I hope you’ll read the whole thing, but here are the key thoughts:
My point: I think it is incredibly important to remember that there is some bad news that is really just good news deferred. [snip] However, you simply cannot know, ahead of time, what bad news is providing you an opportunity for good news. And if you need to know that sort of thing, this business is not going to be a good fit for you.
Reading those thoughts from Bonnie was the catalyst to get me thinking in a fresh way about one of those turning points in my own life. I’ve written previously about the role my friend Darren Eliker played in getting my voice-over career off the ground. But, what I thought about today was the way this story represents the very kind of paradox Bonnie wrote about.
Back at the start of 1996, I had been working for 10 years as the host of a nationally syndicated radio program. Then, my producer called to say I was being replaced by someone who was more of a name, more of a celebrity. At the time, that radio program wasn’t my only source of income, but it was a big chunk. And I had no idea how I would support my family without it.
But, 3 months later, a friend of mine (Darren Eliker) dropped of my demo tape with his agent. At that point, I’d been nibbling around the edges of voice-over work for a little over a decade, not doing all that much. The agent, however, heard something he liked and called me that same afternoon asking to meet with me. We met the day after next (a Friday) and I signed with his agency the Monday following. In less than a month I’d been cast as the the national TV and Radio announcer voice for the “84 Lumber” company. Other opportunities and jobs have followed (though I’m not working with 84 Lumber anymore) and all in all I’ve replaced the income from that syndicated radio job by several multiples every year since.
And of course, if I hadn’t been replaced on that radio show, I’d most likely have turned down the meeting with the agent because it took so much of my time I couldn’t have spared any to meet with him. Or go to any auditions, even if I had met with him. Ten years later, I can see very clearly how that bad news was really good news deferred.
By the way, I sent Bonnie an email thanking her for your column, detailing this story and letting her know that I would post these thoughts here.