use what works and discard the rest

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At this time of year, between graduations and wedding and celebrations of all kinds, there is a ton of advice being tossed around (mostly in speeches and quiet one-off conversations). Everybody has good intentions with their advice generally and it’s out there for the picking.

Voice over coaching is the same way. You need advice, I’ve got experience so let’s sit for a spell and visit. There are a ton of coaches in the VO world most of them far more talented at it than I am. With Voice Over Workshop, that’s what I advise my students from the start. I’ll share with you what I know on whatever relevant voice over topic they want.

Its more about conversation with a few soliloquies thrown in that seems to have a greater impact and longer lasting results for my students. They seem to have genuinely learned something by the end of each session and are certainly motivated.

That makes me happy on two counts:
1. I’m helping people learn more in an area they I have great experience in while watching them bloom in the pursuit of their voice over dream.

2. I’m getting paid for what was for too long offered as free, really helpful advice.

Everybody learns differently. Certain phrases or words or visuals are processed in a unique way by all of us. But too often I notice some students trying to absorb every morsel of what I say and make all of the examples I offer applicable to them as individuals. I think it’s due to their desire to be a successful voice artist “yesterday”!

I’ve been in learning situations where I react the same way, and I remind myself I need to settle my brain down a bit and just listen.

While students may want wrap their craniums around my 25 years in voice over, media production and business into a few 2 hour sessions, even they realize it can’t happen once I point it out to them. Better, I tell them, to “take what works and discard the rest.”

I advise them to let their brains find some offered nugget(s) that is really and immediately applicable to their career today. They’ll find information I offered that will stick like cement and really help them in their VO quest. The other stuff, well, we’ll file that in the recesses of their brain for later. It works. When students accept it, you can see their faces relax and the learning begin. And that is a great gift for both of us.

Take what works and discard the rest. It’s not just for voice over training.

It’s a powerful phrase (not originated by me). It’s an impactful way of learning. It’s a wonderful way to achieve physical, mental and spiritual balance in life.

Letting ourselves do it? Well, that’s what takes practice.

Thanks for reading.

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