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.
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Hope this REALLY helps!
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
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
The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon
10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.
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
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?”
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
How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer
The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe
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
Killing Customers With Kindness
I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About
How I Answered Voices.com’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
What Fair Markets Are, And Why Voices.com 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
Voices.com Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy
For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.
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
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
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
Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies
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
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
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
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?
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
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.
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!
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 NowCasting.com, 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.
Excellent advice for the novice and excellent reminder for the experienced.
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!
Thank you David!
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”.