Following up on my post yesterday about patience, and with thanks to the thoughts sparked by my friend Dave Courvoisier in the comment he left to that post, let’s think for a minute today about another vitally important character trait for the voiceover professional. Persistence.
President Coolidge’s famous quote about this subject is a good place to start. (hat tip to Sling Words for the quote.)
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Being patient, as I mentioned yesterday, is vital. But you have to endure in that patience. This is where persistence comes in to play. I was asked during an interview a few weeks ago what’s the secret to being successful in voiceover work? My two word answer: “Don’t quit.” You must persist in your efforts at preparing, planting, cultivating and harvesting if you’re going to make a go of your voiceover career in the long run.
However, I need to sound a note of caution here, as well. There is a significant difference between patient persistence and selfish stupidity. If your children are going hungry, or your marriage is starting to fall apart, because you continue to persistently pursue a dream of being a successful voice actor … it’s time to make some changes. Do not destroy the lives of people around you while you are pursuing your dream. Do what you have to so that your family is cared for. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon your dream. It means you have to weigh the costs and pursue that dream prudently, not foolishly. The cost to your soul isn’t worth whatever fleeting wealth or fame you might achieve.
So, as President Coolidge said, “Press on” to your goals and dreams. Don’t quit. Patiently, carefully, generously prepare, sow, cultivate and then see what a remarkable harvest you’ll gather.