, and so much more!

Be kind to yourself. Start breathing and enjoying every breath you take. You’ll be glad you did!

It's All About The Baby Steps

When you first start your business, you need to do what you can in order to get by. It’s kind of like eating Ramen noodles, potatoes, rice when you are in College. They’re cheap, yet highly effective in filling us up. It isn’t the best thing for you in the long run, but thankfully it won’t be forever. Same goes for voiceovers. But Shannon, don’t we want the best possible quality for our clients? Of course we do! But if we can’t afford certain equipment in the beginning, then the next best thing we can do is to start small and invest in equipment that will help us get started on our journey.  It’s all about the baby steps, trust me!

When I first started putting together my studio, I had no idea where to begin. I was literally stumped. So many different suggestions, yet which one was right for me? Now, I am the type of person who likes doing things right the first time, but when it comes to this type of journey you need start out small. Equipment can be extremely pricey, and if you aren’t booking jobs already, then how will you know if you can afford to pay off the equipment you invest in right away? Today, I record on the Neumann TLM103, but in the beginning, I started out with the AT4033/CL large diaphragm condenser microphone and it worked great! I also combined that with an XLR cable and Focusrite Scarlette 2i2, which was more than I needed to get started.

 You won’t be eating spaghetti forever, just for now. And if you ask me, spaghetti is darn good! It fills you up, and tastes delicious! Which is exactly what you need right now.  Just something to hold you over until you are ready for the next best thing. But for now, take those baby steps! Get the basic equipment you need in order to do the work, audition like crazy, book jobs! Because if you have the heart, determination and a good attitude, the better equipment will come eventually. It just take a little time to get there.

If you’re looking to get started on your VO journey and are looking for a decent startup kit, check out some of my first pieces of equipment (links below) that helped me begin my voiceover journey. Hope this helps!

The Biggest Investment Is...

What do you think of when you hear the word investment? What was the first thing that came to mind? Money? My guess, is that it probably was... It makes sense since we are always told how important it is to always save our hard-earned money. Which is very true don’t get me wrong, we should always put a little bit away for ourselves! But could there be more to investing in one’s own self than just saving some of our paycheck every week? 

As time goes by, I feel that when we just “save money”, we are wasting time. To me, that is only a little piece of the investment puzzle. To invest in ourselves, we must also spend money and take a chance in life. Now hear me out… I don’t mean to go out and buy the latest iPhone or gaming system. I mean you should get out there and do things that will expand and challenge your mind for the better! Take classes, buy some books to read, go to a convention that excites you, or get a coach who can help guide you into achieving all your dreams.

This world is our playground and we only get one shot to play as hard as we can in it. So when we invest in ourselves in addition to our bank accounts, that’s when we can truly start living and achieving our goals. You are the investment! It just depends on how much you are willing to put towards yourself that will determine how much you will grow.

If you’re ready to start investing in yourself and aren’t sure where to begin, here are some great books that have personally helped me and I hope they will help you in return!

 

Take Action and Do The Work

The universe rewards action. Honestly it doesn’t matter how talented you are or what you look like. If you have the drive, determination, and motivation to keep going when things don’t seem to be going your way, then great things WILL happen.  I am a firm believer of that.

Sitting around and waiting for something you want to fall in your lap doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried… We can dream about something we want all day long. However, if we don’t take that one step towards achieving that goal, then how in the world are things going to happen for us? It’s like losing weight and getting in shape. Thinking about how we want to look isn’t going to get us the body we want. We must make changes such as eating healthier, going for walks and lifting weights instead of eating chips while watching Netflix. We have to take action, put in the work and keep doing that work in order to start seeing the results we are dreaming of.

Sure, there will be tough times and you aren’t going to see results right away. Things take time… You must keep pushing yourself a little more every day to progress. We don’t get fit overnight, so why should our dreams be any different? Do the work, get better every day and remember what it is you want in this life. The universe will start rewarding you in time, all you have to do is keep fighting for what you want everyday! You only get one life. What are you going to do with it?