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Be careful what you wish for. . .

November 27, 2017

 

Never look a gift horse in the mouth. Never count your chickens before they're hatched. Don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. . .okay. So that last one didn't really fit, but I was on a roll with farm animals, and it was the next one that Google suggested. . .

 

I've always believed that any day that you can learn something has never been wasted. Opportunities for expanding your mind or horizon happen quite frequently each day, and I really do try to make it a point to catch them as they go past. It can be an annoyance to friends and family who might be trying to talk to me at the time that I'm being introspective about something, but it's the way that my mind works; focussed on one particular thing for far, far too long. I feel the need to understand many of the particulars in front of me, and answer the who, what, where, when, why and how's of nearly every situation that I find myself in. You might find yourself being the same kind of person, and even if you aren't, I ask you to bear with me for the next paragraph or so.

 

Voice acting requires a lot of work. The technical skills, the equipment, the ability and the desire all have to be in place, and it can be extremely overwhelming for the perfectionist types. A lot can go wrong with even the simplest of projects; more can go wrong with the complex ones. I learned that, to my chagrin (along with the meaning of the word "chagrin") this last weekend.

 

A Persian television show had cast me as the lead in a role to dub a show from Persian (set in Iraq, post Gulf War), into English. It was a great opportunity to receive some recognition for my talent, and an opportunity to learn how to record vocal inflections into pre-recorded physical actions. It also could have meant a bit of coin along the way, which is always kind of nice.

 

The problems developed with a lag on the internet. (I was trying to download episodes on Black Friday, as everyone in our neighborhood seemed to be shopping online or something.) Download times were brutal. Additionally, my studio is soundproof, and highly resistant to radiation, nuclear fallout, and internet connectivity. I'd be fine in the event of nuclear war, but wouldn't be able to catch a whole lot of Youtube down here. Trying to stream Persian television was tedious, just in case you've never attempted it, and I spent a lot of time watching the little spinny-wheel to catch my next gestures or emotions. It caused a twitch that I may need to talk to my therapist about. . .

 

Finally, (oh, there's more, but you have a life to get back to. . .) the character that I was to portray had nearly every other line in an hour-long episode, and I lost count of how many actual lines I had to record (with multiple deliveries, inflections, or re-takes to ensure quality.) The recording session lasted five hours for that first episode; with a 2nd episode due by the end of Sunday. Again, a five hour project, and not something that I was willing to subject myself to again.

 

It seemed like a golden opportunity, and I was excited to have been a part of it. I learned a lot through the ordeal, and have no regrets. Ultimately, I've learned to place a higher value on my own time, and to respect my own abilities at a higher level. I'll do some canvassing today, and will find some other projects to dedicate my time to. I hope that your day is just as productive, and that there's a golden egg (or, Eggo) in your day today.

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