PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN
When Dorothy and the gang first met the Wizard of Oz they were confronted with an all-powerful force, a true master of magic. He was something more than human and that something more separated him from everyone else. Which while he had power, Dorothy and by extension we the audience couldn't hope to understand him. It wasn't until Toto drug him out of his hiding place, when we saw the frail and scared wizard, that we could begin to connect with the man behind the curtain.
I'll be honest here, this one has taken me a long time to write. Not in the sense that there was a lot to write but that I never really could grasp exactly what I wanted to say. You see, I often feel like a lot of entrepreneurs are presenting an image of the Great and Powerful Oz. They show off their awesome wins and how great things are going to the point that I can no longer connect with them.
Posting about all your wins without showing the stumbles, missteps, and failures is tiresome. Especially when it comes to business. I follow a lot of entrepreneurs in various fields but nothing will get me to hit the unfollow button faster than if I see nothing but how great everything is going and every day is win-win-win. What I want to see, what I think most people want to see, is more humanity. We want to see a bit of ourselves and our own struggles in them.
EDIT: You know, right after I posted this it struck me that a big part of being a voice actor is connecting the message we've been hired to deliver to the very real humans on the other side. How can we hope to master that ability if we can't even be open and honest in our daily lives and online connections? Some food for thought there. Anyway, back to what I originally wrote.
I've found that being open and honest with my journey to becoming a full-time voice actor has been far more fruitful for getting to know people than if I were to try and hide behind the curtain and project a false identity. For one, I think people can smell through that very quickly. It doesn't seem real and soon makes you wonder what they're selling!
And I know it can feel scary to be that vulnerable on the internet. It's not an easy place to be open but I honestly think that it's important. For the simple fact that in this digital space we have to push past the screens and videos and text in order to meet people where they are at. Though I can tell you from experience now that I've had better, meaningful engagement since I've made a concerted effort to be open. Before I'd get responses like, "That's cool!" or "Congrats!" which are easy, low-effort responses. Now I see honest feedback from my friends and colleagues. That tells me something has resonated with them and that's what's important.
I'm happy to have stepped out from behind the curtain and allowing everyone to see exactly who I am. An entrepreneur with too many skills and not enough sense. A voice actor that is pushing ever forward to realize a childhood dream while being a full-time dad, full-time animator, part-time video editor, and table-top roleplaying enthusiast. I will continue to push and struggle through the bad times that try and knock me down and push me away from my dreams.
When the big wins happen I'll definitely be shouting them from the rooftops and inviting everyone to celebrate with me. I hope to celebrate yours too. We don't want to only be doom and gloom! We just want to be human, yeah?
Thanks for stopping in for your WedNesday ENergy Blog Boost! We'll see you next time. Until then, take it to the Nth Degree!