Discovery

Discovery

In the quiet of the night a magical thing happens when you discover the conversation between your subconscious and conscious mind.  It is why I have a book beside my bed most nights.  Should I forget to place one there I will then get up and write what I heard down.

Picture yourself in cabin in the woods the time is twilight just before complete darkness.  The moon is up and is bright. At the front door of the cabin we stand and chat.  I then reach into a small burlap bag and withdraw a small felt bag.  I untie the twine keeping it closed and gently pick up something.  I ask you told hold out your hand or hands in a cupped shape.  You do so and in your hand I place a grain.

This speck is of great value not to you but to those who live and breath, play and work on and within it.  You cannot hear them nor see them yet they are there.  Twilight has changed to night and the moon shines down allowing us to see that there is a path that leads to a canyon.  We walk and chat some more discussing the grain.  About 15 feet from the edge of the canyon we stop.  We are in a clearing where we can take in the moonlight illuminating the canyon in front of us.  It is the Grand Canyon.

We are just two specks looking out over the vastness of this beautifully created landscape.  We are quiet in our combined reverence.  We see patches of light which could be campfires and just then I ask you to look into your hand at the speck.  The importance seems to strike a cord.  I then ask you to look skyward.  You lift your head and take in the first star.  Then as your eyes adjust you begin to see that the night sky seems to be right on top of us and it is literally filled with stars.  You instinctively look into your hand.

The words that come out of your mouth are – I get it, I get it, I GET IT!

When you take a script into your hands there is a process of discovery that is going to take place.  Let it take the time it needs,do it with reverence and let the stars shine bright!

Discovery

For some  reason the song She’s a Rainbow was playing in my head quite loudly while this conversation between my subconscious and conscious mind was taking place.

 

Time – It’s infinite and precious

Time – It’s infinite and precious

Time it’s infinite and precious. This was a line that was part of a script I once performed and it struck me then as profound and still does. But why? Time is a concept that as children seems to pass ever so slowly and as we grow it seems to pass faster and faster. The innocence of children is precious as is the time we spend with loved ones or doing the things that we do that bring us the most joy. It is infinite but we are finite and that is what makes the time move perceptively faster as we move on through life.

Time is not a concept, it is a constant though that some in the scientific world who are far smarter than I say that time actually changes and ever so slightly shrinks. This is based on the life span of our universe, which has an end date at some point in hopefully the distant future. That is a topic for others.

I am 51 years old. I had a wonderful childhood and as I pass through life I am experiencing a wonderful life. It is not full of accolades or wealth but is filled with love of family and love for what I do. That brings me directly to voice over work. The love I have for this industry and the people in it is second to the love I have for my family. I am interested in the voice over industry and where it will be tomorrow and the next day, followed by where it will be in a month, a year, a decade and when all is said and done where I will leave it once my time is done. Today’s hot topics of e-learning, medical narration and video games will be surpassed by other topics in the coming months or years as time passes and other worldly issues have a more pressing need for us.

This is exactly why I love what I do. Change. While scary to many people change is an absolute wonder for me. As each and everyday is like Christmas Day. Each day in my inbox I receive emails and in those emails are scripts to either audition for or do actual jobs. Each script is different and thus I change constantly during the day. From marketing my services, to auditioning, to recording jobs, interfacing with clients and potential clients my days are filled with change. I embrace it and love every moment. Yes, every moment even the ones where things don’t go the way I want them. As these are times of growth.

Time it is infinite and precious. So whatever you are doing may it be filled with love, the love of family, the love for what you are doing. Embrace it and know that time will pass and you need to make the most of it.

Branding – Musings

Branding – Musings

Nike “Just do it” ya that is what we try to attain. A strong brand that will convey who we are and what we do. Branding is a topic that every entrepreneur has to grapple with at some point in time.  The shear amount of people who devote their time and effort into teach us what it is and what it isn’t is staggering.  Currently, I am on this path where it goes will be interesting to say the least.  What I offer next is my musings on my path so far.

I started to tinker with branding once my first website was let’s say going to die.  I quickly scrambled to get a wix site up and running.  It was plain and it worked and I created it.  I wasn’t happy.  I then connected with some marketing and business improvement people / businesses in my area.  While happy I was uncertain.  My website petesvoice had died and that is a whole other story which I will not get into.  I had been burned and had not dealt with it as a business I dealt with it  as a hurt human.

The internet is full of people who are ‘experts’ in building websites and taking your money.  I continued my search to find someone to help while beginning to listen to me and learning from my past experience.

Branding is about you and you alone.  You need to soul search and answer basic questions that you mostly likely have pushed to the side and shouldn’t have.  It is not about a logo or colour scheme.  Yes these matter to one degree or another but really ‘It is about you’.

I asked a person to meet with me for a coffee at a local coffee shop.  This person was late and I mean not by a little.  To know me is to know that I get it.  I am a pretty relaxed person.  We all have lives.  When we met she was apologetic which is good but being late to a meeting where you are meeting a potential client doesn’t look good.  I tend to look at things a little differently always have.  To me this was unique and offered an opening that wouldn’t have been there if the meeting was on time.  This actually started our business partnership if you will on the right path.

My current website is a direct result.  Yet I am still not quite there with it.  It has elements of me for sure but not all of me.  Now I have read on the subject of branding and I am currently in a couple of groups who meet to help each other through the branding maze.  One thing that keep resonating with me is be true to you.  As result I am about to embark on something that my website currently lacks.  It lacks more of me and what I offer to my clients and potential clients.  That’s really what matters.  A brand is built out of you and your offerings.  Who is your target audience and what do you solve for them.  Once that is established the brand will reveal itself.  Also keep it simple

If you are so inclined after reading this; I ask you to interact with me.  Who am I to you? How do you see me? What do you hear when you listen to me?

I have my own answers to these questions but it is always revealing what others think.  It is to aid me on my path.  Follow me on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

As I said in the beginning this is my musing and I am about to begin creating content to be put on youtube and or vimeo and linked on my site.  I am excited about this as it will offer more of me and my offerings to you.  Stay tuned the content will be arriving soon.

 

Performance

Hi folks it has been a few months since I have blogged so I thought I would get back at it.  Something that has been on my mind of late is performance or lack of it that I have been hearing in voiceover work of late.  So let’s tackle this beast shall we.

Voiceovers is acting plain and simple if you can’t act then you can’t voice act.  Can you learn to act and therefore voice act?  Yes.  This is where I would like to begin.

How many times have you listened to a commercial and thought to yourself I could do that?  How many times have you been on hold waiting for a human to speak to you on the phone and while you waited you either listened to music or listened to on hold messages about the company you are waiting on?  Were the messages compelling or did you feel that you could do it?

Voiceovers or Voice Acting is a form of acting where you need to be convincing to be able to get the point of the script across.  There are a variety of acting methods to become familiar with in order to get your role to be top notch.   It takes practice to be able to hone your craft to the point that you can be convincing.  I am constantly learning and trying to improve my performances.  To do that I hire a coach.  I am grateful to the coaches I have had as they have pushed me out of my comfort zone.  When that happens the invisible barriers that hold us back disappear and a performance happens.

I cannot with good conscience tell you that what I hear are performances because in my mind they are not.  A performance comes when you embody the character in which you are directed to play.  This is no different in voiceovers.  You need to know who you are playing who your audience is where is the scene taking place, tempo for delivery etc.

When you have an answer to these questions the next thing for you to do is dive in.  This gets tricky for most adults as we have forgotten how to play.  Children when left to their own devices can conjure up imaginary scenes and play the characters they play with ease.  Why is that?  They have no burdens.  Nothing from their past which interferes with their play.  It is play!  Therefore, in order to perform one needs to get out of their everyday head and play.  How do you do this?

For me I take a few minutes by myself and I become very quiet.  I block out the world of electronics of music of chatter and focus on colour.  Essentially I meditate.  I find sometimes that music helps me conjure up the style of play that I will be performing.  I give myself over to something that is not every day me and I play with it.  When that happens I focus on the words of the script and the character that I am to embody.

It is so much fun that I usually do not want to change back to being everyday me.  Performance to me is being one with the character, using inflection, cadence, nuance and tempo to lift the words off of the page and breathe life into them.  Be authentic which means be you and only you in the form of the character.  This brings the character to life in a way that has not been depicted before as you are doing it for the first time.  Should you have the opportunity to play it again you have already established the character in your own way now you can give it depth.  This can be truly powerful.

Mastering performance is something that takes a while to do – Rome wasn’t built in a day and so to a voiceover career develops over time.  However, do yourself a favour and give in to the performance.  Play with the words,  play with the pitch, tone and embody what you are feeling (always allow yourself to feel the power of the words).

Get yourself a coach to improve, get out of your head and play.  Do this and those things you listen to will gradually become performance and not just noise.

 

 

Merry Christmas 2018

 

December 20, 2018

It is 5:30am on Thursday Dec 20, 2018.  Even after 18 years I still have the propensity to type 19 something before I correct to 20 something.  From my heart I wish all of you a Merry Christmas.  The time between now and January 8th is a time that the Christian World has created to have us spend time with one another.  To celebrate the birth of Jesus.  All though I grew up going to Church faithfully I am not what one would consider religious.  I have faith.  It is with in mind that I wish you a Merry Christmas and hope that you spend the time between now and January 8th with family and friends.  Take time for yourself and remember love yourself.

2018 has been a great year and I dubbed it going in as year of growth and that is certainly has been.  For the first time in what seems a long time I was able to once again love myself.  That enabled growth in all aspect of my life.  Once you spend time with yourself and work through to what really matters to you, you will then realise that you have much to offer.

It was a year of travel not extensively but more than I had been doing.  This travel to places such as Las Vegas, New Jersey and Washington offered me the chance to expand my horizons.  Each location taught me something to which I implemented and saw results.  2019 offers more travel and I am looking forward to it.

Animation, explainer videos, documentary, corporate video, IVR, app were all genres of VO that I booked this past year.  I gained many new clients and said goodbye to a few.  2019 offers more opportunities as the growth of this year has opened the on ramps to avenues that previously were blocked.

I look forward to teaching once again.  I have a few new students who are eager and putting them on the path to success in vo is something that I take extreme pride in.  It is an area of vo that I have been reluctant to do, but have come to realise that what I offer is unique and my transparency is something that my students covet.  So to my new and past students thank you I look forward to expanding your horizons and having you expand mine.

Quinte Skyhawks and No Limits organization. Live announcing was something I had done a while back you gave me the opportunity to revive that part of me and I look forward to growing with you in 2019. FIRST DOWN SKYHAWKS will be heard thundering over the loud speaks of Mary-Anne Sills for both Junior and Senior Varsity teams this Spring and Summer.  I can’t wait!

I want to thank my family – I love you very very much!

Merry Christmas from Peter Wood Voice Actor — That is me!

May the closing of 2018 be the opening of all that you are and all that you are is enough for you and us all.

 

Pete

Getting Real

Life decisions are tough!  When you have been in a career for more than 25 years the decision to leave is not easy.  Time to get real with my emotions and road blocks.  For 26 years I have worked for essentially one company.  There was a detour for 5 years yet the detour was essentially the same thing.

Coming to terms with me.  I am a loyal guy to a fault.  Even when things hurt me I stay, for I see that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.  Really,  I am just scared to find out what is on the other side of the fence.  I will say one thing externally, yet internally I am scared so I don’t  move.  It is the inside that I must change.

For the past 5 years I have felt compelled to change my inner feeling from scared to it’s ok things will be fine.  Yet… that hasn’t happened.  I love doing voice acting but it too has not been enough to move me out of my fear.  So what will it take?

This question is very pertinent.  I don’t have an answer to it or maybe I do and I am not willing to believe it.  The fact is I am feeling increasingly at odds with myself.  I want to pursue but stop myself for fear.  I have a client base and make good money doing this as a professional.  My loyalty is one thing my obstinate fear of leaving a job that feeds my family keeps a roof over our heads and gives me family vacation is another.

Pros and Cons;

Pros on working for myself full time is I get to work for myself full time.  I get to create a daily work life that complements my desired family life.  I get to control things.

Cons, I get to control things.  To understand what I mean is that I do not have total faith in myself to do this.  The mistakes that I have made in the past haunt me to the point where I feel this is folly. Which is non sense because my achievements far outweigh my mistakes.  Somehow I don’t feel that inside.  My head says one thing my heart another.

What to do?  Speak out and seek help.  That is what I am doing because if I don’t I will never get to realize my dream.  The pull that I feel is a scary force and one that leaves me feeling heavy.  Most days I walk around feeling good and outwardly to the world I look fine.  If you had the ability to look past that happy exterior you would be shocked at the ripping and tearing going on inside.

It is a feeling that has movement.  There is an anchor point which is my current job.  On the other side is a runner or athlete that is sprinting hard away from the anchor.  In between is a rubber band.  The rubber band stretches and as it stretches it hurts.  Somedays the runner makes it far, other days not so far.  The expanding and contracting causes fissures in the rubber band.  Those little tears hurt! When the band contracts the heaviness returns.  This usually happens after an event where the runner feels elated and has taken new strides.  With each new stride when the heaviness returns it is heavier.

At one point one of two things will happen, the heaviness will win out and I will abandon my dream or the rubber band will snap as the fissures in the fiber will tear completely and the runner will run on.   I am hoping and working toward the latter being the case.  For all of you in this situation or similar ones you are not alone.  I have been voicing for 22 years and the rubber band is still not broken.

I as an optimist says that the band will finally break and when it does my dream for my life will not only be fulfilled but the true glory of being me will be realized.

Thanksgiving

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.

Journey

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!

Wake-up Routine

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.

Pros:

  • 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)
  • Calmness
  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

Dreams

Dreams

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.

Love Dad.