The Importance of Mindset in Voice Acting:
Updated: Aug 28
Let’s talk Mind Over Matter.
Understand that you will be short-sighted until you actively seek to expand your horizons. Getting caught up in the web of comparison will only become a drain on your energy and self worth, and will ultimately teach you nothing.
When you're looking up to another voice actor and that little bug of jealously scuttles over, be mindful that their journey:
1. Is the result of many years of hard work + dedication to learning the craft.
2. Cannot be compared to your journey, because they are not you.
There’s a book I'll often go back to and re-read if I’m experiencing a disconnect or feeling I’m missing a step. It reminds me of some very valuable acting fundamentals. And as actors, I know we all feel this disconnect sometimes. So I wanted to share my semi-annual rediscovery with you.
The book is called A Practical Handbook For The Actor by Melissa Bruner, Lee Michael Cohn, Madeleine Olnek, Nathaniel Pollack, Robert Previto, and Scott Zigler. It’s one I’ve been going back to since it was required reading material in my first year of college
While it is not a voice acting specific book, it holds merit for ALL actors. And it’s usually within the first few pages of this book that I'm reminded - 100% of the time, the step I'm missing has something to do with MINDSET. Often, it is that I have been letting insecurity creep back in.
How we view ourselves, what we choose to spend our time/energy on - it's instrumental to our success. There's a particular paragraph I love from the book, that touches on this;
“As an actor you should never concern yourself with 'talent'. Talent, if it exists at all, is completely out of your control. Whatever talent might be, you either have it or you don’t, so why waste your energy worrying about it? The only talent you need to act is a talent for working—in other words, the ability to apply yourself in learning the skills that make up the craft of acting. To put it simply, anyone can act if [they] have the will to do so, and anyone who says [they] want to but doesn’t have the knack for it suffers from a lack of will, not a lack of talent.” (pg. 5)
So just to re-iterate here, lack of will, not talent.
I think it can be easy for many of us to get upset over things we don’t have, or maybe don’t have access to. Financially, especially - the state of the world is rough. And believe me I get it. More full time VAs than you know are living on the edge of their means.
Understanding that *we* - all human being as a global community - are in a recession, and the barriers to access that apply to *you* specifically, there are still endless resources out there just waiting to be explored.
Ahhh the beauty of the internet!
There are communities to hop into, colleagues to chat with, friends to make, and many an article; book; interview to learn from. At the end of the day, it is not about WHAT you have access to. It’s about what you DO with what is in your control.
So whether you’re taking a $250 workshop, auditing it, attending/auditioning at conventions, private coaching, going to a public library, or listening to podcasts - it’s up to you to find what works. What is in your control is how you choose to you to care about, hold onto, and act on that knowledge.
This is something all actors and entrepreneurs have to navigate every day. It doesn’t matter what anyone else has access to, or the privileges they may benefit from. They are not you, and they don’t need to take up space in your work!
Naturally, you will see less of the industry if you keep your eyes on what you cannot have. So keep them open wide. Ask questions, fall down rabbit holes, heck - repeat some stuff and find a nugget of wisdom you missed the first time around! I do it all the time.
Sure, you can't expect anyone to just hand you anything in this industry…But also - don’t assume it's impossible to grow just because it takes more time and some searching for the right people/resources.
We all have the privilege to wake up every day and choose to participate in a craft we love. Today I’m reminded to keep my eyes forward, heart on my sleeve, and head in the clouds as I dive back into what my job is an actor. And my friends, it has nothing to do with anyone else. ❤️
Good luck out there! - Aiden