My fellow VO artist Gary Terzza has posted an awesome article on his blog about something I see as a crisis in our business.
And it’s one that can be addressed, but it’s going to take some personal energy.
But if you suffer from it (and you probably do), you can fix it.
His article is called Perfection Is Killing Your Voice Over Work.
This is one of the biggest challenges artists face – I see it all the time, and try to help them fight it at every turn.
Somebody very smart once said “Don’t let perfection get in the way of shipping the product.”
And all our lives, artists are told how special they are – and to help perpetuate this myth, they feel the need to execute again and again, making things “different” and “better.”
Hopefully, we’ll all learn to get over ourselves and simply tell our stories.
Take a cue from Clint Eastwood, who rarely films the scenes he directs more than once or twice (industry average: 4-7). He works with pros (like you) and expects you to get it “right enough” the first time, and only use any successive takes for technical quality.
There’s a famous interaction that Matt Damon shared with David Letterman about his first scene in the film Invicta – where director Eastwood rolled, was happy with the first take, and said, “Let’s move on.” Damon was like, “Wait, wait…I want to do this again – I want to get it right for you, and I’ve got a bunch of options,” and Eastwood said “Why? So you can make us all wait? Moving on.” Eastwood had gotten what he wanted, but it shows even Matt Damon can doubt the excellence he delivers.
I want you to consider the fact that you’re a working pro, far ahead of students, newbies, amateurs and others who every well might need several takes, just to find the ballpark, let alone hit it out. You’ve moved to a different place. Try not to fall prey to the temptation to do a bunch of takes and then frankenstein together a finished audition from all that.
Give yourself the permission to occupy that status. Enjoy your skill. Remember that you are working toward having so busy and profitable a schedule that you NEED to be efficient. And trust your instincts when you’re performing.
Do you find yourself doubting your first takes? Do find it difficult to imagine that you just might have the talent to do it well right off the bat? Let me know in the comments below.
Hope this helps.