When we hear the word thanksgiving our minds turn to the holiday with family and friends eating and communing with each other. Do we really give thanks ? I would offer that for most of us this holiday is just about eating and getting together with friends and family. It really should be about much more.
Giving thanks to my clients, business partners, my agents, my colleagues. Giving thanks to wonderful script writers and audio engineers. To studio owner’s producers and voiceover mentors. Giving thanks to me is far more than eating turking and reconnecting. It is about thanking those including yourself for what we have received over the course of a year.
Without the people who I have mentioned above our voiceover career would be nothing. I am thankful to so many this year. As this year above all others has been a turning point in my career. Thankful to myself so stepping out of my comfort zone, believing for the first time in my abilities. Thankful for new demos including one being cut this week, new friends and opportunities.
Thankful for a wonderful support wife and kids who make my life complete.
Happy Thanksgiving – Remember to actual reflect on those who you are thankful for as they a precious.
Life is a journey and voiceovers is just a part. You see what ever you choose to do in life is part of your journey it isn’t who you are. I am back from 2 weeks of vacation and they were great. They were the best two weeks I have had off in quite a long time. We spent some time at a cottage on the Burnt River near Fenelon Falls Ontario. There was a hot tub a sauna a couple of kayaks and peace and quiet. Some boats made their way down or up the river and the river was only approximately 100 feet wide. Fenelon Falls is a nice town as was Bobcaygeon. We had pie from the pie shop and did some sightseeing. It was nice to turn off the hustle and bustle and focus completely on the family time to enjoy each others company.
Like the boats life is a journey and like the people on that boat voiceover is a part of me. I had contemplated bringing my gear and working should work come in as it does most days. I told myself that it wouldn’t hurt as it doesn’t take me long to narrated the scripts that come in for the most part. Then maybe 24 hours before we left I contacted my agents and companies that I regularly work with that I would be off for 2 weeks. It almost turned my stomach as I wasn’t sure what the reaction was going to be. Work is work it needs to get done and there are time constraints as we all know only too well.
To my surprise all and I do mean all said to enjoy myself and the time with my family. The work would be there when I got back. It was and it was a lot plus a bonus. Even though I am not allowed to legally state who I worked for I can say this. In January I had written down in my journal that I wanted to work for this company. I had reached out a few times over the past few years and established a connection which turned into a relationship and good banter. No work though. In July I had gone out to replace my journal and my first entry in the new journal was to work with this company.
I got to work with this company
It has been a life ambition of mine to work for this company. When I got the news on the last Friday of my vacation stating that they wanted to work with me on the Monday the very last day of my vacation. I was OK I will be at home and will open my studio that had not been open for two weeks. I said nothing to my wife or my kids or anyone. When the Monday came around and I voiced the project I had to say something. I posted it to social media as I am doing here. Not stating who I worked for but I really want to but I know the deal. Believe when I can I will.
So as my journey continues and I cross off this company from the list of want to work for. I have made a new entry in my journal stating that this cannot be a one time thing. I had too much fun and by fun I mean the energy of youth like being a kid in a candy store kind of fun. Wide eyed bushy tailed. Ecstatic!
This journey is fun and hard and complicated and easy and frustrating and everything wrapped up in one. Two weeks no work I stood up and stated this is my time. The universe respected it and delivered my most coveted of roles. All I can say is live your life on your terms. Do what you want when you want. Respect everyone and everything. Be good and faithful. Dream and take action. Pursue and take in while in pursuit so that you don’t miss the important small things. Because those small things are the most important.
Your journey is precious so is mine. I did it so can you!
Good Morning or if you are reading this at any other time of day or night I wish you well. Wake-up routines I am sure you have of these over the past few years. The health and wellness industry has been booming for the last decade or so. With the loss of jobs in the corporate world people have been forced into finding new ways to make a living. Rest assured this blog is not going to ask you to commit to buying anything. I am going inform you of my routine and leave it at that.
With the loss of jobs in the corporate world people have been forced to find new ways to make a living. This has been a great thing for people who were stuck in their jobs and either didn’t realise it or did and are now grateful. I say this because of the rise in entrepreneurs. The world needs entrepreneurs and I am one. What does this have to do with a wake-up routine well read on and find out.
I started to follow a routine some 4 years ago where I would wake up at 5am (no I didn’t know about the 5am club at that point). What I would do is just sit and take in my surroundings which was one of peace and calm. Watching the sunrise in the morning proved to me that I was gaining perspective in my life. This calmness entered into my life in all areas. Before this I was uptight and couldn’t relax. Finances weren’t good and my relationships while good could have been better. The calmness of the morning entered me and I am forever grateful for it.
To be honest my routine ebbs and flows. For months I will be on it and then for a few weeks I will lapse back into the comfort of my bed. So please don’t think I am some sort of ‘this is what I do and everyone should’, because I have my faults as does everyone.
This is my routine;
- 5:30am rise and shine (or be grumpy your choice)
- Drink 2 8oz glasses of water (no lemon in it)
- Spend 10 minutes of quite time to reflect on things and just allow my mind to awaken
- 20 minutes of exercise – here I do 100 squats a day, 3 minute plank and then a variety of different exercises.
- 5 to 10 minutes writing in my journal of any thoughts that entered my consciousness overnight or during the few minutes that I have been awake.
- 5 to 10 minutes writing in my planner for the day. Here I review my goals that I have set out and write my to do list for the day ahead.
- At no time to I get connected to any electronic device!
- Shower and get ready for work
- Eat breakfast or travel to work with my breakfast and eat it there.
Whether I am working my day job or preparing for my voice acting day the routine holds the same.
I do hold a day job, and have a prosperous voice acting career as well. This routine applies not only to the entrepreneur but to everyone.
Consistency in what you do will breed routine and then it will just become a part of you.
What you do and how you do it is totally up to you is up to you. I will say this. It has been very beneficial to me. Here are my pros and cons for my routine and you make of it what you will.
- Water hydrates me and I have become more alive (don’t stop drinking water in the morning drink it throughout the day and you to will benefit)
- Taking in the beauty of my part of the world in its quietest time. (It truly is beautiful).
- Exercising – I have always been athletic and for years I just thought that was what I was until I wasn’t. This has helped me get back on track.
- Writing in my journal, so much of what I have thought over the years has been lost because I wasn’t writing my thoughts down. Now that I have my life has quite frankly taken a 180 degree turn. My thoughts put on paper have manifested themselves in to real world tangible things. It has been an eye opening experience to be sure.
- Planning (ha ha ha) me a planner never! I was ALWAYS was a fly by the seat of my pants type of person. Never ever planned and it got me know where. I plan it doesn’t take anything away from me but adds much needed direction.
- No electronics. We are inundated by the perceived notion that we need to be connected. I agree that connectivity is important but do it on your time in you planned way. Read Tim Ferris or Michael Hyatt.. Both of who I give credit to in refining what I had started 4 years ago (when I didn’t know or have heard about them).
- Showering is important
- Eating breakfast – The most important meal of the day.
- None to speak of
Well that is it for me this week. Please let me know what you routine is or if you don’t why not? Whatever you do I wish for you to be healthy of mind and of spirit.
As I sit here I am thinking about and witnessing a dream. My wife and I have two children a boy 15 and girl 13. Our son Liam is growing into a man. I am privileged to be a part of this growth. He is a boy with ADHD and always had tremendous physical ability. Five years ago I signed him up for football and his mother almost killed me. Her thoughts turned around when she saw how happy football made him after his very first practice. Liam had tried a variety of sports but football put a smile on his face and he beamed.
His first 4 years he played on offence mostly as a receiver and had a smattering of success. Before heading into grade 10 Liam said Dad I want to play defense this year. I said that he should and just to tell the coach. His coached allowed him and Liam made the transition from receiver to safety/linebacker and his smile grew larger. For he exceeded his expectations, his coaches expectations and he took off. He is 5’10” 155lbs now and growing. His ADHD for the most part is under control. His marks have always been an issue if he wanted to go to college. While they are good he could do much better as he is smart he just lacks the effort in school.
Dream = Football and Sports Management – Liam has a dream to play football for Penn State University. While this is a lofty goal and way outside most people’s reach. With dedication and hard work he just could do it. My wife and I are witnessing it develop, this is his goal/dream and we would love for him to have it manifest into reality.
Now Liam is a very talented football player. He plays high school ball for Trenton High and his Jr Varsity team the Quinte Skyhawks where he is captain of the Db’s (defensive backs). He just came back from playing in the 1st ever All Canada Bowl. He was selected to play for Team East and had an interception and few big big plays in the game. This game exposed him to schools across Canada and the US.
We are starting to witness scouts follow Liam. While this is great and needed for Liam to pursue his dream a realization needs to happen. For the dream to become reality Liam needs to address his marks and come to terms with his lack of discipline when it comes to putting effort into his schooling. The scouts and schools will see the talent but when they see his marks will turn away.
I / we are looking for ways that can help him as there is nothing more infuriating as self-sabotage. You have the talent and the smarts but because school is not as interesting as football the effort to work is not there. My thoughts are if the desire to play football in the states is so great that it forces him to do the work at school then great. That of coarse is no guarantee. Sometimes the desire is great but the lethargy is greater.
He has approximately 15 – 18 months to address his school shortcomings. The dream is alive and we believe in him. Will he do what is necessary? Only time will tell but it is great to think about and witness his dream. We will do what we can to help foster the dream but ultimately it is he who controls it. If he can see it, visualize it, feel it. It will happen. I am a big believer in dreams. The bigger the better and this one is big.
Make it a reality son, I know in my heart you can.
Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will land among the stars.
This is something that has been bothering me for a little bit now. Have you heard of the ‘Motivation Myth’ where the thought process is that no matter your motivation the real issue about succeeding in anything is to start, just begin or do.
While this is true to actually achieve anything you must start whatever it is you desire to do to achieve your goal. What bothers me is the bashing of motivation. No one can tell me or you that your motivation isn’t strong enough to prompt you to start. They do not walk in your shoes. Sure they may have a degree in psychology or behavioral science but the fact remains they are not you and as such cannot weigh with any precision whether or not your motivation was a factor in getting you started to achieve your goal. To be dismissive of this to me is short sighted and downright closed minded.
If my goal was to play for Penn State in Football. One coach tells me to connect with the recruiter of team and continue to be in his or her ear (basically be front of mind). Another says that won’t happen you need a dose of reality. First I respect both opinions. Second I will listen to the first coach as it is direction. Third I can use the second coach’s opinion as motivation to succeed because he or she doesn’t believe in my dream. That can be used as fuel (I’ll show you) in my pursuit.
Should I heaven forbid be mugged. I had always wanted to be more secure in my surroundings before being mugged. Thankfully I came through relatively unhurt. Using the event as motivation to become more secure leads me to take self-defense courses and ultimately to be a black belt in ju-jitsu.
Motivation – the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. To begin your path to success is a personal choice. Motivation can be a part of it. Only you can start and I hope that you do. Do not let someone tell you that motivation is a myth it is not! It can be used in a variety of ways because it is unique to you.
More on that to come he says who is this guy? Really! I need two parts? Ahh suspense!
In 2005, I got laid off one month before my daughters birth. In one sense this was bad but in another amazing. I got to spend time with her and her mom. Brooke my daughter was born with plagiocephaly and torticollis. Look them up it is your homework. For the plagiocephaly and torticollis, she was seen by the Shriner Hospital in Montreal. My dad is a Shriner and I am grateful for that. Brooke was fitted for a helmet and was seen by a physiotherapist for her torticollis. Being off gave me the chance to be with her during this time.
When I got got laid off one thing was ringing in my head Radio… Something my grandmother had told me I should consider. I was too young to take what she told me to heart.
Now was the time. I enrolled in the Montreal Radio and Television School and embarked on a career in Radio. Hold on! wait what? Yes I hold a degree in broadcast journalism and was on the Radio in Montreal. I loved it! However I could not make ends meet. My love for being heard was being crushed by the need to make enough to support my young family.
I became a technical writer and a consultant. I held two jobs for awhile. This path took my family to Ottawa but me commuting. I was miserable. I adore my family and needed to be with them while they grew and I was not there. To this day I beat myself up for the choice I made. In 2010 I was face with an ultimatum. Go back to the company that laid me off and I also consulted for or lose the consulting gig and have no job again. The technical writing position had ended shortly after moving the family to Ottawa in 2007.
Now I had a permanent job again but in Montreal and my family in Ottawa. I found a position with the company in Trenton Ontario. So in 2011 I moved the family to Trenton.
With the family unit back together and a financial foundation in place. I vowed to never be out of work again.
I need to be happy. My family being together filled a major part of that but my day to day gig would need to be altered or be added to. Enter voiceovers, I had been voicing all along but never for myself as a freelance artist. I had done voice work on radio in 2005 – 2010 . I had done voice recordings for the company I was laid off by and rehired.
I had a passion for being behind the mic and storytelling. Plus being the voice of animated characters was and will always be part of who I am. I hung up my single as a freelancer and makerted myself. I have had bumps in the road as any freelancer and voice actor has. But little by little I started to find my way.
Voice acting when you start is 80 – 90% marketing 5 – 10 % learning and 5 – 10% acting. Now it is about 60% marketing, 25% acting, 10 education and 5% miscellaneous. I have had a wonderful time do this. This is my passion and I will always do this. To me this is not work it is straight out fun. The people in this industry are without a doubt amazing.
For now, I still work for the flight simulation company but the day will come and it will come soon where I will be the voice actor who represents the aviation industry. I have been cleared for takeoff my throttle has been push forward I awaiting V1 and then V2. From there the clear blue sky!
Born Decemeber 25th 1968 yes Christmas Day…. but please wish me a happy birthday then a merry christmas. I am a creative you know and a human, so I have sensitivities. Born and raised in Montreal or at least on the island of Montreal in a city now a borrow or an amalgamation called Pierrefonds (aka Rock Bottom).
I have an older sister and brother I am the youngest and yes most temperamental. I had a rabbit named Grace and a dog named Blacky. My porn name would be Blacky Regent because I grew up on Regent street which was renamed while I lived there to Sauriol. I suppose I would be known as Blacky Regent-Sauriol as many people who live in Quebec have hyphenated last names.
Growing up was fun, I remember fondly playing pitch and catch with my brother. Showing my frustrations by exploding with a violent tantrum (thankful I have grown out of them) and enjoying camping and just a part of a really loving family. One thing I really loved growing up was our community outdoor pool. Yes I live in Canada it is not cold all year round. We did not have icebergs in the pool.
Scouting and baseball were the things I did growing up. Scouting gave me leadership skills. Baseball was fun and I was extremely good at it. Traveling to Syracuse New York with my baseball friends to play the US. Going to Cooperstown NY to see the Hall of Fame. Live was good and still is.
Scouting also introduced me to Toastmasters International. My parents signed me up for youth leadership at Toastmasters. This was the beginning of my ability to use my voice in public.
Donald Duck – Now although my last statement was ‘This was the beginning of my ability to use my voice in public.’ True but for my classmates they would say that beginning in kindergarten I was using my voice to mimic Donald. Donald was and is a huge part of me since he like me was kind loving and extremely temperamental.
Schooling for me was not fun. I enjoyed the other kids for sure and many are my friends today. Learning the way we did just did not resonate with me. You see I am a doer not a sitter. Reading which ironically is my career of choice was not a strong point with me.
Sports, Geography and History were the subjects that I excelled in and still do.
Girls oh how I love them. My wife is amazing she is passionate, loving, frustrating and my best friend. I have had girlfriends and an ex wife who is an amazing woman in her own right we just weren’t right for each other.
I have two children a 15 year old boy who I love with all I have. He is smart, empathetic, athletic and quirky as all hell. He will go very far in this world as he is not bound but normal trapings. My daughter is pure joy… she looks at life through the same lense as I do. She is creative enjoys the great outdoors (she is on a canoe course this weekend) and temperamental. My kids are the best of me.
Now careers…. I graduated from high school, cegep and university. I have a university degree BA Specialization in Physical Geography and a minor in Computer Science. This lead me to a career in Visual Database Design for a Flight Simulation Company in Montreal. I still work for them today. What is Visual Database Design? I create airports of the world and their surroundings so that they are rendered on a visual system used in a flight simulator. It is the world that pilots are immersed in when they use the simulators to learn to fly.
From 1992 to 1996 that is what I did and again from 2010 to the present. Between 1996 and 2010 I taught and was a consultant. I also became a voice over talent/actor.
More on that to come…
Do I swear ‘yes’ am I proud of it ‘no’. While bitch is not a swear word in and of itself. It’s certainly not a word that I use in day to day conversation. I would probably never use it at all with one exception.
A few years back I wanted help with moving my voice over business forward. I contacted a local service which is designed to help people start companies and also help established companies function better. In the meeting with them they were thinking of other businesses that I could align with. One of them who I contacted got back to me after listening to my demos.
The beginnings of on Stage Acting
They wanted me to read in round table director cut of a comic book fan movie they were producing and wanted local actors to flush out the script. I arrived and sat down and around me were people I had never met before. As I usually do I started to talk with them to make myself more comfortable. These were nice people and low behold actors. The round table read was fine but I was more interested in where these actors acted and how could I get in on the act.
I had always wanted to be on stage after acting on screen a couple of times I wanted to experience it and also refine my voice over acting. It was through this group of actors whom I am grateful to call friends that I was introduced to The Acting Community of Belleville Ontario and area.
On to the Bitch part…
Darren one of my friends who I met at the round table read asked me to come out to an audition for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. I thought what the hell, however the night before I was up on a source connect call with a banking institution in Dubai. I had stayed up and was not in top form as I read for the audition. To my surprise I was selected to play Dale Harding. The intellect and somewhat effeminate leader of the looneys before McMurphy arrives on the scene. Darren played McMurphy.
The play run was in March 2017 and it was now November 2016. The rehearsals were great but I was learning this was no longer Pete behind the mic this was a collaboration. Learning from other actors how to play off them. Know where to stand how to move, transform yourself into the character you are portraying and do it alongside others doing the same. It took me along time to feel comfortable enough to bring me to the character and own the stage.
That happen maybe 3 weeks before the show. During a particular rehearsal I was feeling good I was about to bring it. Yet I held back one more time and funny enough others felt that I had not brought it either. It is OK to be called out. As uncomfortable as it may be it really locks you in to what you are doing and that you can’t not bring it. As mortified as the director and fellow actors were that I got called out I actually needed it as it broke the ice covering me at last. I am forever grateful to the person who called me out. You will never know what that actually did for me.
The Bitch, The Bitch, The Bitch is a line that Harding says in a moment of breaking down. It was the line for me that galvanized Harding for me. Instead of saying it softly I and Harding to be more precise was in pain. Harding let it out and I felt it in my core. It was real to me and to the audience. Pete had arrived.
The run in March was to me the closest thing to being back playing baseball and the camaraderie of the players. I learned about myself and that has had a profound impact on my voice over performances. I am indebted to my friends (my tribe). For allowing me to explore who I am and bringing this to light on stage. It was an unforgettable experience for me.
I have done 2 other plays since. ‘The Exception’ a one act play which I played a 40 year old man recounting the time when he was 7 being abducted by his father. I played both the 40 year old and the 7 year old. While another actor played my father. The majority of the lines in the 20 minute play where mine. It forced me again to examine myself and push my boundaries.
The next play I did was for the Belleville Theater Guild and I was asked to fill in for an actor who had left the play. The play was Our Town and I played Editor Webb. Again I delved into the script and learned who Editor Webb was. I then established me in Editor Webb and in there draws the play for me. How much of me is to be portrayed if any at all?
When I voice a project be it big or small I tend to lose myself in it. When the writing is crisp the transformation to storyteller or character appears without much of a thought. On stage in the rehearsal process and right through the play run there is an evolution of the character. That to me is so much fun and it requires dedication.
The Time I said B*t*h multiple times was the tipping point of my success in voice overs. It allowed me to know me get me out of my comfort zone and once and for all ACT.
Well as I sit here and write my first blog my emotions are acting as they would for anyone doing something for the first time. This particular blog will break down these emotions and what I have gone through building my voice over business.
Like the 2015 movie with the same name and my muse for this blog lets break down the characters. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, Disgust and can’t forget Bing Bong or will I ?
If you asked someone close to me lets say my wife I am a combination of Joy and Anger with Bing Bong playing a significant role.
Like many of you if not all I am sitting here and having anger, disgust, joy all playing off each other why? When you do something for the first time a barrier must be breached. It is a growth phase and while scary it will in the end bring joy. I am angry with myself that I didn’t do this sooner but the reality is I wasn’t at that point where I felt I could. After talking with many a voice actor and actors or creatives I found that we are never ready for anything fully. Therefore my trepidation morphed into Nike – Just Do It! Disgust is a strong emotion but I suppose as a writer how many times do I scrunch up the paper I just wrote and do it all over again. Several in my case trying to reign in these emotions and give them the proper written word to express just what they are doing inside me. Now Joy knowing that what I am doing is just that a piece of me expressing my love for what I do and it definitely gives me joy.
That is what I am feeling now but lets step back. I started in this industry by chance back in 1996 while working for a flight simulation company in Montreal. I was giving a class to simulator maintenance techs from Germany. After the second day of the class my manager took me aside and told me that he had been listening in that day and couldn’t pull himself away. He stated that he had been listening to the radio all day and that the voice coming from the radio was me. He then asked if I would be interested in providing my voice for lessons to be recorded and put on the computer for students to learn that way. I said sure and did it for 9 years. This provided me with joy as the company and manager liked what I provided and I got a kick out of learning what I was voicing. No real sadness or anger at all during that span of time
February 2005 arrived and my second child was on the way only a month to go before my daughter was to be born and I was laid off from the only company I knew. Anger at first how could they! Then fear what was I going to do and sadness I liked what I did. Joy appeared as I would be able to spend time with my wife son and new born daughter which would be an amazing time that I will cherish forever. My daughter was born with Plagiocephaly and Torticolis. Plagiocephaly is the flattening of the head and torticolis is the neck muscles elongated on one side and to short on the other. The was all due to the fact my daughter was very comfortable in the womb and didn’t move a lot. Ironically she is the same outside quiet and comfortable in who she is. She is one of the major joys of my life. I would spend the next 2 years driving with my wife and Dad to the Shriners hospital in Montreal for physio therapy for my daughter. She also wore a helmet to round out her head. She was very cute in it.
The anger, fear sadness and joy all played a roll in moving my head space into something my grandmother (my guardian angle) told me before she died in 1980. My voice had just changed into the deep version it is now and she knew of my love for all things sports or news related. She told me point blank that I needed to be on the radio or media in some role preferably on the air. After 25 years of not listening to her advice I finally tuned in. I enrolled in the Montreal Radio and Television school and proceeded to get a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After graduating and being on the air I decided that it wasn’t for me not that I didn’t like it I truly did it was just that I couldn’t make ends meet for my family.
I decided at that point to be a consultant for my prior company and at night begin my pursuit of being a voice talent/actor. Fast forward to 2013 I finally hung my shingle up outside for the world to see that I indeed had become a voice talent/actor Peter Wood Voice Overs sailed for the first time.
In between 2005 and 2013 was a period I would call finding me (not Nemo!) The emotions most fear took hold and I had to break it down piece by piece just like eating an elephant one piece at a time. You know what? I did it — JOY!
Fear is a deceptive emotion which really can be nasty and put you into a state wear you just don’t believe in you which I can tell you first hand is not true. Fear is simply your mind telling you that this is something you haven’t done and that you should be careful. It just doesn’t tell you that in a kind way. It will try to stop you at all costs. Work your way through the fear and you will find what you want.
It is 2018 and I am still working through my fears, anger, disgust, sadness and joy I always will and I am embracing it. But where is Bing Bong well as I see it Bing Bong is the buddy that helps you through all of these emotions it he or she however you view Bing Bong in your life. In the movie Bing Bong was me. I have always been the person who helps and is forgotten (in my perception) I cried (truth be told) pretty hard when he was forgotten. He was also a character more than an emotion which I mask myself in daily to get through this crazy world. It has helped me deal with my emotions more than anything ever could. It allows me to be on stage and give it all I have. It allows me to be genuine behind the mic. It he or she is me and I don’t want to be forgotten I just want to be your friend and help you deal with emotions and your voice over career.
Voice overs is a blessing to me the emotions you will deal with are real listen to them don’t dwell on any of them for too long. Take a step everyday in the direction of the things that you love and that in time will develop a path to your niche in your career. Voice overs is a job, career, passing fancy it is what it is for everyone individually. Until my next blog number 2 next week take care and be you. Bing Bong out!