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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

50 Days 'til Nicaragua and a goal...

I bought a plane ticket yesterday to a country I've never been to before.  My passport still hasn't been renewed and I have yet to put down the deposit on this Nicaragua trip because my money has not cleared my paypal account yet.  But somehow, it's starting to feel real.   I'm actually doing this.  About f***** time.

That's the best part about having worked 50-60 hours a week for the better part of this year.  I can do things like put money away, save for a trip, buy an HD TV (one that I barely get to watch) and start thinking about financing a new guitar.  And the yoga retreat is sort of the pinnacle even though I'm committed to waiting until I've fully paid for said trip to start thinking about the new guitar.  Traveling in general is something that I've missed and now I get to do it like I've never done before, in ways I never thought possible.  Completely out of pocket and solo.  An adventure like none other I've experienced.

I sort of wish I hadn't bought the plane ticket already, though, because now I've restricted myself to staying only for the duration of the retreat.  Meanwhile, a co worker of mine, who's been to Nicaragua, gave me some tips to go check out this island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua composed of two volcanoes, one dormant and one active.  Something that would take far longer to accomplish than the allotted time we have on the trip for excursions.   Perhaps for another visit.   But then, who knows.  Maybe I could work it out.  We'll be staying south of San Juan del Sur on a private beach and the ferry to the island, Ometepe, is in San Jorge, a half hour drive from San Juan del Sur by the looks of it.  I guess it's a matter of having enough time to adequately explore the island.

So that's several goals of mine in sight, traveling to Central America, traveling solo again, and finally experiencing a yoga retreat.  I want to talk about a smaller scale goal, though, partially in reference to my last blog entry about carving out time.  I thought about how I was complaining about not having the time to advance my voice over career the way I'd like to and how there's a small space between saying I wish I could do something to just f***** doing it.  So I thought, "why not set a goal?"  It wouldn't have to be a large goal but any amount would be a move toward something quite substantial in the long run.  How about just saying every Monday, I will do voice over auditions, or I will do at least two a day, Monday, Wednesday and Fridays?  Or I will just be consistent and do a certain number every week, no matter when I do them?  I think it's going to go something like that.

That's how it starts anyway.  Maybe I can say at least every other week I will submit voice over auditions between now and the end of the year.  And slowly ramp up the rate at which I submit them until I can't let a week go by without submitting something.  The idea is that I'm being consistent with my practice whether or not I'm getting jobs every week.  And it's not wholly unfeasible to think I could accomplish this.  Heck, I did it with yoga.

Anyway, I got a lot of insight from this video:

While some of the things in this video are a bit intuitive to the point that I found myself saying, "hey, I already kinda do that!" I did find a lot of things that are relevant to my situation and that could be helpful.  I'm thinking mainly of the bits about just getting started on a task.  This part in particular resonated with me:

"Your willpower is simply not enough...in fact, some studies suggest that willpower is an exhaustible source that can be entirely used up...instead of convincing yourself to simply try harder, a more methodical approach is suggested.  The first step?  Get started...it may seem obvious but studies have shown, starting a project may be the biggest barrier to productivity.  Before starting, our brain visualizes the hardest parts to come and instead tries to simulate real work by focusing on small mindless tasks..."

He goes on to talk about the Zeigarnik effect which shows that if we don't finish something we experience discomfort until we do finish it.  In a way, that's the thing that propels us to complete something, having started it and left it unfinished.  I've certainly felt this in the past once I've started a project.  It begins to consume me and I start to want to devote time to it.   But starting is the biggest hurdle.   Also, it tells us that one of the reasons we procrastinate is because we tend to visualize the worst part of something when starting a task and thus get overwhelmed and perhaps abandon it.  Later on in the video he talks about breaking things up into small, manageable tasks to avoid this and that's, again, what I've instinctively done at times before as well.

Ultimately, I'd like to get my voice over practice back up to a level of prominence in my life on par with what I currently devote to yoga.  With yoga, the situation was slightly different.  I basically got a good deal on a membership to a studio and felt like I had to take advantage of it.  Then I started to really like doing it and consciously made it a priority.  Now I can't live without it.  It's certainly reasonable to think I could do the same with making voice over a priority.  It's just a matter of figuring out how to start.  So, I'm taking those steps this week.  And, in a way, I've already started.  In the past few weeks I've auditioned to more than I have in months.  Just the act of getting back into doing it on a regular basis has shown me that I can squeeze them in and that it is definitely doable.  I even discovered that Sound Forge, the software I use at home on the PC is now available for Mac.  Having that on my laptop will definitely up the quality of my auditions when I'm on the go which will afford me so much more time to do them.

Anyhow, for now, I structure and I plan.  Another tidbit from that video that I realized I already do is making lists of things to do instead of trying to multi-task.  :)

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