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

short form insight for (voice) actors, part 4

Insights 1, Insights 2, Insights 3, Insights 4

More quick takes on acting, life and “going for it”

How you live, what you take from life, what you give to life, breathes power into your art.

The tiniest adjustment of a rocket ship’s navigation can change its destination from the Moon to Mars.

Your wanting a job is not a reason to hire you. Your wanting an agent is not a reason to sign you. Your wanting to talk to someone is not a reason for them to talk to you.

Having “a great voice” qualifies you for voice acting as much as having “great legs” qualifies you for the Olympics.

A useful habit: With journaling, you reveal inner resources to refine in service to your art.

Producing your own demo is like a fisherman who baits their hook with random food from their fridge.

You want to be a better actor? Live more.

The more your life matters to you, the more your work will matter to others.

Take after take: Acting is like fishing- never cast your bait in the same location.

An actor’s job is to efficiently negotiate and choreograph who takes their inner captain’s chair.

Two common forms of actor naïveté: 1. Those who move to LA too early and 2. Refusing to move to LA. when it is time.

The more you act, the more you realize that your personality isn’t a dictatorship. It’s a coalition government.

It’s not about how you feel when talking to the gatekeeper, it’s about how the gatekeeper feels when you’re talking. (-Aaron Shure)

Moving to LA unequipped with experience or training makes as much sense as starting out a diving career in the Mariana Trench with flippers and a snorkel.

You want an acting career? Ask yourself, “Why do I keep returning to that particular restaurant?” and, “Why did I stop going to that other one?” Also, “Why is that restaurant still there after all these years?” and,”Why is the other one gone?”

The bets you place: Even a high-odds payoff yields meager results to a nickel bet.

Wanting to work for LA animation companies without bothering to move there is like craving the payoff of the casino’s high limit tables while hanging safely back and playing the nickel slots.

Don’t put up a billboard before you’ve even pitched your movie.

The big hurry: If you cut ahead in the lunch line- will the food taste as good when you are surrounded by everyone you cut in front of?

Wanting starves the wanter. Giving feeds the giver.

What happens when you enter a room?

Is a bee more enticed by the a flower’s nectar or its beauty?

Self-suspicion inoculates self-acceptance against self-satisfied blindness.

Actors: Direct your curiosity both within and without for you are hired to create from yourself someone other than yourself.

You are hired for your taste in how to tell a story.

Value your weeds for they encourage the gardener’s fuller attention to the entire garden.

Celebrate yourself and others constantly and generously. Praise yourself steadily but with restraint. Disparage yourself occasionally and in moderation.

The people you spend time with, the words that you ingest, are no less impactful on your body and mind than any food you eat.

Unregulated ambition dulls the appeal of talent.

Regarding residuals: Corporations have three objectives: 1. Make money, 2. Keep as much money as they can get away with, and 3. Deflect blame. An actor will thus find that residuals can disappear into an opaque financial shell game.

Don’t take is personally that the money robot has no sympathy for you.

An actor’s herb garden: Cultivate an awareness of your complexity, your less than admirable, your missteps. Those are the savory spices that complement the sweet flavors of all that you prepare.

A script’s words must be rendered invisible so the meaning can ring clear.

Good improv teaches that an engaging story is powered by relationship, by wanting something specific, and supportive affirmation of the group. Add to this an ethic that embraces an honest stumble as a welcome gift, and you are free to tell a better story by greeting the unknown with courageous vulnerability and open ears.

What will you do when things finally go better than you had hoped faster than you had imagined? I’ll bet you you’re wrong.

The best day for a fisherman is not when the fish are biting but when there is fishing.

Sometimes a spotlight is the last thing an actor needs- or is able to bear.

A well-cast actor extinguishes uncertainty.

If only “if only” were of any help.

How fully do you buy into your own press release?

L.A. Story: Be careful walking in a city where hardly anyone is where they are, and most are in a big hurry to be someone else.

Actors: Don’t look for personal affirmation in a line of work characterized by endless rejection.

A poor audition is as memorable as a great one. Why audition for a script you can’t help?

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© Dee Bradley Baker 2023

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