Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Losing the Nah!

Nah, I don't have a chance at getting that gig. Or nah, not for me. Is it really not for you or is there a wall up in your brain preventing you from believing that you are qualified? This is true in any kind of business. We get so locked into the notion that a certain job just isn't for us or there's a skill that we just can't do. I said "nah" to Sushi for decades and now I absolutely love it! What didn't work ten years ago, might work for you today.

A friend of mine recently got his black-belt in karate. He used to always whine that he would never get there. "Nah, that takes like 50 years to get your black-belt." The more he procrastinated, the bigger the burden it became. It felt as big as building a 200 floor skyscraper after a while. Now that he has it, he thinks it was no big deal! Lol! Sure, it took time and a lot of work but he finally got rid of the "nah".

In the voiceover business, there are many talents including myself that have often looked at an audition and went, "Nah, this one isn't for me." Sometimes that might be the case but most of the time, it's us believing that we have no shot. I want to take a flamethrower to this kind of attitude. My brain used to be locked into this frame of mind at one point but then I got headaches from shaking my head and saying, "nah". Now, every time I audition for a commercial or narration, I always believe that I am going to get the gig. Even if it doesn't happen, it trains my brain into believing that I have just as much of a chance as the next talent.

So the next time you say, "Nah, not for me", take a minute and think about what you are saying. More times than not, it IS for you!


j s gilbert said...

As someone who hires talent, I wish that many more talent would say "nah". Having an objective, realistic appraisal of one's abilities means yo don't waste your time or someone else's.

And I'll let you in on a little secret, when you audition for something that you are not suited for, the folks who hire talent remember and either don't invite you back or simply don't listen to your auditions in the future - talk about a waste of time.

In the old days, before much of this online casting, when you were handed a script, either by a client, casting director or talent agent, it meant that at least one other person besides YOU thought you should be auditioning for it.

In fact, I would put the"nah" towards the top of my list as something that should be an acquired skill.

Of course that's just my opinion.

Terry Daniel said...

Thanks for the comments, J.S. I also hire voice talents for various projects. The point I was trying to make is sometimes we're too quick at turning down opportunities because we just assume we aren't good enough or we don't qualify.

You bring some great points to the table but I wasn't just talking about the voiceover industry. I was talking about life and business in general. It's true, you shouldn't audition for absolutely everything but some of us have to admit that we are likely more qualified than we thought on plenty of projects. I'm not saying that talents should audition for absolutely everything. What I am saying is that talents should get into the mindset of when they DO audition, they have just as good of chance as the next talent.

Jeff Berlin said...

Once I got an audition I knew I didn't have a chance in hell of landing, but I read it anyway. I was in a mood. Since I wasn't going to land it, I had nothing to lose, and submitted a very silly, sarcastic parody of an audition.

Who knew that's what they wanted, I nailed the gig and became the "voice" of Spike TV for almost a full year (that gig segued to my current gig with A&E TV)

I think of this as a case of channeling the "nah". One audition I didn't take seriously changed the course of my career.

Terry Daniel said...

That is awesome, Jeff! Thanks for the comments.

Paul Strikwerda said...

In life I do believe we limit ourselves due to what I call "disempowering beliefs."

Sometimes they're just excuses such as: "I'm too old," "I'm too inexperienced," "What would happen if I make a mistake..."

Quite often these self-imposed limitations have no basis in reality but they're based on fear. People like to play it safe.

If you never stick your neck out, you won't get hurt. On the other hand, you might miss out on many opportunities to learn and grow.