Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Enjoying The Walk

My dog, Macy, loves to walk. Wait, that doesn't describe it quite right...she LIVES to walk. She breathes, eats, and sleeps in anticipation of her twice daily walks. Each morning she follows me right at my heels waiting for the slightest hint that I might be reaching for my shoes...or pulling my hair into a ponytail...or better yet- grabbing her leash. These things can send her into a fit of hysteria unlike anything you've ever seen. Say the word 'walk', and Macy will spend the next three to five minutes running at top speed in clockwise circles with her little tongue hanging out the side of her mouth...which I swear forms a smile twice a day.

Ironically, Macy could care less how long her walks are. I could honestly take her half a block down the street and back and she would be happy as a clam (which I've always assumed must be quite happy, right?). If I feel like walking a couple of miles, it's no problem. My 9 lb puppy will keep up with me just fine.

Are you wondering yet why I'm writing a blog about my dog and her walks? Well, lately I've been doing some soul searching. I have very big goals for my life and my career, and it can at times seem more than a little overwhelming figuring out how to best accomplish these goals. Over the last couple of weeks, I've spent hours and hours researching ways to get where I want to go. It's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without the picture to help me. In my head I know what I want the scene to look like when I'm finished, but the shapes of the pieces keep changing.

I'll admit it, I get a high off of the day to day workings of my business. The greater the challenges- the more inspired I feel. Some days I feel powerful, some days I feel helpless. But each day I feel something, and that is powerful in and of itself. There are days that I get to walk for miles, recording and producing for hours on end. Some days I barely make it to the end of the block, with only a short job or two to finish. On these days, it is totally up to me if I'm going to give up and head home- or keep pushing myself to take that next step and create my own walking trail.

Now, back to the dog. When my dog goes for her walk, she never stops to ask her doggy friends if they've been on their walk that day. She doesn't care. She doesn't worry if it's hot, or cold, or raining. If something blocks her path, she crosses the street and keeps moving forward. When her walk is cut short, she happily goes home to her favorite ball and a cold bowl of water. And then she waits, patiently, for the next walk to come.

Thanks to my Macy, twice a day I am reminded how wonderful it is to live for the things you love.

Kara Edwards, Voice Actor

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Seizing an Opportunity

"Opportunity is what you make of it." I try each day to live by this theory.

Sometimes an opportunity just lands in our lap, sometimes we have to spend months- even years- to make one happen. With the day to day struggle of trying to make things happen, it is so easy to let our fears and doubts keep us from grabbing hold of an opportunity and making all of our dreams come true.

OK, this isn't breaking news- I realize that. So, let me tell you a story about how I turned one trip to LA into a week filled with opportunity.

Last year I attended VOICE 2008. I knew there would be great opportunities to network with my fellow voice actors, learn some new things from the various coaches and pros in attendance, and enjoy some time with my VO friends. But, seeing a chance to milk a little more opportunity out of my time in LA, I extended my trip a couple of days past the end of the conference.

I won't go into great detail here- as to save you a little reading time- but I do want to illustrate my point. These are just a few of the opportunities that landed in my lap that week. I was able to tag along with VO pro Wally Wingert to a few of his voice sessions one day (which gave me a chance to meet several folks at some of the top LA studios). I got to have a private, in-person lesson with my long-time coach Nancy Wolfson (something everyone should have the opportunity to do!). I had a private lesson with Cynthia Songe- and then randomly bumped into producer Chuck Duran following my lesson (what a cool guy he is!). I met an LA agent that now sends me auditions on a regular basis. I met folks for the first time who are now considered dear, dear friends. This list could continue, but I think you get the point.

Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the VOICE conference in and of itself, I chose to make the absolute most of my time in LA. I try to do this each and every time I travel somewhere for voice over.

Sometimes opportunities are obvious. Sometimes we have to work to find them. But there is never any excuse to ignore them. There will be many discussions in the next 10 months as to whether you should attend VOICE 2010. I don't plan to participate in those discussions. Why? It's a decision each person should make for themselves. To be successful in voice over, you must decide which opportunities make the most sense for your business. None of us will follow the same path- but we all will hopefully reach the same goal of a successful career!

In 2 weeks I'll be headed to Austin, TX for the Austin GDC. I have no idea what to expect, but you better believe I'll be seizing every opportunity that comes my way while I'm there!

Now, if you'll excuse me...a few opportunities just landed in my inbox :)

Kara Edwards Voice Over