A very different kind of success story
Dec 08, 2013
I was encouraged to share a story with everyone here, and thought it would be a good idea, so here goes:
I have a wonderful colleague who's an Articulate design wizard. I say colleague in that, even though I couldn't design an eLearning course to save my life (and believe me, I once downloaded a "trial" bit of eLearning design software and VERY quickly decided to just keep doing what I'm actually good at), I do "say words" pretty well. As such, this colleague and I have had several terrific opportunities to work together in the past year or more on quite a few eLearning projects that were great fun (because this designer is just that good at his job.)
And what great experiences they've been for me!
Several months ago, this colleague approached me for a very
different kind of role in one of his projects. He needed an "audio
project coordinator" and asked me to find several voices--both
male and female--to help him "cast" a project, manage the
voice work side, the audio editing to make sure things leveled out, that
kind of thing. In spite of the fact that I do all of these things rather routinely (without even realizing it) this wasn't my usual kind of gig, but I like a
challenge, and I enjoy working with him so much that I set out to
find him some voices. I presented him with a variety of voice talent and waited for his reply.
When all was said and done, his client decided to use, almost exclusively, female voices. They liked two of those that I initially presented, and were especially enthusiastic about one of them in particular who became the primary voice for the lion's share of the presentation.
Unbeknown (at the time) to my colleague, and to my immense joy and surprise, that "primary" voice turned out to belong to my 19-year-old daughter who is currently working her way through college.
Understand: I never once told my colleague during the initial vetting of the casting process "who" was "who". I presented a "blank slate" of voices and let HIS client choose. In fact, it was only after the second module that I felt compelled to "confess" my relationship with the project's primary narrator. He was wonderfully enthusiastic about it. But...I digress.
As it is, she's been providing me with her voice since she was probably 4-years-old for many presentations including radio commercials, online greeting cards, and even telephone-on-hold shows. And during the years she's been great. And sometimes quite challenging to work with (ah, those pesky mid-teenage years!) But really, they were just quick one-off jobs that meant she had to say a few words, or a paragraph or two at best.
But during this particular project, which has required quite literally hours of recording time,
she's conducted herself with the highest level of professionalism,
taken an active interest in self-critique, and cultivated a very real
understanding of what it takes to create a meaningful interpretation
of the script at hand, and a general interest in the craft of Voice Over as a whole.
Where it used to be "I need you to say a few words for me..." It became "are you really interested in doing a very lengthy presentation? Are you up for this level of challenge?" She responded with an enthusiastic and very confident "Sure. I can do this..."
I didn't think she had a clue what she was actually in for.
She has shown an incredible maturity for the recording process and an almost intuitive ability to know when to “start over”, when to do an on the fly pick-up, and accepts that it's more than acceptable for a client to say “no, let's try it this way instead", or "My client wants to change the script, so please say this instead." She has never once balked, complained, or batted an eyelash. I've been amazed.
Frankly, I was a bit apprehensive for her to take on a project of this magnitude for what, effectively, has been her “real” first time out. But she's been a complete professional for the entire process. I've been impressed. And that, my friends, is saying something. I don't care WHO you are: if you impress me, trust me: you're doing something RIGHT. As it is, I probably have higher expectations for those closest to me...but again, I digress.
And my colleague has been most supportive of her work, her work ethic, and has taken a very enthusiastic pride in putting her efforts in front of his client.
As such, I couldn't be more proud. Not only as a “project coordinator”, but as a Dad.
As a result of this project, she's become more interested in not only the craft of Voice Over, but also the intricacies of audio editing. She's also being courted by at least one new client to provide regular services to their company as well.
Let me encourage you all to do something: if you have a young person in your life who is your child, or is just someone you're trying to encourage, and they take an interest in what it is that you do for a living, TEACH THEM! Let them try their hand at your craft.
I think it's true that we all have a passion for what we do. One of the greatest treats that I've been afforded is to pass that passion on to a "new generation”.
Thanks to this community I've been able to open doors to an enthusiastic young person (my kid!) in ways that I always thought were possible for her, but wouldn't have been able to TRULY encourage and nurture otherwise.
Take a chance on a young person. The results may surprise you!
If you think that what you do everyday to earn a living is “just something that you're good at and affords you a living” think again! Something sparked you to go in this direction. Remember that *you* can be that spark for someone else!
The relationships you build can, in all reality, be life-changing. Even the ones you least expect.
Thanks Articulate for creating a community that makes differences that you probably never imagined!
Happy Holidays, all--