The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Hey there!

I’ve seen a lot of people come to LA, where I live and work, or go to other production center markets, and thrive. And I’ve seen some people really struggle, and ultimately give up.

I have some advice for you on how to weather the storm and give yourself a better chance for success.

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

Hope this REALLY 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 today I want to talk to you about
something that kind of ties in with
another video that I did on coffee dates
and how to have good ones and to be open
to ideas that you might not have thought
of before you might you might find
strange this idea is one that I was just
simply fortunate enough to take care of
without knowing that it was a good idea
to do it a lot of people get out of high
school college they decide they’re gonna
become an actor or a voice-over talent
and they head for them there hills they
head for New York or Los Angeles or
Atlanta or London or Sydney or wherever
you find the muse calling you and they
figure they’ll get it they’ll figure it
out when they get there that’s what
they’re they’re counting on is when they
get there the world is going to line up
for them show business is going to
reorganize itself for their success and
oftentimes people find a real struggle
in store for themselves
um and so my advice is we’d love to have
you make plans go for it but do this one
thing if you can build a war chest
before you come here you’re gonna need
to pay the rent you’re gonna need to buy
food you’re going to need to pay for
lessons and headshots and even if
they’re not printed a headshot you’re
still gonna have to have them taken
right by somebody who knows what they’re
ah there’s all kinds of things that
you’re gonna have to your car and you’re
you know what however you get around the
point is we tend to sometimes as artists
ask you the money you know they do we
don’t want to touch the filthy lucre
it’ll Sully us as an artist I’ve had
someone say that to me and you know in a
coffee date once and what I would
say is if you can build yourself a war
chest I don’t I can’t put a number on it
I had a war chest of I don’t know
probably thirty thousand dollars when I
moved here and I also did my radio show
for a while for about four or five years
into that so I had an ongoing stream of
income and it was a great sort of day
job but it was actually a night job to
have because my day was free to audition
and study and and and so on so do that
instead of coming here penniless or you
know with a few hundred dollars in your
pocket or even a few thousand dollars in
your pocket come here with some sort of
substance so that you don’t have to
struggle and you don’t fall into this
trap that I see people in our business
falling into all the time and that is
the nobility of struggling you know
there’s a something there’s something
noble about you know scraping by and
living in a little Garret that you know
the the closet of a friend are surfing
couches you know there’s a nobility to
that oh he’s a struggling artist she’s
she’s working on her craft you know she
doesn’t care about the money she just
wants to do great things you know I’m
telling you this is no bad you want to
where it isn’t and it ties into our
relationship with money because as you
grow in the business you’re going to be
presented with opportunities to make
more money to make less money to maybe
do a side hustle have a day job I’m
telling you adding the layer of worries
about where you’re going to pay for your
next meal or your rent or your car
payment on top of the idea of you know
just getting into the business and being
successful that’s not a layer you want
that’s not a badge that you want to wear
so my advice to you is not only to build
a war chest of money but also build a
war chest of best practices for your
mindset you know know that it’s going to
be challenge
there’s lots of people out here or
wherever you end up going that want to
do what we do so you have to know that
that competition is there and you can’t
let that constant rejection that
constant we went a different direction
that constant they went with somebody
who looks just like me why didn’t I get
it you know you can’t let that get you
down and the way to kind of push back on
that is to have a really solid base of
confidence and understanding that it’s
as we said the other day it’s one step
at a time and so if you can give
yourself a cushion maybe six months
worth of expenses pull out your
spreadsheet you know do a Google sheet
and figure it out and know that the
rents are probably twice as much as you
think they’re going to be from wherever
you’re coming from or three times as
much get yourself money together push
things back a little bit just to give
yourself that that safety blanket right
and don’t fall prey to this whole idea
of well you know if you’re faced with
struggle it’s gonna force you to be
successful because I’ve seen people
starve struggle move back home
go away go do something else because
they were challenged by the expense of
living while pursuing the performance
career that they want so think about
that and I’m happy to hear your thoughts
on this I’d love to know if when you
moved to a production Center and had to
really you know put your big-boy and
big-girl pants on and you had to pay
your rent and pay your car payment and
or pay for whatever you had to do in
that city food and whatnot how did you
do that how did you feel about that
pressure and what made it harder what
made it easier give me a comment below
let me know if this resonates with you
let me know if this is something that
you’ve worried about if you’ve not moved
to a big production center yet or you’re
worrying about now or you did and you
figured it out I’d love to get some
solutions as well if you’d like to
subscribe to this channel and
notified when I have new videos where we
talk about the business just go ahead
and click on my myface there I know
that’s my fits my channel go click on
the channel and if you want to see my
latest video well that’s right there you
can click on that and it’ll give you the
video that I’ve uploaded last I’m David
H Lawrence the 17th I so appreciate you
watching and I’ll see you tomorrow

7 Responses to The False Nobility Of The Struggle

  1. Stan Robinowitz January 6, 2019 at 7:28 am #

    Even though I live in Israel and have no intention of moving to any of these production centers I think this is such great advice for those who do.. I’m probably the only one with a voice-over practice (love that term David) with a studio in my apartment’s bomb shelter. Great for sound proofing awful for acoustics.. It took a lot of Auralex to tame it.

  2. Amanda Serra January 6, 2019 at 10:01 am #

    This is really good advice, David! I’ve seen many talented actors leave the business because of financial struggles. They work so hard to survive that they have little time and energy to pursue their craft with any success. It’s good to have a plan and a little monetary cushion before entering any new career!

  3. Petrea Burchard January 6, 2019 at 11:46 am #

    Thanks, David. This is SOOO important. When you go to an audition it’s great to want the part, but if you’re in a situation where you NEED the part because you need the money, you WILL NOT GET IT. They can smell that desperation on you. When I wrote my “Act As If” column for, I talked about it in the installment entitled “Desperation Stinks.”

    It’s like being on a plane, when the flight attendant tells you to put your oxygen mask on before assisting others. Take care of yourself first—your finances, your personal needs, your psyche—then you can go out and be wonderful and people will want to work with you.

    I’m loving your video project. It’s affirming and educational and positive. Thank you.

  4. Liann Pattison January 6, 2019 at 1:54 pm #

    Excellent advice for the novice and excellent reminder for the experienced.

  5. Ali Harrington January 6, 2019 at 10:17 pm #

    One amazing thing that makes my life as an artist easier is having a pretty bad ass, lucrative, and flexible survival job. I’m a lounge sever at the Ritz Carlton in DTLA and although I will quit this job in a hot minute when I am able to make the big bucks from vo and acting….I highly recommend working for 1. A corporate company (makes it easier to transfer and technically still have a job when you move to a different city) and 2. If you’re in the service industry, work for a hotel restaurant ! Not only do you get great travel benefits, but they generally close earlier so you are not up til all hours of the night and still have just enough time in your day to audition or film!

  6. Christina January 7, 2019 at 6:30 am #

    Thank you David!

  7. Patricia Napolitano January 12, 2019 at 2:13 pm #

    Years ago (in the cassette age) I walked away and got a “real job” because I figured I would starve before my career took off. So now, in the mp3 age, I am back trying to get my bearings. Maybe I could have struggled and made it, or found some way to work it out, but I doubt it.
    This is good advice. You do have to eat even if you are an “artist”.

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