Remember your blessings. Think about how talented you are and how hard you work! Think about how much you've accomplished in life and how much you are determined to accomplish even more! Think about all of the high-achievers in this world that can't even walk or who have been injured in war or accidents, yet they persevere and do great things. Repeat positive statements each morning at the start of your day such as, "Today is going to be a wonderful day for me." "I will dwell on positive things in my life and remember that I'm not perfect but I'm determined to be better!" And when you SMILE, the body releases ENDORPHINS (this has been proven by scientific experiments!) so you actually can FOOL your body into being happy and positive when you spread your lips into a grin five or six times when those self-doubt or depressive thoughts creep in (we all have them!). Smile! It works! Try it! Share your thoughts on this with everyone.... Remember the children's story, "The Little Engine Who Could?:" The engine kept saying, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can," as it puffed and strained up a hill everyone thought the little engine couldn't get up to....see?

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One of the most self destructive traps we can fall into as artists is comparing ourselves to others.

An old college buddy comedian Laura Kightlunger used to do a bit in her stand-up routine about running into a classmate. "How are ya?" asked Laura. "Well since I saw you last I got a bit part in a movie and then the star got sick and I took over the lead and now I own the production company! What abot you Laura?"
"well...ever since the accident, I've learned to hold a ball in my hand." was Laura's deadpan reply.

In a catty way It was fun to know exactly who Laura was talking about and indeed that Emerson Alum had built a great career. (and worked like a dog to get there) Fast forward fifteen years and Laura's journey has been amazing. She never gave up.

I used to compare myself to others and in some cases feel insecure even among my close VO friends.
I have learned that it is MY journey. When my VO friends get over hurdles in their career I CELEBRATE. Oh yeah there are still moments of doubt and anxiety, but those insecurities are MY responsibility.....not the fault of others. I can't think of one person I know of who has had success as an actor or performer who didn't work their ass off to get it. So let's CELEBRATE each other's victories big and small and take personal responsibility for our own progress as artists.
It's really so cool to hear that others deal with these issues in ways similar to mine...
I had to learn this lesson real quick in Hollywood... everybody was better than me!
Of course it is smashing fun to celebrate I'm from New Orleans and every chance we get to celebrate... we take it!
Oh yes Roy, you too have added great worth here. Thank you. Thinking everyone is better or more handsome or .... it's a waste. Gosh. Hope we all do better at not doing that to ourselves. I still fall victim to it!!!
Yes you learned in Hollywood, the most difficult, except for NYC, of all teachers I think. I too had the "everyone is better than me" syndrome when I first began as a studio voice. Strangely, as a performer, a singer with my jazz unit performing all over the U.S., I KNEW we were good. We were cookin and groovin. We got raves from critics and the public too. And we should have been good becuase we rehearsed our you know what's off. It didn't just "happen." The band cooked right out the door. I did too. I'm a seasoned and fab jazz vocalist and happy to say it. But studio work? That was new to me and I was scared. I wasted about four years just messing around being scared before starting to make real money in the studios. I wasted my entire twenties by that time. It was in my mid-thirties that I finally started to make some real money. I should have been rich by then or rich like these starlets or young singers today. I sang much better than they do judging by what I hear on TV recently but I just didn't have the self esteem. That's ancient history but a relevant lesson for all you youngsters out there. GO FOR IT>
Yes John, it is our journey. Our personal journey and we are like no one else and they are not us. That's a vital lesson. "I used to compare myself to others and in some cases feel insecure but now I've learned it is my journey," John Taylor wrote here. How about comments from other members on this astute and wonderful statement? It takes a degree of evolvement and maturity as an artist to say this. Give John your feedback, please.
Thank you
Bettye Zoller
Bettye... this is like a mantra!
I shall smile all the rest of the day!
Thank you again Roy. Yes, I did not invent this "smile" thing and the endorphins we produce when we smile. It's proven by science. I wish I could recall when and where I first learned this and the research that backed it up. It had to do with endorphins in the brain with smiling. I smile rapidly five or six times every morning and besides, they say it's good for the cheek muscles and prevents facial wrinkles!!! Have you noticed that professional actors and singers seldom have wrinkles to excess? That's because they use their facial muscles daily.
BZ
Oh John Taylor...your response here is priceless. I am going to remember this post and use it often. It's priceless. You are so perceptive. And yes, the most self destructive traps we can fall into as artists is comparing ourselves to others. And here's a true tale I tell my students that happened to me about thirty years ago when I first entered the world of studio singing: I had major performance credits, mind you, opening act for Tony Bennett, headliner in Tahoe, Vegas, Chicago, etc. Well, the studio singing producers cared not one whit for that. And the singers turned up their noses even more. I was a NEW recording studio singer and they hated me because already I had taken someone else's job..their friend's job! Well, I was totally insecure and freaked out. Timid as a mouse. In walks this eighteen year old gal fresh from a college music degree and she has amazing self-confidence and she just marches right up to the mic and sings and she kept singing and is still singing...now in Los Angeles...and she never had one self doubt or at least did not let it show while I, trained and accomplished and a major performer with credits after being on the road seven years, was shy and timid. That's a lesson. Take it.
OH MY Bettye...

How can I sign up for some lessons?
(can I afford them? ... why yes, she says... how can you not afford them???? he says to himself... God why did I even ask...Yes folks, Cunningham is a bit daft)

But seriously folks...

...more details on request....

Once in good old Holly Lala Land... I was invited to play guitar with some really hot shot pros...
famous people all over the stage... ME? I ain't nobody.... well not by name anyway... I had earned a place on that stage with all the crazy noises I can make with my guitar and my mouth!

Anyway... this famous bassist... a real rock legend, is blowin everybody out of the water and his ego is dribbling all over the stage leaving a sticky goo of cocksure halleleujah everywhere... mind you... he's plenty good.

He leans over to me during a brief break and says... "Hey buddy... if you ain't gonna play the guitar how about gettin' off the stage..."

Well I is a Loozee-Annuh boy ya know and I don't cotton to that uppity yankee bizniss....

So I curtly replied: "If you weren't playing LEAD BASS maybe...just maybe me and these other boys could get a note or two in edge-wise... YA IDIOT!

I mean if it comes down to that good ol macho football player baloney I can bring something to the table too! even though I don't like to BUT when I have the Mr. Rock Guitar player disguise on, I can be a mite crabby...even downright contrary

SO... Mister Bass player says... "OK PAL... I'm gonna give you what you want...let's see whatchoo got"....

He DID JUST THAT.... a low down, funky butt shakin, foot stompin, backbone wrenchin JAM from HELL...

OH GOD... I had a guitargasm. All my life I had waited to play with a guy like this.. that shot of Jack Daniels kicked in the afterburner and I jacked him UP... the crowd literally erupted... this was at the old Central on Sunset... I hear it's called the Viper Room (cute name) these days...

We shook hands, laughed ourselves silly and he invited me to a session... He wanted to learn MY songs!

Well here's the lesson:

The NEXT DAY... we met, set up and there he was... Mister Famous bassist and he really did mean it when he said he wanted to learn a few of my songs so we could record them...

I couldn't believe it and I froze in terror.... utter blank... no brain...

That was it for that chance...

I had been overwhelmed by his reputation and was completely ignorant of the fact that this was just another person like me with a genuine interest in what I had to offer... I can see that now but it took me a few weeks to absorb the pain of knowing I flubbed the real audition that would have taken me who knows where...

SO I reckon part of understanding the lesson Betty shared is realising that sometimes our own inability to perform is because of our inability to drop our own self pride...

He wouldn not have cared at all how many times I made a mistake... he would have enjoyed working with me... but i wasn't ready to be the child that I am now...

Hell I could stand in front of Segovia these days...
I'd play my one good note and then just bask in his genius...

How come we start diggin this stuff as we're over halfway through the trip? and the younger brothers and sisters think I'm as goofy as I thought the elders were back then

OH LORD won't ya buy me....

I hope I ain't bored y'all to tears...
Oh Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz, my friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends. Janis Joplin. After thirty years of hearing this song I now see much more in these lyrics and it's so weird Roy that you jogged my head saying this quote from the lyric, above. You see...Janis was freaked. She wanted an MBenz. She had to be BETTER than others. Wow. That's deep. So we all do this, yes? But it's not BETTER, it's that we're all APPLES AND ORANGES. See? You're an apple, he's a pear, I'm a prune, she's a sandwich...and on and on...it's not who is better, it's who they are seeking and often, the voice seeker, the producer or agent or whomever, just choose someone arbitrarily because that person reminded them of Janis or their mother or their girlfriend or the cartoon character they loved when they were ten or....endless. We just go around talking and singing or playing and trying to get the gig and the people who hire just keep choosing and so it goes.

Wow. This sounds like exestensialism or Timothy Leary or his brother "really Leary?"

BZ
... wow...

You got it BeeZee...

Well... being from LoozeeAnna...

I should say "Ye'sm Mizz Betty you sho nuff izz one of dem hippy peoples!"

SO where does one find your published works?
Here in Portland we have a dandy bookstore named "Powell's Books"...
they usually have or can get anything...

After several pints of freshly brewed microbrew...
I'll go investigate...

For real... you sound like a great person to influence little boys like me...

SIgned,
Innocente'

Thank you for your replies... I'm enjoying this... and I do have lotsa questions... I think it's a function of my education through the years... early on I was taught to be curiious... as odd as it sounds..."taught to be curious" came from extreme meartial arts training heavily steeped more in the mind than the body...

Consequently I teach martial arts guitar and such... I know you know this...
Powells often carries my audio books. Ask them to order. But if you want to do, you can order right from my site www.voicesvoices.com

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