Here we are, the end of 2019. Like many of my friends and colleagues, I have started to take some time to reflect on this past year while also looking forward to 2020. I've had some incredible life changes moments this year. The first being the birth of my daughter Nova and the second the choice to really focus on my Voice Acting career. You see, with that choice came a steamroll of great things.
Deciding to make voice acting a focal point of my life meant really stepping out there. I bet on myself and joined the World Voices Organization (which I've blogged about previously). There I've met some amazing people and found two incredible mentors. They have been guiding lights in this crazy career, helping me navigate the many pitfalls that can befall a new voice actor.
Now, I live around the Atlanta area and I've heard about VO Atlanta a lot. It's one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) VO conferences in the country. I knew it was something that I'd want to attend. However, the ticket prices are something that wouldn't fit within my budget. So I set attending VO Atlanta as a goal for my future. I would make it happen, but just not in 2020.
Then something big came around the corner in November. I saw a Facebook post from Anne Ganguzza of VO Peeps calling out for submissions to win a scholarship to VO Atlanta. The Coral Joy Memorial National Scholarship. Seeing it, I knew I had to take a shot. And they weren't messing around. To win, you had to write an essay, PERFORM the essay, and also record one of two spots for the conference. It was a lot, but I was determined.
I spent three weeks writing the essay, getting input from friends and colleagues. The first draft I ended up tossing all together as it ended up feeling too impersonal. So for my second go-around I dug deep and really laid it out there. Even the recording I worked to make it as honest a delivery as possible. The night came to send it in. I checked and double-checked that I had everything ready and exactly as they'd asked. And thank god I double checked because I nearly forgot to include the WRITTEN portion of the essay. How devastating that would have been. With everything ready to go, I hit send.
Oh god, the waiting.
You see, normally I'm very good at "Send it and Forget it." But not with this. I couldn't get it out of my mind. They were going to announce the winners (there was an International winner as well) the day before Thanksgiving. As time got closer to the announcement I got it in my head that I hadn't won. I figured that they would have already contacted the winner so that when the day came to send out the tweets and Facebook posts they'd have their marketing ducks all in a row.
Then the call came. I heard Anne's voice on the phone and I knew it before she said it. I can imagine I didn't sound very grateful or excited because I was so stunned.... I was also driving! But man I couldn't have been more thrilled. I called my girlfriend, the mother of my newborn daughter and let her in on the thrill. It had happened.
Now a new waiting has begun. March can't get here fast enough for when I have a chance to meet all of these wonderful people in voice over face-to-face.
While that was amazing, I haven't stopped moving forward in my career. I haven't started working with Marc Cashman on a weekly basis to really dig deep and learn the craft of Voice Acting. Each week he kick's my butt and I feel stronger and stronger. He and I will continue working on into the new year, getting me ready to take on 2020.
And that's where I am as I go into this New Year. Working on my craft, building my connections, and getting prepped for VO Atlanta. Today I name 2020 as the year of my career. I will look back on it in the future and be able to say that's when it really boomed.
I can't wait to share it with you all.
Have a safe and happy New Year and a 2020 that makes all other years look like a joke.