Growing up, my mother always had this great saying, "life ain't nothin' but a pig show." Of course, it wasn't until I was older that I realized just how insightful she was (and still is!). If you've ever spent time in the country, or were raised on a farm...then you've been to a pig show. Maybe you were someone that actually raised and showed pigs? When a pig is being judged, there is no 'real' clear-cut way to decide which pig is the best pig. It's all in the eye of the beholder. Just because your pig won first prize doesn't make it the greatest of all pigs, and if you lost- it doesn't mean you raised a loser pig. After all, pork is pork- right?
Thinking of life in these terms has helped me overcome many moments of rejection. Beauty? Talent? It's all in the eye of the beholder. If I didn't get the job, it doesn't mean I'm not great! I just wasn't what the judge wanted...but I will be next time.
With this way of thinking, there is no 'best' or 'greatest' at anything. There is always someone better, and it's important for us to remember that.
--On a different (and yet still somewhat similar) note--
When I decided to take my 'hobby' of voice acting and turn it into a full-time career, my sister made the comment, "the two most competitive industries in the world are voice over and run-way modeling...that's why I wouldn't want to be a part of it." Recently, I was reading the blog of a nice man that decided to give up his six-figure salary in pursuit of his voice acting passion (Bravo!). What made me sad was his comment of, 'I know it's a competitive industry' (or something similar).
My understanding of competition is much like a race...there is a clear-cut winner and a clear-cut loser. Then there are those that fall in-between.
I disagree that voice over is a competition. If it was, then who would be the winner? Me? You? I know I'm not the loser!! Plus, in a competition- you aren't going to aid your competitor along the way if you want to win. I've discovered quite the opposite in voice over. I've never seen so many people willing to offer (free!) advice on demos, auditions, etc. Just look at all the blogs out there with thoughts on how to quote for work, how to market yourself, how to improve your craft...and it's FREE! All it takes a bit of time surfing the net and you can learn more about voice acting than you ever wanted to know!
When I say 'actors helping actors', I'm not referring to those who help someone who isn't their 'competition' (a special thanks here to Bob Souer and Brian Haymond for all of your help!). I'm referring to those women who have given me advice and encouragement...the ones going for the same jobs I am. How wonderful! Any chance I get, I always offer advice, websites, thoughts...it doesn't matter if the person sounds just like me or not! In my opinion, this isn't a competition...we are ALL making a living, and there is enough work for us ALL to do so!
Please, don't let the thousands of new (and veteran!) voice actors scare you. We are all in this together, helping, advising...
Welcome to a non-competitive industry...I promise I won't stick my foot out as you journey down your voice-over runway.