Positive Thinkers UNITE!


Positive Thinkers UNITE!

A place to share the great experiences that have happened as a direct result of Positive Thinking. Also quotes and inspiring stories to encourage others. Need a boost? This is the place to get it! All positive thinkers are welcome!

Website: http://www.pennyabshire.com
Location: San Diego, CA
Members: 1126
Latest Activity: Apr 10

Penny's Story:

In college I studied journalism and theater arts. My dream was a career in the theater. I was also a trained classical pianist and had aspirations of going on tour. But, alas, it was my heart that turned me from that direction. I fell in love and put homemaking and motherhood ahead of those dreams. Mind you, I have never regretted it!  I have been married to the same great guy for 46 years – have two amazing sons, two equally amazing daughters-in-law and four beautiful grand kids! But as one does, as I grew older I often wondered what "could have been."

As my kids got older, I went back into the work force as a secretary and then later as a paralegal. It was good, steady money, it was safe and I was very good at it. But for the most part, I hated it! For a creative person, that kind of repetitive work is just a slow, lingering death. Please don't misunderstand and think I don't admire those who work as secretaries or paralegals - I certainly do! It just wasn't where I was supposed to be. But because it was “safe,” I continued working and justifying to myself that I was doing the responsible thing.

I went to my very first voice over class at the ripe old age of 47. In fact, I went kicking and screaming! I didn't want to go and a friend practically had to shove me through the door! Mostly it was because I was afraid of looking foolish or failing. I am so glad I did it anyway! I left that first 3-hour class (taught by James Alburger) KNOWING that voice acting was what I was supposed to be doing with the rest of my life. I can't explain it, I just KNEW. This short introductory class literally changed the direction of my life! It seemed I had been asking God for so many years what my "real" purpose was in life and that night I got my answer.

Then, the "voices" started talking to me. . . "You're too old! What's wrong with you? This isn't the type of career you start when you're almost 50 years old! You idiot! You’re going to look ridiculous in class. Everyone there will be younger and more talented than you!” And on and on and on and on. It was a continuous flow of negative thoughts. Like most people, those voices in my head were VERY loud and for almost a year, I let them win. My family would ask, “Are you ever going to take those voice classes, mom?” And I would reply, “Oh, yes – definitely. I’m definitely going to take them. . .someday!” One day, my youngest son asked me that question and when I replied with, “Someday . . .” he said, “Mom, admit it – if you weren’t scared to do it, you would have already done it!”

Out of the mouths of babes…… Well, he was 22 at the time, but still......

Anyway, I called Jim that day and signed up for classes. And it was hard to make that call. My "voices" were extremely loud! But because of my son, I finally had the courage to tell them to shut up! I finally found the courage to follow my dreams. One of the things that got me "off my duff" was this thought - In 10 years I will be 57. Do I want to look back in 10 years and say, “Darn, I wish I’d done that!” Or do I want to look back and see all I have accomplished in the last 10 years doing what I love? It was pretty much a no-brainer in my book. But imagine my very conservative husband's face when I announced I was quitting a good paying job with benefits to work as an actor! Fortunately, after 29 years of marriage, he understood me pretty well. But I'm sure at the time he thought I'd lost my mind! Now he can't tell enough people what I do and he brags about me and my accomplishments constantly --- I really love that!

That was 17 years ago this year (2015). Today I work full-time as a busy voice actor, director, copywriter and producer. I have written my first book. I am the Executive Producer of the only Voiceover Convention in the world – VOICE (VoiceOver International Creative Experience) and I have hundreds of students who I now call dear friends! I have traveled all over the world and met some incredible people while teaching. My days are filled with excitement and anticipation - something I never experienced as a secretary! It's something new every day. New projects, new scripts, new techniques, new teachers and best of all - new people! And I work with the nicest guy on the planet - my first teacher and now my partner and best friend, James Alburger.

Yes, the last 17 years have been absolutely wonderful and I believe I’m only getting started. My goal for the next 17 years? It's the same it has always been. . .

I want to help as many people as I possibly can to realize their dreams!

When 10 more years have passed, I know I will again look back and be excited about what's been accomplished!

So, for any of you out there who think you’re too old (or any other excuse you're currently using) to pursue your voice acting career, please don't let your age be an obstacle. Age is only a number. I know I don't feel (or act) like I'm 64 but that's what the calendar says. Actually, I'm darn proud of being my age and to be doing what I'm doing. Sadly, I've seen too many people hold themselves back from accomplishing their dreams because of what other people might think. You just have to say, "Ah, to heck with them!” If you have a dream (and it is truly your heart’s desire) the ONLY person who can stop you --- is you.

You only have one life. Choose to enjoy it doing something you love!

Will you share YOUR story with us?

My best wishes to you all!


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Comment by Dawn Harvey on October 28, 2010 at 10:49pm
You totally have my vote Shelley, and I even listened to a few. You are definately the voice that I'd want to listen to on my Tom Tom if I were driving around Australia. Hopefully, one day I will - I've always wanted to go there. Really nice work. Good luck!
Comment by Shelley Baird on October 27, 2010 at 4:45am
Hi Everyone

I love coming to this page... it's always so wonderful to read what is going on with everyone... and now it's my turn to share and to ask for a small favour!

I have made it into the top ten finalists to be the voice of TomTom GPS Australia... and I need your votes to get me across the line. If you have ten seconds would you mind visiting this website http://www.bethevoice.com.au/ and if you think I'm worthy, vote for my entry... TomTomShelley.

Voting closes 10pm Friday 29 October Australian time... which I think is 4am Pacific Friday 29 October.

And if you've got any spare positive thoughts to send my way that would be great too... !!

Thank you so much
All the best
Shelley xoxo
Comment by Penny Abshire on October 26, 2010 at 2:35pm
Thanks for sharing this, Andy! It's a great story we can all learn from.
Comment by Andy Boyns on October 26, 2010 at 2:24pm
Penny's "Food for thought" reminded me of an incident in which I discovered that although I knew the Golden Rule, I hadn't yet really learned it. This experience fast rectified that.

When I was 19 there was a newly formed theatre group (Stripes Unlimited) who put on the debut of their first professional production at my college, called "Judas". They had graduated from their university studies from the same college the previous year (and included the founder members of the college drama company which played an important role in my early experiences of acting).

The production was inspired in both its simplicity and depth, and I left feeling it was the best play I had ever seen. Afterwards I recall seeing our college Principal talking with a guy in a wheel chair. I knew the golden rule, and thought I lived it, but this experience showed I hadn't yet fully learned it as I wondered why such an "important man" was talking to this expressionless wheelchair bound individual. It was probably just a fleeting thought, but I can't deny I had it.

A few days later I got a call, "Andy, we're taking Judas to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but one of the actors has dropped out. We saw you in the recent CDC production and would like you to play his parts. Come and meet us tomorrow".

Excited I went to the rehearsal hall the next day, and felt honoured to be meeting the cast, being introduced for the first time. I was going to be part of this wonderful piece of theatre, and they were going to share their knowledge with me!

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the occupied wheelchair, and noted the coincidence. Strange he should be here too.

I truely learned the Golden Rule as I was introduced to Stephen Deal, the author of Judas.

Edinburgh was a wonderful experience for me, and I shall always remember this lesson. Thanks to these guys for all they knowingly, and thankfully unknowingly, taught me.

Stephen continues to write (http://howtobeaninspiration.blogspot.com/), and although Muscular Dystrophy has devastated his body in so many ways, I'm grateful that he didn't give up.

Thanks to Denedria, this week, and others too who have shared their experiences of how VO has given new abilities... :-)
Comment by Dawn Harvey on October 26, 2010 at 1:25pm
Thanks for voting Christine and glad to hear you're on the mend. Look out CA - she's coming your way!
Comment by Victoria Phelps on October 26, 2010 at 6:43am
HI Dana, whoo hoo, Congratulations!!!!
Comment by Christine Ivy on October 26, 2010 at 4:37am
Hey Dawn I just wanted to let you know I participated in your contest.
BTW I have been downgraded from pneumonia to bronchitis...Whoo hoo.


Christine Ivy
Comment by Dawn Harvey on October 26, 2010 at 2:22am
Hello all you positive thinkers. I had a logo design contest running for the past week in regard to my new VO brand. The finalists have been selected. Do me a favour? Go to the attached link and vote for your favorite one. Remember that further changes are allowed so if you like one but think it would be better if it just had some minor tweaking, drop me a note with your ideas. Thanks for your help all!

Comment by Denedria Banks on October 23, 2010 at 7:33pm
Thanks Darla and have a wonderful time in Cancun!
Comment by Penny Abshire on October 23, 2010 at 12:28pm

This is an excerpt from "The No. 1 Rule - it's Golden!" at Simple Truths.com

I grew up in Trenton, a west Tennessee town of five thousand people. I have wonderful memories of those first eighteen years, and many people in Trenton influenced my life in very positive ways. My football coach, Walter Kilzer, taught me the importance of hard work, discipline, and believing in myself. My history teacher, Fred Culp, is still the funniest person I've ever met. He taught me that a sense of humor, and especially laughing at yourself, can be one of life's greatest blessings.

But my father was my hero. He taught me many things, but at the top of the list, he taught me to treat people with love and respect...to live the Golden Rule. I remember one particular instance of him teaching this "life lesson" as if it were yesterday. Dad owned a furniture store, and I used to dust the furniture every Wednesday after school to earn my allowance. One afternoon I observed my Dad talking to all the customers as they came in...the hardware store owner, the banker, a farmer, a doctor. At the end of the day, just as Dad was closing, the garbage collector came in.

I was ready to go home, and I thought that surely Dad wouldn't spend too much time with him. But I was wrong. Dad greeted him at the door with a big hug and talked with him about his wife and son who had been in a car accident the month before. He empathized, he asked questions, he listened, and he listened some more. I kept looking at the clock, and when the man finally left, I asked, "Dad, why did you spend so much time with him? He's just the garbage collector." Dad then looked at me, locked the front door to the store, and said, "Son, let's talk."

He said, "I'm your father and I tell you lots of stuff as all fathers should, but if you remember nothing else I ever tell you, remember this...treat every human being just the way that you would want to be treated." He said, "I know this is not the first time you've heard it, but I want to make sure it's the first time you truly understand it, because if you had understood, you would never have said what you said." We sat there and talked for another hour about the meaning and the power of the Golden Rule. Dad said, "If you live the Golden Rule everything else in life will usually work itself out, but if you don't, your life probably will be very unhappy and without meaning."

I recently heard someone say, "If you teach your child the Golden Rule, you will have left them an estate of incalculable value." Truer words were never spoken.

I love this - not only because it applies to what we teach our children, but also how we live our adult lives.

I have consistently seen the Golden Rule practiced here at PTU so I know you all understand - but let's make it our goal to be certain the next generations do as well.

Have a great weekend!



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