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

Short form insights for (voice) actors, part 3

A third randomized list of thoughts on VO, acting and a life of going for it.

The best cure for stage fright is more stage time.

Rejection is an actor’s dumbbell.

With no costumery, set, audience energy or eye contact, in VO there is nowhere for bad acting to hide.

You become who you are by doing what you love.

You don’t necessarily need a classroom to become an actor. Study acting only if it helps.

It may take a long time of seemingly nothing happening in order for something to happen.

Handle all forms of self-congratulation with the rubber gloves of suspicion.

The best thing to happen in improv is for something to go wrong. This is why a good improviser is never fears the vertigo of stepping onto a stage.

Even a pothole is part of the road forward.

Actors are hired not for neutrality but to have an opinion.

Don’t limit yourself by underestimating how good it can get- and how quickly that can happen.

Voice actors are like short-order personal chefs. Words are our cutlery, our performance the meal.

The goal of any good acting class is not to go to acting class.

Nothing attracts luck like being ready for it.

Market value: Well-placed confidence is always in high demand.

Without its patience, how could a spider earn a living with its artwork?

Actors: Don’t do what you’re told. Do what works.

Being an actor requires both a suit of armor and a proclivity for proudly flaunting about naked in a crowd.

Even the worst thunderstorm never fails to drift away.

The bigger the elephant, the less bothersome the tick.

Amateur to pro: You start out treading water in a pond but you end up swimming up stream in a river.

Aim higher: Survive then thrive- but also endure.

Success can be its own worst obstacle.

No one’s estimation or value of your work can exceed your estimation or value of your work.

Beginners: The longer you can hold off directing your art towards money, the better.

Sleep breeds optimism.

Normal may get you in the building, but weird gets you in the room.

The peril and opportunity of the great marketplace is that, assuming all goes well, the only boundaries left will be the ones you set.

Change favors the most adaptable.

The memory of a wound is a wound doubled.

Actors don’t lament a curtain call. We come together, tell the story then say our farewells.

Better to be a Swiss Army knife than a can opener.

Nothing speaks louder to others than what you silently repeat to yourself about yourself.

The price of blue-sky opportunity in Los Angeles is its pervasive volatility.

Turns out, a watched kettle boils.

The best way to capture money is to avoid hunting money.

Why have sharks been around for hundreds of millions of years? They never evolved a capacity for self-doubt.

Acting is a unique human education. The child actor is trusted and relied upon equal to an adult. The adult actor must be as open and honest as a child.

A smartphone atomizes and isolates us by stripping human communication of nuance. It is the opposite of theater.

Welcome even your regrets at your dinner table- just don’t overfeed them.

Great art lasts. In over 300 million years the cockroach’s classic design has never gone out of style.

Controlling talented people doesn’t make you talented.

A good voice actor fills silence with meaning.

You contain vast energy resources awaiting discovery and liberation: Excavate the fossils buried in your backyard. Dig down, unearth, extract and refine.

Enthusiasm is contagious. Talent isn’t.

One peril of being an actor is walking around with an emotional volcano on tap.

Be wary of non-actors who purport to teach acting. Business minds can teach business, but actors have their own vocabulary.

No matter their competency, anyone is happy to take your money.

This world needs you: What is more human or humanizing than story telling?

In the end, all you have is what you’ve given away.

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© Dee Bradley Baker 2022

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