Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring Rain

I love sunny days but rainy days always seem to bring out the deepest memories and emotions.  Sometimes I like to stare out my dining room window and watch the rain fall.  It's my way of meditating or finding my zen.  I'm so focused on work during the day, sometimes too focused that I lose sight of how beautiful everything is.

The lawn is starting to green up.  I love this time of the year when flowers and plants start to show their stuff!  It's like, "Here I am, world.  Now take of care of me or else!"  :-)  The birds are battling for position at the bird feeder and squirrel's are showing off their moves in the grass.

We often don't take enough time to smell the flowers or feel the spring breeze on our skin.  Be careful or you might just miss how beautiful life can be.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Today was a really frustrating day and all I wanted at the end of the day, was a good cry.  I don't think I have had a good cry for well over a year.  So much emotion is bottled up inside me.  Crying comes easy for most folks.  Sometimes I wish it did for me.  Exercise and a good cry can make you forget about all the stressful stuff. Perhaps I need to watch The Champ, have a glass of red wine and listen to any song by Alison Krauss at the same time.  That should do it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Change can be frightening and wonderful all that the same time.  In a couple of weeks, my girlfriend will be my new assistant.  Even though it can be a stressful transition, we are very excited about this venture and our future. Tracy is a very talented photographer but also has a mind for marketing and I am honored to have her on board with my business.

My voiceover business has enjoyed success over the past few years and this will be a positive step forward.  Sometimes you just have to go for it, instead of allowing too much time to pass without doing anything about it.  Onward we march!  

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Disappointing Snack

I found myself getting discouraged today over the most inconsequential developments.  Perhaps it's a Monday thing.  I took a few steps back and realized that it's okay to feel a little off kilter once in a while.  Sometimes I need to remind myself that I am doing everything I want to be doing.  Recording and working from home.

But what crawled into my brain and made me feel so off kilter today?  Better yet, what crawled into my stomach?  I've decided to blame it on the original flavored yogurt I had last night.   It was the first time I have ever had it and it wasn't pretty.  Even with fruit and granola mixed in, it still tasted like Elmer's glue.  For the first time in my life, I was jealous of what my dog had in her dish.  It didn't make me sick but for some strange reason, it put me in a bad mood.  Disappointing snacks can do that.  I will rebound tonight and have some cantaloupe.

Alison Krauss & Union Station: "Paper Airplane" official music video

Welcome back, AKUS!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

An Epidemic: Mediocrity

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!

Surround Yourself With The Extraordinary

When you surround yourself with inspiring and uplifting people, amazing things will happen.  It makes such a difference to have people in your life who support & encourage you.  It can make the difference of a successful, fulfilling life or having an average, uninspiring life.  Life is so short...don’t we all want to feel inspired?!

When you are trying to accomplish your objectives and goals, stay away from cynical glass half empty folks that will only bring you down.  Most times, when people discourage you, they are wrestling with demons on their own.

When I took the big step of starting my own voice-over business, I definitely had those people telling me it was too competitive and not to waste my time.  While these people might have been trying to support me in their own way - it was very discouraging.  I chose to focus on the people that would say to me “you are talented and you should go for it!  Every business is competitive and that should never stop you from following your dreams.  

Even if you were to fail at least you tried - we learn the most from our failures.  I think we always have to keep that in perspective.  What is the worst thing that could happen if you did fail - then you move on to the next thing with more knowledge and confidence in knowing that you tried at something instead of always wishing you would.  Edison had 10,000 prototypes of the light bulb. What an amazing example of perseverance and not listening to the naysayers.

So many people give up too easily due to FEAR. We all get stuck in the spin, forgetting to grab hold of what you want and letting others steer your life...the DAILY ROUTINE.  Ugh.  Sometimes, the only person that is in the way is yourself. Take a minute and just imagine what you could do if you did get out of your own way.  If fear wasn’t stopping you.  If you weren’t listening to that little voice in your head as a result of those few naysayers.  Listen to your gut and GO FOR IT!  

Find your EXTRAORDINARY.  Surround yourself with those that support you, can give constructive criticism and help you to move FORWARD. 

My Ireland Awakening

You have to wonder what the world would be like if the people in every country were as nice as the folks in Ireland.  I've never been to a place where every single person walking down the street looked up to say hello. Not because its polite but because they want to & they are interested. There was a general feeling of happiness & contentment all around.  It's no wonder people love to visit there.  We've all heard the expression "stop and smell the flowers.". This is the Irish way...they don’t talk about it, they live it. It made me “stop” and think about my life and my country.  Our country seems to be out of control with being stressed, rushing to fit it all in and our insatiable craving for instant gratification.  We miss so much living this way. 

Taking this trip has really refreshed my energy and creative side.  When you’re stressed out, the best thing you can do is take a vacation to rejuvenate your creative juices. I know we all know this but so many times we forget and don’t make the time.  This trip was confirmation for me how balance in a person’s life makes all the difference, it makes a happier society just like Ireland.  There are times when I feel institutionalized in the studio. Ireland was my awakening to not let that step out and enjoy what is around me.

I got a chance to see a good client and friend when I was there.  His name is Alastair McDermott.  He had hired me a few years ago to do a voiceover on a fairly large project.  We met in Dublin on my first night and we had a fantastic time.  It was great meeting him in person!  One of the most rewarding things about my industry and working with people all over the world, is the opportunity to meet them face to face. We had a blast watching Rugby and I am now officially addicted to another sport! Thank you Alastair!

Galway was a spiritual experience.  A beautiful part of the country.  The air was crisp, the scenery was breathtaking and the music was passionate!  Some of these pubs were packed on Sunday and Monday night!  One of my favorite hot spots was the legendary “Quays” pub, where we met some wonderful people from seven different countries and watched six crazy talented bands rock the lights out!  Galway was my favorite part of the trip.

We have all witnessed times where we have gone somewhere and felt like we were there before.  This is how I felt in Ireland.  It was the strangest case of deja vu I have ever experienced.  After soaking it in, it felt like a place where everything in my life started to make sense.  There was something magical in the air.  I was thinking differently and not taking life for granted.  Perhaps it had something to do with the beauty in the area and all the wonderful, deep conversations I had with so many kindhearted folks.

Thank you Ireland!

A special thanks to longtime friend, Sean Barnard for making this trip so enjoyable and for showing me the town where his Great, Great, Great Grandfather had lived.  Thanks to Alastair for taking so much time out of his schedule to hang out with us and special thanks to Miram Sadlier Barry for taking care of us at “The Old Bank B & B” in Bruff!