How many times have we said the phrase “Ah, it’s good enough” when we knew darn well that is wasn’t? God knows, I have been guilty of that myself.  Mediocrity should be illegal in this country.  A crime punishable by a slap in the face and a kick in the ass!  Okay, I’m kidding.  Sort of.

When I first started out in voiceovers, I didn’t have the same principles that I do now.  I would record a script and send it off.  Always with the old “that should be good enough” phrase dancing in my brain and rushing to move on to the next project.  I realized how unsatisfied I felt working this way – I knew I needed to make a change.  Once I started giving every project my best and full attention, I felt fulfilled.  It actually ended up giving me more time in my day because I wasn’t going back and forth with clients to make changes and edits.

When we settle for mediocrity and don’t do our best – our integrity and creativity starts to get lost. We tend to spread ourselves too thin, so we don’t do anything well.  I can say from experience that this is not a good place to be – for ourselves, our clients or even society.  Whether I am producing a voiceover demo for a student or a commercial for a client, I always take the time to review it.  Listen!  Listen!  Listen!  You are always going to be able to do it better.  Don’t do something once, say that it’s great and pass it on.  Work at it like an artist works on a painting.

The creative industry is filled with talented people with short attention spans, I should know, I am one of them!  Clients used to tell me that I sounded like I was in a hurry or that I was rushing the copy.  Again, this goes back to the frame of mind I was in.  I was not in the mindset of a professional.  I would always try and get each project done as quickly as possible without even thinking about the client.  Shame on you, Terry!  I was settling for mediocrity.

The great Martin Luther King Jr said “Whatever your life’s work is, do it well.  A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead and the unborn could do it no better.”

Find your passion, don’t settle and you will be amazed at what you can do!

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Comment by Neal Oxman on April 18, 2011 at 10:13am
How true. Now a question. I have a client who wants to record an audio book. We're close to getting the project signed, yet he feels sales are better when the AUTHOR records his own material. Are there any studies/reports that would support this to be true? We know a professional will do a better job. Is this just vanity or is there fact behind his opinion?
Comment by Maurice Tyson on January 25, 2011 at 7:51pm
This is precisely why there's a slew of pampered actors taking solid work away from work a day voice artist. The complaints from producers who had to go take after take with millionaire players. Tom Kenny could write a book about them. Who's TOM KENNY? GOOGLE HIM!
Comment by Regena U. Campbell on January 24, 2011 at 7:18pm
Comment by Kyrsten Weber on January 24, 2011 at 4:03pm
Ever find that clients are willing to settle? I don't mean to be a perfectionist, but I doubt one take is ever enough.
Comment by Dawn Davis on January 19, 2011 at 10:22am
Thanks for a great reminder - though, I'm in the same place as Jeremy Ryan Creative (his comments below)...the perfectionism sometimes has me spending much more time than is necessary - it's my cross to bear to find that happy medium between "under cooking and over cooking"!
Comment by Edwin Sylvain on January 18, 2011 at 5:30pm
Great advice there. And the quote by MLK is a great one.
Comment by John Matthew on January 18, 2011 at 3:10pm

I used to have the same attitude with auditions - get them out fast to save time. But, when I listened to what was going on in the market, realized I wasn't cutting it, upped my game and started taking the time to get the reads right, THAT'S when I started booking the good stuff.



Comment by Tim Evans on January 18, 2011 at 2:19pm
I agree 100%. Always give your best. Mediocrity should never be the goal.
Comment by Jeremy Ryan Creative on January 18, 2011 at 1:48pm

I tend to err on the side of Perfectionism.  Even when some projects could use a dose of mediocrity, I always strive to exceeed client expectations.  Thanks for the kick in the ass though!

Comment by Howard Ellison on January 18, 2011 at 12:23pm
How right!  Over here in UK, with time zones etc, it can be a rush to complete a USA-originated audition before another 20 people do it - that's what pressurises the preparation and finesse! Howard

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