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!


Discussion Forum

Voice123 Group Rate

Started by Frank Cabanski. Last reply by Frank Cabanski Jun 1, 2012. 6 Replies

Hello Fellow Thinkers of the Positive!

Started by Larry Bailey. Last reply by Karen Rose Richter Mar 29, 2012. 3 Replies

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Comment by Christine Ivy on November 9, 2010 at 1:53pm
I have a script to memorize so off to to Starbucks I go lol. This is for my church and I am playing a Texas grandma reliving her past to her grandaughter. Lots of character opportunity. So I won't be around for awhile.


Christine Ivy
Comment by Chuck Burke on November 9, 2010 at 1:06pm
Darla, I'd LOVE to come play in the snow with you....for a little while...LOL
Comment by Darla Middlebrook on November 9, 2010 at 6:33am
Ha, ha on me. I started reading Chuck's post and got as far as "shoveling 12 yards" and my Saskatchewan mind filled in with "...of snow". Oh boy...that's what I get for reading at 5:30 AM (LOL). Actually, that is a positive thought...I LOVE THE SNOW. Especially now that I am retired and do not have to drive in it. The weather is not snowy yet here, but I am looking forward to it. Granted, I hope we don't get 12 yards of it, but 12 inches would be good for skiing, making snow angels and having general snow-filled fun.
Comment by Chuck Burke on November 9, 2010 at 12:27am
Aloha Gang! It's been awhile since I have been able to check in, but I have been following... :) (kind of).....the last little while has been really really hectic...all of it in a good way.

Between new carpet, shoveling 12 yards of dirt into the back yard, trying to earn a living and doing my first audio book, there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day....but that is POSITIVELY not a good enough excuse to not check in with your friends. So please forgive me. ( Aw c'mon, I'll buy the blue umbrella drinks ) ...
Comment by Frank Cabanski on November 8, 2010 at 6:48pm
My apologies regarding posting the personal blog link and question in this forum. Thank you for the gentle reminder, Penny.
Comment by Penny Abshire on November 8, 2010 at 4:57pm
The Bob Bergen Animation Voice Workshop here in San Diego this weekend was an absolute SMASH! I wish you could all have been here. Bob is such an exceptional teacher. If you have the chance to work with him - DO IT! Even if your dream isn't to do animation, you can learn TONS about creating characters from his workshops.

Christine was there and she was AWESOME. I tell you - this is one talented, lovely and dear lady!!

Hugs to all

Comment by Penny Abshire on November 8, 2010 at 4:52pm
Hey ya, kids.

Will you do me a favor? Unless your personal blogs are specifically concerning positive thinking or have a positive thinking slant, please refrain from posting links to them here at PTU. There are lots of other forums within VU where they will be more appropriate. Either that, or feel free to start a discussion within the group. It's easy to do.

Thanks, y'all!


Comment by Christine Ivy on November 6, 2010 at 3:54am
I am doing my happy dance cuz in less than 12 hours I will be taking Bob Bergen's class Whoo hooo
Christine Ivy
Comment by Dawn Harvey on November 5, 2010 at 4:11pm
Last chance to vote on my new logo. I have to make a decision in the next 24 hours. Thanks for your help!

Comment by Andy Boyns on November 2, 2010 at 1:23pm
Our good friend and tech guru, George Whittam shares with me in my new Person Behind the Voice podcast at http://andyboyns.com/vo/2010/11/podcast-george-whittam.html. Amongst other stuff we talk about the positive inspiration behind the Don LaFontaine VO lab

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