A Phrase To Remember When You Make A Mistake

Hey, there!

Over the course of the last few days (as I write this), I made a silly, stupid mistake that has put me behind schedule by a few days. It was completely avoidable, but I made it anyway.

And it reminded me of two things: that I am human, and something else.

That mistakes can be very, very valuable.

People make mistakes every day, and VO artists are certainly no exception.

Nor am I. Clearly.

To make a long story short, I was upgrading my rotating data backup system (which I describe how to replicate here), introducing 4 terabyte drives to replace the older 2 terabyte drives in my rotating set of backups, and I managed to format the very drive I use to store all my work instead of the new backup drive. All data on that hard drive was gone in an instant.

I then compounded the error with lovely, lovely, defiant hubris.

Still not understanding that I had made a mistake, and fuming that Disk Utility was calling what I thought was clearly a 4 terabyte drive a 2, I started writing an angry return-and-refund letter to Amazon about how a 2 TB drive was somehow packaged in a box clearly labeled 4 TB…and then, I suddenly realized what had happened.

I had simply selected the wrong drive to format. The names of all the drives looked very similar in the list of options in Disk Utility, and I had simply chosen the wrong one. The worst possibly choice, wrong nonetheless.

Simple, human error.

Oh, and all my data was gone. That happened.

(Not to worry – I had 3 other backup drives from which to restore my data.)

I immediately started to analyze why I’d made this mistake, while I was setting up Time Machine to restore the data from one of the other backup drives, going over the environment in which I was working, noting that I had been somewhat distracted by the latest episode of Mr. Robot, etc.

And I came to the inevitable conclusion, once again, that I, like everyone else on this planet, is simply human. And it was borne out by a statement made by Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson after he, too, made a stupid mistake, after answering a question from a reporter incorrectly:


It reminded me that life happens, things happen, mistakes happen, and not to beat myself up about it, but to go about finding a solution that fixes the problem, gain knowledge that makes me better prepared, and helps avoid that mistake and others of its ilk in the future.

And that’s the hidden advantage to making a mistake – the educational value of learning what most certainly doesn’t work.

And, the bigger the mistake, the better. The more brightly your mistake (and its correction) shine, the more likely it is that you can drop that into the category of “what doesn’t work.”

(I’ve mentioned it here before, but my definition of success, and what we base all of the VO2GoGo curriculum on, is doing more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.)

So, the next time you’re trying to do something crucial with technology but you’re momentarily distracted by fantastic entertainment, you’ll know to switch off the TV and remove that distraction, and concentrate on what you’re doing.

Apply this rule every time you realize you’ve made a mistake, and you’ll profit immensely from the education you receive.

Don’t beat yourself up for simply being human.

Hope this helps.


9 Responses to 6 Steps to a Perfect VO Demo

  1. Kelli August 18, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    I feel really good about my demo. It is a quick and fun process, even for someone like me who gets very self concious. :)

  2. David Britz September 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    The demos are great. Superb quality. Why go anywhere else?

  3. David Britz October 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Can’t wait to record my Narration VO Demo!! :))

  4. Mike Brang December 31, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Having a well-produced demo is one of the most important things in the VO business. I had a number of demos made from other producers in the past and they all had one thing in common — that manufactured, cookie cutter sound!
    What sets David apart from the rest, besides his affordable price and tremendously fast turn around time, is that all of the clips you record with him sound unique. Each spot sounds like an actual commercial you recorded for a job.
    My agent loved the quality and even asked who produced it to refer his other talent there!

    Thanks again, David for producing such a great, high quality demo for me. You made the process relaxing and enjoyable. I urge anyone reading this unsolicited reply to listen to David’s student demos to hear the difference for yourself. Anyone would be lucky to work with him

  5. Kristy Liles February 9, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    I can not thank you enough. I worked so hard on 15 page IVR project, one day I cryed, look for answers, pull my hear (not really) but I was about until another VO send me this great tool. Thanks!

  6. Frank June 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm #


    When v123 indicates the audition is for a student/ nonprofit are we to assume it is for $0. If so, why does the audition ask for an amount to be entered?

  7. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    I did get this scam through Voice 123. In our discourse, they offered me the gig and they gave me the name of a legit local place to record and the same runaround with the money. I didn’t send anything, but instead, I called the studio to make sure the booking was for the day we set up, and lo and behold, the people there had no idea what I was talking about. I then tried to call back my “contact person” who was setting this up and there was a fax machine beep on the other end. I immediately contacted Voice 123 and told them what had happened. You know what they say…if it sounds togaed to be true, it probably is. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    …too good…not togaed.
    The one time spell check didn’t work!

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