Dee Bradley Baker's "All to Know About Going Pro in V.O."

No Matter What

Take the step and place your bet.

When you find something you not only want to do but have to do, you will have no choice but to move towards it. The pursuit may be work, but it feels easy because it pulls you and you can’t get enough of it. With this inner necessity nudging you forward, you will answer inevitable doubt and discouragement with persistence.

The call must be strong enough to pull you forward into action. It is not only something you are curious about or able to do, it is something you have to do.

It should also be something that suits you, your temperament, skills and mindset. This kind of fit may not become apparent until you try it for a while.

But how to even start down such an unexplored path?

Start with exploring, experimenting, with dipping in your toes, keeping what works and discarding the rest. Be open and flexible in what you try, always listening for what calls to you, what turns you away, what entices but disappoints, what whispers but later implores you to approach.

As you proceed down any of these paths, gauge your sense of success not by achievement or tangible indication of any “progress,” but by your enjoyment of the process of discovering and trying it out. That alone is indicator and victory enough. Even a dead end can be viewed gained ground, so long as it provides a course correction.

The goods news is, you don’t need anyone’s permission, no checkered flag, to signal your start. You will never find a more lynchpin advocate and mover of your potential than yourself.

A path you choose (or that chooses you?) may be long and difficult. But your love of what you find fires your resolve. There will be times when you must be the rock when the rest of the world seems to be the rushing water, pushing you back. You become the countering force that relentless adversity only serves to polish.

Acting can feel scary- you are vulnerable and exposed. Many dread stepping out or the prospect of even trying. Their journey is over before it begins.

Actors embrace discomfort, not knowing, being rejected. These are not failure to be feared or avoided in the name of comfort or reassurance. The only way to “lose” is to not try, to hold back and shrink from even taking a step.

Many express fear of even trying acting or voice acting. If you are right for acting, you swallow your anxiety and fear and step onto the stage and allow the audience to respond to your vulnerable courage as they will. Night after night after night. It may not be easy but it might be fun, might keep calling you back despite a stumble.

Each step you attempt can be meaningful, no matter how small or awkward. Even the tiniest change to a long-distant flight’s navigation will land you in a different city or country!

An actor learns to bet on themself- even when no other gambler will Whether it‘s plunking down some dough for an audition, a class, audio equipment, or a new city of residence, each is a wager you make on your talent, your path to progress- to gain another step forward into a life that is yours.

As you advance, you get used to the discomfort of betting on yourself. You learn to embrace your value and your growing competency and artistry. It may feel a big risk at first, but it is simple. If doing this is you, you will do it.

There are always disheartening obstacles and stumbles as you find your footing in a performer’s career, but all stages of a career present that- even when you’ve “made it.” All lives face an off and on hard climb, no matter the outward appearance of success.

You are never clear of challenges, nor would you want to be. Each bump in the road offers instruction, strengthening resistance that advances your progress. A pro expects and welcomes the inevitability of sustained and varying effort.

Since an acting career is always a kind of gamble, you must see yourself as a bet worth making. If you don’t, nobody will.

If you are right for voice acting (or wherever your curiosity draws you), you step into it because you must. Challenge and risk won‘t turn you away. They only kindle your interest and steel your resolve.

You not only want to do this, you have to do this. Fearlessly, even if sometimes afraid.

You step up and place that bet.

That is what it takes.

4 Responses »

  1. Oh man. I feel like you wrote this for me. Thank you.

  2. Felt this one in my bones. My parents invested in me today to get my own equipment so I can record my demo reel and start my career from home. Moving next year nearer to London to be where the auditions and projects are. Set the ‘Stuck at Home?’ page as my home page. Can’t thank you enough for all your insight and support, Dee. Mel Blanc paved the way and you’re doing the same for us all.

  3. Thank you so much, Dee. The pandemic has gotten me down, so I needed this. Thank you for the whole website, actually; it’s taught me that I shouldn’t be so quick to rush into things and that no matter how polished I become, I can always learn something. I’m not quite ready to start my career, but I feel that your website will help me at every stage in my career.

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© Dee Bradley Baker 2023

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