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 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!


Comment by Penny Abshire on October 23, 2010 at 12:16pm
Dear Denedria,

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us! It is such a wonderful example of what we can accomplish when we remove our (sometimes self-imposed) obstacles and GO FOR IT ANYWAY!!
We're so happy to have you with us!

Darla - have a terrific time in Cancun! You are going to love it! Be safe and well.


Important phrase: Donde es el bano (Where is the bathroom!)
Comment by Darla Middlebrook on October 23, 2010 at 5:00am
Well, I'm heading to the airport to catch a flight for my first ever trip to Mexico. Going to Cancun where it's raining right now, but I'm sure it will clear up. I'll check in with the forum when I return.
Comment by Darla Middlebrook on October 23, 2010 at 4:58am
Welcom Denedria! This is a great forum and a swell bunch of people.
Comment by Denedria Banks on October 23, 2010 at 12:24am

Your story of how you got started in this biz was truly inspiring! I ALWAYS wanted to be in "the industry," but due to my physical disability, I knew I wasn't "the look" that would get the nods.

Almost three years ago, I had to record intros for a computer survey at my job. While recording, the engineer complemented me on my voice and asked if I ever thought about doing voice overs. I was at a lost and had no idea what he was talking about. As he explained voice overs to me, I was intrigued. Slowly but surely, I began to investigate the industry more.

Although it took some time, I have now taken classes, completed my professional demo, and am continuously working on my home studio. I do believe that working as a voice talent is what I need to be doing with my future and I am SO HAPPY to be here!

Thank you again for making me feel welcome!
Comment by Penny Abshire on October 22, 2010 at 10:52am
Dana! That's great! And way to think out of the box!

I guess you all know the story about Nancy Cartwright. She was asked to audition for the part of Lisa in The Simpsons. When she got to the casting office and saw the sides for the part of Bart, she knew she had the perfect voice for him - so she asked if she could audition for that part and they hired her on the spot!

Ah, the power of "going for it anyway!"



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