Padded Rooms: Talking to Myself
One of the challenges this year threw, was live theatre closing down. Hannah (my best friend) and I were fortunate enough to be in a production of Disaster! The Musical, in Atlanta. This was our first production together since college in 2016. Unfortunately, the run had to close early due to the threat of Covid-19.
After Disaster! closed, I felt like my creative outlet had been destroyed. Nothing left but to stagnate and become complacent. A vicious routine ensued. Sitting around, going to my survival job, and feeling spiritually unfulfilled. I tried filling that hole with games and food which filled me with disgust towards my lethargic and gluttonous tendencies. Disgust is a bitter weapon that opened an emotional wound. I tried to fill the wound with more distractions, but it kept festering.
Desperate for a cure, I started reading through my journal from last year. I flipped through pages of growth and progress, till I landed on my workshop with Gabby Nistico. My first voiceover workshop. I went back through and reread her books which lay out the business of Voiceover so well. I thought: “the person who wrote these books saw potential in me, she even recommended me to see someone in Atlanta... who was that. Oh! Bob and September Carter!"
I immediately booked a session with Bob through The Neighborhood Studio. Gosh, I was a bundle of nerves. “What if it doesn’t work?” “What if I make a fool of myself in front of THE Bob Carter, who voiced characters in most of the shows I watch?” “I’m nowhere near good enough.” The zoom meeting began and it all melted away in an instant. Bob was figuring out the configurations of the Zoom meeting. He was still learning. How human. In the first minute of the class, Bob taught me one of the most important lessons of my career: we are all humans, forever growing and learning from each other, there's no room for nerves. I became fueled by adrenaline!
We started charting out new lands together. Beautiful lands with bridges, ropes, and ladders pioneered by himself and his mentors. I use these tools and structures to avoid mistakes others have made, while I absorb every detail I can from this new world around me. Now when I stumble and fall, Bob gives me instructions delivered with kindness, patience, and encouragement. When I succeed to higher heights, he meets me with just as much excitement. I’m grateful to have found such a great mentor early on in my journey.
My paradise now lies in a small closet, padded and cozy. As I settle into my nest, the screens light up and I am transported and transformed by the words that scroll across them. Each audition brings a welcomed challenge, a new world born out of someone else’s mind. My purpose is to live in their world for 10 minutes and read aloud their words while being true to myself and the world I now inhabit. Each day is a new adventure. Travel is simple, all I need is a script for the fuel and my imagination to ignite it. All of this adventure and I'm still in my pajamas!!
I am very fortunate to have found such a vast and wonderful career. If you are reading this, I challenge you to search for the maps to new lands, and find what sparks your imagination.
PS. If you are looking to get started in voice over I highly recommend reaching out to Bob or Gabby. You can reach them via their websites.
Gabby Nistico's website: https://www.gabriellenistico.com/coaching or check out her books:
VO101 an How to Set Up and Maintain a BETTER Voiceover Business
Bob Carter's website: https://www.neighborhoodstudioatlanta.com/