For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

Hey there!

I got an email from a viewer who wants to be referred to as Jonesy, who wrote saying he felt a great deal of pressure to be perfect in his auditioning and his work, and spent so much time beating himself up when he’d make a mistake that it began to wear on his health.

He said that lately, he gets so mad at his lack of perfection that he is considering another line of work that isn’t so demanding.

I completely get this. I hear a version of it often…and here’s what I can offer as help.

(Click/tap ↑↑↑↑↑↑ that red YouTube button to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get notified when I release new videos.)

Hope this helps!


All Episodes

One Step At A Time

Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me

Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me

Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe

How To Be A World Class Complainer

The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change

“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”

Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating

The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired

Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!

Don’t Confuse Price With Value

Whiteboards In The Hallways

Go Wake Up Your Luck

Playing and Planning

The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon

10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

The Curse of Knowledge

The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions

Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers

“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”

Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths

How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

The Problem In Every Commercial Script

The Job In Every Commercial Script

The Secret In Every Commercial Script

How To Pick Your Stage Name

Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

Helping Make Resolutions Stick

ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly

Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?

Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”

Are You Engaged?

Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer

Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others

Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like

The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator

My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips

What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well

Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops

Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New

Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management

How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)

A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

Ready, Shoot…Aim

How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer

How Lazy Can You Be?

Avoid The Struggle Porn

The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe

Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”

Making Your Links Irresistible

HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You

The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME

The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully

How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever

“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”

Killing Customers With Kindness

I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About

How I Answered’s Inquiry

Turning Mountains Into Molehills

Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package

Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.

The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment

I Don’t Want To Go Blind

What Fair Markets Are, And Why Isn’t One

Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness

Getting Ready vs. Getting Started

You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard

There Is No Failure, Only Feedback

Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?

73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears

If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP

Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info

One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS

The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy

The Gig Economy: RIP?

For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

Celebrate Your Isolation!

Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought

Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism

The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds

Prioritizing…Nashville Style

Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?

Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter

How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics

Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?

Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook

Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr

Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?

“Young People Are Just Smarter.”

The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam

Beware Of Overkill

Laying Down The Perfect Slate

An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?

10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)

AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning

Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success

A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?

What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?

Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s

I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy

Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily

Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty

The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging

Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?

Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack

Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More

Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads

One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is

The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1

Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?

Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial

American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing

Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up

Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.

Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You

3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of

3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of

Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.

Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For

What’s Your Imprint?

Fallacy Follies, Volume 3

Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies

Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner

A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers

A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters

Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality

Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.

Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery

A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.

How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.

Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything

Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.

Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?

Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair

Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off

Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.

Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over

Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits

Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO

What Is The Overton Window?

How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress

Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews

How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?

With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official

Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?

What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO

I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get

You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute

It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.

Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.

The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over

How My VAs Support Me And My Team

What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”

The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.

Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing

Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing

One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman

The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category

What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?

Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night

How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names

Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible

I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?

Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief

“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.

Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement

Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication

The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?

Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters

Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular

On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do

How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”

One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain

Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck

Seek/Give Mentorship That’s Appropriate To The Journey

Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”

Having Fun With Headphone Volume

Please Stop Rushing To Perform

Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu

One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

For The Sheer Joy Of It

The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!

What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About

Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term

Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!

Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice

How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices

What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge

Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates

O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!

So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?

The Root Words of “Typecast”

Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make

Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work

200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?

I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day

One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility

Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.

Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.

The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?

Too Late, Melissa. You Already Are.

Help Me Solve A Lovely Mystery!

Speeding Up The Playback On The Audible App

Why Those Other Casting Sites Usually Aren’t Worth It

Raw YouTube Captioning

Hey there, it’s David H Lawrence the 17th, and I just got an email this morning from somebody who wants to be referred to
as Jonesy.
Okay, Jonesy. Are you go, so he wrote saying he felt a great deal of pressure.
To be perfect in his auditioning and his work.
And spent so much time beating himself up when he did make a mistake.
It began to wear on his hell. He didn’t go into details as to what that was all about, but I can only imagine because I’ve
seen it happen before.
He said lately he gets so mad.
at his lack of perfection
That he’s considering another line of work. That isn’t so demanding.
Yeah, well, you know I can certainly understand that especially given the competition that you have so I can get this I
hear this a lot. I hear this all the time.
And I have some thoughts to share on this. This is a very tough business to be and what I’m talking about is.
on camera performance on Mike performance
You do so much in isolation.
You know, you’re by yourself, you’re doing self tapes you’re doing rehearsals you’re doing recordings to be sent in as
And you’re doing it in this kind of vacuum where you don’t have feedback and you urine that feedback right? I’m going to
actually be talking about.
why isolation is actually a good thing in an upcoming video, but
for this one
This sounds to me like a fairly common.
Limiting beliefs and what I mean by that is a belief that holds us back.
Keeps us from being successful.
stunts your growth
Keeps us, you know sort of stationary in our journey.
I am at limiting belief is I have to be perfect.
Someone else will beat me.
for the job if I’m not
And I’m here to tell you. I don’t think that’s true at all. Especially if it’s so bad with you that it’s affecting your
health. I wish I knew more about what that was all about, but I can I can imagine just mentally how that can affect your
so what I would say for you to do is
You can replace the limiting belief of I have to be perfect.
With I’d like to be better.
Now I have to be better, but I’d like to be better.
And not perfect.
And there’s some reasons why.
That will a let you off the hook and maybe help your health.
When you’re perfect.
you can seem a little bit too polished when you walk in for the audition that Rough Around the Edges feel isn’t there
anymore it is totally I want to say the word the
This way, you know how many times you view to the rear view mirror on the way home from an audition. I wanted to say V.
Not the v o I’m so stupid what’s wrong? And so
But but to Polished might come off.
is fake
You know this believability even with with voice over stuff.
The idea that you have to be spot-on perfect.
Can work against you?
Because instead of sounding like a real connected human being or looking like one on camera.
Precision that you create when you try to be perfect, whatever that is. I mean, you know
Is a whole idea of what the definition of perfect is, but whatever your ideas can come off to be so.
So polished that you don’t seem real you don’t have authenticity.
And giving yourself the permission to be a normal human being.
With your normal human being blemishes and faults and and and failures and searching and not knowing everything right off
the bat.
I see people that try to be really perfect and what they end up feeling is really rehearsed.
As opposed to really perfect.
If you aim to Simply better yourself.
That can be a very satisfying experience because whatever you do to better yourself whether it’s small.
Or it’s huge.
Is really satisfied if the metric for success.
Isn’t any longer.
Oh, that was perfect.
If the metric for Success was instead.
That seems a little bit better or that was a that was a lot better what happened there. I got to figure that out.
Don’t kill yourself trying to be perfect. Nobody expects Perfection and don’t think that if you are perfect, you’re going
to beat out some other actor who isn’t.
So perfect.
You know how your Perfection isn’t necessarily what people want.
Or what they would describe as perfect your version of perfect.
and so
If you replace the I have to be perfect because someone else will get the job if I’m not with.
I’d like to be better.
I come off as better.
that will go a long way toward helping you, nerves and and and not
Beat yourself up so much.
And there’s so much that’s beyond your control.
When it comes to auditions if you think that being perfect is the answer to the golden key to making people cast you.
That’s just simply a falsity.
It’s not true.
What are your thoughts on this to try to be perfect all the time? You beat yourself up when you have a bit a little bit a
mistake or a big mistake you up on a line or or you you send an audition in and it wasn’t the final version that you
Let me know in the comments below wherever you’re seeing this. I’d love to know what you thinking. I would prefer that you
watch these videos at BO2 But if you’re seeing them on YouTube or someplace else, that’s great. If you like to
subscribe to my channel on YouTube go ahead and click on my head there. If there’s no head there then there’s a subscribe
button somewhere on the page. I’d love to
They have you in the group and if you want to see the last video, I just put up.
I’ll go ahead and click on that frame. It’ll take you to YouTube and it’ll play it for you.
Cuz it’s kind of Awesome.
I’m David H Lawrence the 17th.
And I so appreciate you watching these videos. I will talk to you tomorrow..

12 Responses to For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

  1. Laurence Walosin March 21, 2019 at 6:03 am #

    Spot on, David. The best response to this I’ve heard was in a commercial audition class by Chuck Marra, who said: “Clients don’t want it perfect. They want it human.”

  2. Kirsten March 21, 2019 at 8:45 am #

    Such a good reminder, David. Sometimes it’s those imperfections that they are looking for that make it human. We can be really hard on ourselves!

    • Ben March 25, 2019 at 3:23 pm #

      Such a wonderful video, thank you David. I say a virgin of this to myself as often as I can, and it’s just good to hear others who are also working with the struggle, in a good way.

  3. Shirley A Smallwood March 21, 2019 at 2:00 pm #

    I find that I have a tendency to beat myself up in all aspects of my life. This is excellent advice, not only for voice over work, but great encouragement in daily life.

  4. Teresa Valenza March 21, 2019 at 2:18 pm #

    This is so nice — I definitely need the reminder, and I’m sure I’ll be watching this video again and again. Thank you!!!

  5. getrich206 March 21, 2019 at 7:07 pm #

    T Bone Burnett, the great music producer (O Brother Where Art Thou? et. al.) put it this way in an interview that I heard on NPR and was so stuck by that I wrote down his words, “Perfection is a second rate idea. Making something beautiful and making something human is preferable to making something perfect.”

  6. Greg Nelson March 22, 2019 at 6:34 am #

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! Boy howdy, I needed this video!

  7. Paul H Rothfuss March 22, 2019 at 7:17 am #

    Thank you again David. I believe this kind of thought crosses all of our minds from time to time. Your recognition and discussion of the ‘problem’ makes it easier for us to work toward a solution.

  8. Kendra March 22, 2019 at 8:19 am #

    I’ve literally had directors ask me to “pretend like you’ve had a drink” or “pretend like you’ve just smoked some weed” because they want a less polished sound.

  9. Christina March 22, 2019 at 9:14 am #

    Thank you for the reminder! I struggle with perfection a lot. Reading my mind lately, David!

  10. Chris Buckner March 22, 2019 at 9:47 am #

    I try to be perfect all the time, and I beat myself up whenever I’m not perfect, especially regarding my treatment of others. I must always strive toward an ideal of honorable and virtuous behavior, or so I’ve convinced myself from a young age. There is no room for error, no allowance for being human, even though there should be. I feel like the struggle itself has value. Without it, I fear that people will no longer think I’m such a nice guy. So the struggle continues.

    I’m sure my struggle with perfection influences my VO work, as well as other areas of my life. I really like what you said in this video about how casting people may prefer someone more human over someone more perfect. I’m probably sacrificing authenticity for perfection regarding VO and other things in my life. This video really resonated with me. Here’s hoping I can integrate its message into my way of thinking. Thanks for the video David.

  11. Gwendolyn March 23, 2019 at 11:18 am #

    Thanks David, I thought I was the only one who felt that way. Fancy that!! Thanks for the reality check

Leave a Reply