The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

Hey there!

I just got off Zoom with a client who was having real difficulty accepting some advice I was giving him.

And I realized about halfway through the session exactly what the difficulty was.

It was not the concept itself, but his ability to accept it was as simple as it actually is.

The concept is simple. Acceptance of it can be unbelievably hard.

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Hope this helps!


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Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I actually just got finished doing a
zoom session with one of my clients and
I immediately wanted to make this video
because what became really apparent to
me in this session wasn’t any lack of
talent on his part he was trying to do
better at auditions he was trying to do
better at performance in general we were
talking about it and it wasn’t like I
could say to him yeah you need to
pronounce words better or you need to
give me more storytelling effort or
whatever it boiled down to one very
important and very counterintuitive
thing and that was he didn’t believe
that simply being himself his true
authentic self rather than the radio guy
with the radio voice with the
larger-than-life persona that everybody
would pay him for to be on the radio and
to go to you know live gigs and things
like that he didn’t think the just being
him was enough for someone to pay him
it was really clear to me didn’t have
the words for it he didn’t actually say
it in this way but it was really clear
to me that there was this thing holding
him back that the idea that as a human
being being able to talk to somebody say
at a brunch or at a bar or at a party or
just over the dinner table you know on
the telephone that doing these things
just as himself which I pointed out he
does all the time I mean you know most
radio people don’t walk into a bar and
immediately go into performance on-air
mode when they’re talking with friends
you know friends will go ho dude you’re
not on the air chill okay you know that
would never that wouldn’t happen he
really wouldn’t happen there are some
people who have adopted a very similar
speaking style to what they’ve developed
on the air as normal everyday speech but
when they get angry or when they get
curious or when they get anything other
than advertising-based i’m gonna tell
you about this you know and they’re like
you know when they when they start to
ask questions all of a sudden they
become more of their natural self what
they grew up learning what they learned
in the environment that they were raised
in and they went to school in and that
they worked in and that is the voice
that I want you to base your voiceover
work on sure there’s gonna be
opportunities for you to make character
voices there’s gonna be opportunities
for you to make big announcer e voices
you know those opportunities are
becoming fewer and fewer in nature in
terms of the announcer because people
really want what I’m talking about in
this video and that is the natural
normal connective tissue kind of voice
that you have every single day but it’s
hard sometimes to realize that that pure
authenticity that pure you being you is
truly the money maker that you’ll use in
voiceover it’s hard because it’s like
why would anybody want to be interested
in me it’s a combination of fear of
failure fear of six
the imposter syndrome a lot of the
things that we’ve talked about in these
and this notion that just me being me is
enough for me to do like audiobooks and
yeah yeah it’s really hard I went
through a session with another client
who was really overdoing it in his email
composition like he would send out
emails that were nine pages long when
really all he needed to do was ask a
simple question or make a simple
statement or respond to somebody simply
but he liked my client that I just
finished with thought if I don’t give
more if I don’t if I’m not totally
complete if they don’t see all the
aspects of my personality as I’m writing
to them or as I’m responding to them
well then it won’t they won’t know it’s
coming from me it won’t be enough they
won’t be effective and when we finally
paired everything down that he was
writing from screen folds down to
literally a paragraph and a half and
separated into two or three sentences it
made all the difference in the world and
he looked at and he said wow that’s and
I’ve been I’ve been doing okay it’s hard
because you have this blind this blind
spot that prevents you from seeing this
about yourself so I get why sometimes
you can’t see it but even when you see
it sometimes we have this tendency to
push back and reject the truth of it
just being yourself
is the cornerstone of your performance
career just bringing you to the party
and doing so in a way that is simple and
truthful and honest it’s one of the
hardest things for people to actually
accept that they are enough that their
true authentic self is enough and I ask
you is that something that you can
accept is that wouldn’t it make it a lot
easier wouldn’t it be so much simpler to
just stand and deliver I know it sounds
like who would pay me for that right who
would pay you to do that but I’m telling
you that’s the secret to every superstar
they’re just simply themselves just
themselves not some better version of
themselves not some superannuated
armor-plated version of themselves just
themselves so my question for you is can
you accept that can you work with that
can you think to yourself okay I don’t
need to be performer me I just need to
be me I just need to be me tell me in
the comments below is this something
that frightens the death out of you
is it is it something that you’ve
discovered and that you’re putting to
use let me know how this lands with you
because I really I can’t tell you how
important this is this is like super
uber and in the category of mindset this
is like super important and it’s the
basis from which we pare down and really
get to great storytelling right without
any sort of of fake patina of big huge
you know different right just you tell
me in the comments below if you’d like
to become a member of my YouTube channel
and get notified when these videos come
out go ahead and click on my head there
if there’s no head look for a subscribe
button somewhere on the page if you want
to see the latest video I’ve done that
frame will click on it and YouTube will
play it for you I’m David H Lawrence the
17th I hope this helps and I thank you
for watching and I’ll talk to you

7 Responses to The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

  1. Greg Nelson June 22, 2019 at 7:12 am #

    Hey David,
    Another EXCELLENT video! This one really hits home. I get in front of the mic and BANG!!! There goes the radio voice. I have to work to keep that from happening and sometimes, it’s a struggle just to be me. Your video gives me more incentive to keep plugging away.
    Thanks again!

  2. mbessp June 22, 2019 at 9:21 am #

    Great intuitive finding! I am looking forward to discussing when I work with you again! I think I struggle with this, which might be holding me back from being better at my performance and in the business in general!

    Thank you!

  3. PJ_Edwards June 22, 2019 at 10:43 am #

    It’s at times like this I thank God I never did radio. It seems like all ex-radio people in VO struggle with this. Behind the mic I’ve only ever been me; I’m used to it.

  4. William June 22, 2019 at 3:02 pm #

    Gotta disagree with you there. Well its called Voice acting for a reason and you need to meet the criteria for the specs .Doing everything as yourself is not acting. How many actors simply play themselves when being offered a role .. you need to be the character they’re looking for . Radio Voice is another thing as thats its an over the top contrived persona for someone who’s fallen in love with the sound of their own voice.

  5. Ed June 22, 2019 at 3:47 pm #

    This is why many artists have difficulty marketing themselves.

  6. Nance Weber June 23, 2019 at 9:34 am #

    Thanks so much for talking about this! I direct high school theater and have enormous difficulty getting the kids to understand this concept. Of course we do character work, but when we are focusing on pure dialog between two people, simple conversation with people connecting with each other authentically, they feel they must ‘be more’ than who they are in the moment. And here’s the kicker – I do this very thing myself! I love what you said, “We push back and reject the truth of it. Somehow we think we can’t be enough.” Thanks for describing this so well.

  7. Chris Buckner June 24, 2019 at 11:15 am #

    This video makes me think of our recent live workout. I remember you asked me to simply be myself for my third piece, Creepy Evil Villain, after which you said I gave a great read. I find myself thinking, “Was I not being myself when reading my first two pieces?” I feel like there is this subtly that goes into reading pieces of copy that involves being “on brand” while also making slight modifications appropriate to each script. I find that to be quite challenging, but that’s why I’m in your program. I imagine the understanding I seek will come with time and practice. Thanks for the video David.

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