This is a dedication blog to all voice talent, voice seekers, my colleagues at Voice123, and yes, my wife (who I had to yell at last night for working herself sick at an important museum event in NY). Back in September of 2010, I attended an event held by CITRIX in which Arianna Huffington gave a speech on why she thought there were so many problems in the economy and politics today. She summarized it by stating something quite simple: “We are not getting enough sleep, and as such, we are not in the right frame of mind to make the best decisions for today and the future.”
Now, far be it for anyone to say there can be such a simple answer to a complex problem, but after five years at Voice123 in a global environment of passionate artists, I have started to see how something like “not sleeping”, can completely collapse any positive effort by the voice over work-aholic. Recently, I went through my Google history and found out the startling information.
- ALL of the blog comments, and forum posts, that I wish I could take back and ultimately deserved an apology were written past 10pm, or Sunday morning before 9am. (times I should have been sleeping)
- Just by reading into what I said, I could see that I had lost a bit of control and later on, after sleeping, had to answer for it while fully ready to do something positive, only now having to dig myself out of a ditch.
There is one inherent danger though that I see related to all voice over talent and voice seekers, cramming to be the first to do something, with disregard for how much sleep they get, or believing that if they don’t stay up all night, they will somehow miss out on an opportunity. It has to do with health and longevity of career. To draw a familiar parallel, imagine your body is a car:
- For this life, you only get one of them.
- If you start to put dents in them, or heaven forbid, total it in an accident, even if repaired….the foundation or integrity of the car will never be of the same strength again, and require lots of attention.
- In short, if you abuse your body for too long, and at a young age, it will carry over into your later years making those years when you should be enjoying the fruits of your life’s labor even more expensive and physically trying.
- I think about my Wall St. ex-pats/parents when I look at the Forbes under-30 list, and wonder if they will spend their Golden Years worrying about bodily health like so many I know now.
- This is food for thought for anyone stuck on the idea that “work” is a “life-style” and therefore, no sleep is important and you do not work hard enough if you actually need sleep.
To put things into perspective, are you asking yourself these questions?
- “But what if I don’t do this…”
- “How will I, if someone else does it first…”
I can point to several current issues I have related to ‘not getting sleep’:
- Seizure disorder (dents in the car…built up over time from no sleep, extreme working, and a kid who wanted to be a theatre/kungfu/VO/stuntman/actor/action star/hockey player. Throw in some bad knees.)
- Some venom comes out in the writing (Yikes! Sorry! Please forgive me!)
- Losing site of what is truly important in life ie. Those things you only get one of, and never again, be it a relationship or major chance to impress someone important (I blew it a couple days ago at an audition, and I did not sleep well the night before).
It is true that certain conditions in today’s economy force us to work harder than ever before, but if you are starting to feel negative or that you are a walking train wreck, maybe it is time to check your sleeping habits. It could be the very root of all that you feel you cannot handle. Here is a video you may enjoy expressing the importance of positive thinking for the future, and how things may not be as bad as you think:
Above all, how will you work at your best level, if you are not in the right frame of mind or physical health? Isn’t the point of all of this to get work, make a living, and enjoy it, too?
And no…it does not make you lazy, nor anyone else, for wanting to sleep.
What do you think of this? Leave comments below!