FOR THE HELL OF IT  VOL. 7 NO. 3 

ON TIME

Here’s the newest For the Hell of It. It’s on Time Management. And I wanted to have it done last week. So my time management piece is late.  Great.  I ran out of time.

We always hear that – “I ran out of time”. No you didn’t.  You didn’t manage time very well and that’s why your project, your plan, your “thing” is late.

Time is a weird thing.

Ever read somewhere about lovers “wandering in the gloaming”?  Ever think – “Ewww. Don’t walk in the gloaming,  You’ll get gloaming all over your pants cuffs and it will stick to your shoes! Ewww!”  Well if you have, you may be an idiot. “Gloaming” is a time of day. Dusk actually.  You can’t get time all over your clothes. You can’t even tell the time anymore.  It keeps getting changed.  We have to spring ahead and fall back and leap sideways and trip forward.  You can’t even make a 3-minute egg in less than 5 minutes anymore.

Yep. Time is a weird thing.

Time, however you measure it, is one of the few things that is absolutely equal. It knows no race, no religion, no country. There are 24 hours in every day and there’s nothing we can do to change that. Even if we get clipped by a texting driver while we are texting walking across the street and our time is up – there’s still 24 hours in that particular day — just not for us.  We stop. Time, and oblivious texting, go on.

In my VO Coaching career, I frequently get asked about time management. Interestingly, questions about time management usually come from  students who show up late for class or the question comes to me as I am walking out the door. I want to respond: “Here’s an example of good time management !” and then walk out the door.

But I am too nice.  I linger – and manage to discuss time management with someone who is likely wasting mine.   For the busy actor, time management is a crucial area to …well, spend some time. For the newer VO actor – your time management is even more difficult to come to grips with because you have more free time, by definition, than the busy actor.

If I’m busy, it means I’m booked or have auditions set up that I hope will lead to bookings.  If I have a commercial VO audition at my agents’ at 3:00. I have to leave by 2:15 so I will have time to go over the copy and win the job.

If you know  that you have to finish  11 chapters of a YA book , and you have to do your  taxes and you have to prep a 400 page book about the Chicago mob and you’re already behind a week because of allergies – you have to figure out how you will manage all the tasks you have to complete and in what order.  You certainly don’t have time to write a blog on time management!

Yet here we are.

What exactly is time management? Tom Dheere, world famous VO dude and marketing guru explains:  “Time Management is the ability to make the right decisions ‘in the moment’ over a long period time. In other words:

Time Management = Maturity

Maturity = Impulse Control

Impulse Control = The Right Choices

The Right Choices = Cold-Calling vs. Porn

Sometimes porn can win. But not all the time.”

David Goldberg, head honcho of Edge Studios and a really smart man and super coach says: “Life is like a voice over script. Timing is everything.” And he’s right.  You can’t control if you are meeting someone at just the “right time” because there’s no way to know that. You can control how much time you put into your career though. You need to be involved in your career daily and regularly.  Goldberg says:  “Spend more time working on your business, than in it.  That is, compared to the time you put into auditioning, you should spend even more time practicing your performance, fine-tuning your branding, tweaking your website and social media pages, updating your demo, marketing to new clients, staying top-of-mind with current clients, and so on. You’ll be more successful in the long run.”

Okay. “I need to spend time on my career if I actually want to have a career,” you say.  ” I understand. How much time should I spend?”

Define your needs. Divide your tasks. Delineate your responsibilities.  You have an audition requiring a prepared monologue. You also have to drink some beers with some friends from your improv class.  Hmmmm.  Spend your available time preparing the monologue. Get it down solid so you can win the job, make the money and then you can afford better friends to drink beer with!  Or keep your old friends and buy the beers because you will have scored the job with your excellent monologue.  Decide what’s most important and do that.  You needn’t eliminate the less important stuff, just don’t spend as much time on the things that don’t matter as much.

I think it wise to plan your time by writing out your goals.  Some people have simple goals – like getting out of bed by 11AM. Some people have more  deeper more difficult goals – like getting out of bed by 10AM.  Whatever you need to do on a given day or in a given week, is a goal.  I suggest you write down where you see yourself in one year.  It’s still early in 2015.  Go ahead. Write it down.

Now you have a goal.

Now write down what you are going to do this month to help realize that dream.  What about this week? What about today?  Make sure you leave time in your time management to relax but first do the things you must do to realize your goals and then you can relax.  Prioritize.

One thing we often forget in our planning is the need to practice.  If you want to work full time in any VO genre, you need to practice.  So far, let’s say, you can read English and speak out loud. Okay! Not enough for a career but way ahead of people who can do neither and still think they “have a nice voice”.  Practice. Practice commercial copy and books and e-learning scripts and narrations.

“Practice each day for as long as you have time available,” says David Goldberg. ” Have only 15-minutes? Then practice being able to read 15-second scripts in 15 seconds.  Have 30 minutes a day?  Then practice 30-second commercials.  And so on.  When you have even more time, practice long-form narration and build up your stamina.”

You have a choice, you can stumble along – hoping things work out and you’ll get some work; or you can manage your efforts to maximum affect by managing your time.  It’s up to you.  As for me, I have all the time in the …holy crap! It’s that late??? Quick – The Daily Show is on….

AND NOW, HUMOR IN THE NEWS (since the blog wasn’t all that funny this time)

FRATERNAL ORDER OF MORONS

Every College Town Everywhere…Fraternities across our nation are giving fraternities across our nation a bad name.  When I was in college I pledged a frat and they hazed me quite a bit. I got hit so many times with a board that I passed out. But I got in!  And after I was in, I got to hang out with those swell fellows who  spent all those weeks hazing and beating me.  What a great deal!  Interestingly, I have wonderful friends now and none of them have ever asked to hit me really hard repeatedly.  So what good are frats?

In my day, once you were in, you could get drunk and sing swell songs with lyrics like: “Oh the sun shines bright on Nelly Allbright! Her ass was airtight! She couldn’t fart right!…”  Or: “Drink Beer! Drink Beer G–D—-T, Drink Beer! …”etc…

Really wonderful songs.  And if I hadn’t let them beat me, I may not know those lyrics today. So it was totally worth it.

Today, fraternities are doing more than just beating their pledges and teaching them rude songs.  They’re engaging in racism, brutality, sexual harassment and rape.  They are involved in physical and cyber bullying and they are a real nightmare.  Parents aren’t sending their kids to college so they can learn about intolerance.  They go to Indiana for that.  They want their kids to be exposed to new ideas and new cultures and new thoughts – not to learn to be drunk racist bigots.

Fraternities have only done two worthwhile important things – made kids learn the Greek alphabet and opened their eyes to Animal House which is still a funny movie.  And, frankly, that may not be enough to justify frats remaining on campuses.

STRANGE NEWS STORIES…

Akron, OH….50 -year-old (I don’t know why we care about her age but it’s how stories are reported) Phyllis Jefferson was arrested for stabbing her boyfriend, 61-year-old Ronnie Buckner, repeatedly with a kitchen knife (no idea how hold the knife is).  The couple was sharing chips and salsa when Jefferson became enraged that Buckner was eating all the salsa. Police arrested Jefferson on Interstate 77 where she was either escaping or seeking a salsa store.

“You run outta salsa,” said Ms. Jefferson, “all you got is a chip. A damn chip. You ever try to eat a naked chip? No salsa? Makes you wanna stab someone.  …it did me anyway…”

St. Petersburg, FL…Stanley Geddie had a taxi fare he couldn’t afford – $25.50.  Fortunately Geddie, 47, had hired the taxi take him to Central City Bank where he planned to steal $100,000 – more than enough to cover his taxi tab.  Sadly for Geddie, who was intoxicated beyond belief, he lied when he told the manager that he had  explosives and a gun and he refused to listen to the police who stopped by to give him a free ride to jail and ended up having to stun him.  Geddie was wearing two pair of pants at the time. He apparently planned to flee the bank with his loot, jump back in his taxi and then take off one pair of pants so that no one would be able to identify him.

Witnesses, including the taxi driver, said that they didn’t recognize the second pair of pants but they were very clear that the drunk guy being put into the ambulance was the moron who tried to rob the bank.

Kentucky…Gov. Steve Beshear had his lawyers file a brief in the Supreme Court that argues that his state’s ban on gay marriage is not discriminatory to gays.  Beshear’s argument is that Kentucky’s law does not discriminate against gay people because even straight people can’t marry someone of their own gender.  See? Nobody can marry anybody they actually love – but they can marry someone they don’t want to marry if that someone is of a different gender.

Interestingly, Beshear is a moderate Democrat who has not gone on record regarding his views on gay marriage — he simply wants the Supreme Court to make the call.  I can help decide the issue right now. Two consenting adults should be allowed to get married if they want to regardless of their gender or sexual preference or their favorite color.  Marriage is not about gender. It’s about love and setting up a legal method to distribute common property when you realize that you weren’t in love after all.  So there!

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