Invited to Event for Charity
I had an experience recently and after the fact realized that dog painting is actually a great analogy for life as a voice over actor. If you follow my blog, then you know that I have two precious studio dogs, Violet and Daisy. Last week were were invited, with the dogs, to a charity event at my brother-in-law’s temple. The event was in support of our local food pantry, and we were going to do dog painting. Yes, that’s right, dog painting. Felix, my BIL, works with a guy named Jason to run the arts committee. Inspired by a Jackson Pollock painting done with chicken feet, they opened it up to community pets. The plan was to have people paint with their pets, make a group mural, and bring pet-specific donations for the food pantry. Often those who cannot afford food for their family, also cannot feed their pets. My daughter Emma signed us up and we brought dog food and treats to contribute. Even the morning of the event, I was very unsure of what we were walking into.
Feeling Unsure and Nervous About what to Expect
I knew the space where the event was being held. My twins had attended pre-school there. While I could picture it in my mind, there were so many question marks. Would my dogs, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a rather large Labrador retriever behave? Would they try to eat the paint? Would they engage? Would they get along with the other dogs? Would I be able to get the paint out? Would they actually make art? How messy would I get painting with them? How messy would I get cleaning them up? So, much like in voice over, I had no idea what I was walking into. Aside from knowing what the purpose was, there was no roadmap. I did not even know how long the event would be.
The Actual Experience
To my surprise, the event was so lovely. I thought it would be fine or potentially disastrous, but it was actually quite wonderful. There were 8 dogs total and one guinea pig named Mordecai. They all got along well and no one attacked Mordecai which also seemed like a triumph. The art work they made was so beautiful and all so different. Each dog had a varying level of willingness to participate. My Violet made painting after painting. Daisy, in contrast, was a less prolific artist and seemed a little nervous about the experience. She laid very still by my side and did not move. But it was a fun, happy, and friendly morning.
How it Relates to VO
So, I see many parallels between dog painting and VoiceOver. Like the event, in VO there is no roadmap. We wake up each morning not knowing what to expect. We walk into live sessions and we don’t know how long they will be and what the folks will be like. Like the dog painting, there are no guarantees in voice over, no promises that things will work it. It might be fine, but everything could also have fallen apart completely with no hope of salvation. We have no crystal ball and we have to be prepared for any outcome.
Like in dog paining, in voice over we have total command over the career we create. At the dog event, we had the freedom to mix a palate of paints, and try out which colors worked and which ones did not. To me, voice over has been very much like this. Particularly in areas like marketing, we can try out different ideas and see what works and what doesn’t, and I love that there is not one right way of doing things.
Lastly, at the event we very much had to go with the flow. We had to work with the dogs at their comfort level. In voice over, the ability to go with the flow, and see what the voice over universe sends your way is very much essential. Work comes in when we can’t predict it. We have to know how to fill our days when we don’t have bookings. Clients often make requests we have never anticipated. Going with the flow is vital to succeed in voice over.
I never thought I’d go dog painting. But I did and I loved it. Not only did I have fun with my pooches in the moment, but I gained valuable life insights and a refreshing perspective on being willing to try new things. Sometimes, even if you have doubts, as longs as what you are considering is safe, it’s worth trying!