VAM 066 | How to Stay Inspired

VAM 066 | How to Stay Inspired

Welcome to episode 66 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

This episode of Voice Acting Mastery falls near the end of the year in 2013, and in most of the Western world, the holidays are upon us. During the holiday season, many people spend time with family and loved ones. This also tends to be a time when people look back over the year and evaluate what they’ve accomplished.

Many begin to look forward to the new year and to think about what they hope to achieve in the future. It’s a time for year-end planning and New Year’s resolutions. It’s also a good opportunity to do some mental housecleaning while you visualize your goals for the new year. So in the spirit of planning for another orbit around our sun, I thought I would share with you my experiences and insights when it comes to getting motivated to accomplish your goals.

If you’ve ever run out of steam or felt overwhelmed when trying to achieve your dreams, this episode is for you!


Happy Holidays and all the best to you in you voice acting endeavors!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #66 HereΒ (MP3)


28 Responses to “VAM 066 | How to Stay Inspired”

  1. Lydia Gray says:

    Merry Christmas Mr. Freeman! πŸ™‚ Thanks for uploading this podcast! It really helped me a lot! Have a wonderful holiday! πŸ™‚ Please tell all the other voice actors I said Merry Christmas and Have a happy new year! πŸ™‚

  2. Meg (Meghan) says:

    Hi Crispin – this is the best podcast episode ever heard, especially in the holidays πŸ™‚ I felt exactly same thing like others when I felted really stressed, overwhelmed and pressured with many stuff that I need to accomplish my lists and homework to catch up- finishing my books that I read, drawing more of my characters, still brainstorming my story and keep believe in myself. One of the homeworks that I need to accomplish is to read the driving lessons and take driving test- I’m still afraid of the accidents. Eventhough, I’m still in school to complete my Fashion merchandise to marketing major, which I’ll be graduate on Spring 2014., hopefully. Oh, I’m not sure if you got my email message when I was made a holiday card to you the other day. Thanks again for your amazing words and Happy Holidays to you too ^_^

  3. Leonard says:

    Merry Christmas Crispin! This episode really speaks to me a lot! I am definitely going to see about getting more of my priorities straight this coming year!

  4. chris says:

    in all honesty simply listening to your podcast inspires me to achieve my goals, Marry Christmas to you too and I hope you all have a happy new year πŸ™‚

  5. Ryan Anderson says:

    I just finished listening to this episode of the podcast, and I was completely blown away! Mr. Freeman, you just put every motivational speaker out of business with this episode. Β The principles you shared in this episode can be applied to anything and everything, and not just voice acting.

    Thank you so much Mr. Freeman for the best Christmas present ever!

    Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Thank you Ryan. That’s very high praise indeed! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!

      All the best to you in 2014!

  6. Eric Rivera says:

    This episode reminds me of the doodle alley comic, “You vs You.” You wouldn’t treat someone close to you like a workhorse, so why would you do it to yourself?

    Thank you for your time and wisdom. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Thank you for being my teacher, and I hope we all have a fun and productive 2014.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      That’s a great way to think about it. You wouldn’t treat someone close to you as a workhorse. I’ll definitely keep that in mind!

      Thanks again!

  7. Kalyn McCabe says:

    Thanks, Crispin. I honestly needed this. I feel stunted in my growth as an actress, and I needed a breath of fresh air. Thank you. I know what to do now.

    Happy New Year!
    ~ Kalyn

  8. James 'StarRunner' Rolls says:

    I’m aliiiiive! *cough* Sorry, just been awhile since I last commented.

    Anyways, that was such a fitting lesson for the new year! It can be applied to any passion! I’m lucky I have a handful of things I’m passionate about! The only issue with that is it doen’t seem like I get a lot done in my mind since there’s still so much to do! But when I look back and really see how I’ve grown, I find it remarkable!

    I may have mentioned it before, but I had a major speech impediment growing up. My own parents couldn’t understand me till I was six! But I wanted to be a voice actor in cartoons when I was even younger. This type of goal was not something I could do in a single year. It was many smaller goals and achievements that helped. There were so many that it didn’t seem like I was getting anywhere immediately. But semi-recently I had a class with Debbie Munro. People knew me as the guy who wanted to bring characters to life and liked my performance, not the mushmouth kid I used to be. When I look back now, I have already achieved so much! I can communicate vocally and be understood, my mushmouth is gone, I broke out of my shy shell, I took a drama course, I got the top juvenile actor award from my high school, I’ve starting voice acting in radio plays, had a class or two for voice acting, and now I’m the audio and acting director for an indie game!


    Speaking of indie games, I recently got Dust: An Elysian Tale via Steam. If you speak with Kimlinh or Edward again, tell them they did a great job!

    Looking forward to having a class or two with you when finances allow!


    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m glad you found the episode so useful! I’m also glad that you’ve been able to get past your speech impediment. That’s wonderful to hear.

      I look forward to having you in class in the future. Take care.

  9. Brendan says:

    Hey Crispin,

    Hope you had a good Christmas and an amazing New Year!

    Thank you for this podcast. I’ve already listened to it 5 times in a row; same ideas as the theme song to Gilligan’s Isle… You never sat down as a child and thought, “I’m gonna learn that song.” You just know it! Same thing I do with VAM 009. The podcasts really help me out, and not just with regard to voice acting.

    I have a question to ask you and for it to make sense I prepared a post on my own blog; please check the website link for this comment. It’s a long post and you’re certainly not required to read it but it’ll help you understand my question better; here’s the question.

    When you’re pursuing your goals for a long time with passion and determination, and you hit a block on every road you take, and can’t find anymore roads, and you can’t break through the roadblocks, where do you go? What do you do?

    All the best to you for 2014 Crispin!


    Brendan Young

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      5 times! Every episode of the podcast 5 times? I’m impressed! That’s a very good idea!

      When you find yourself at a roadblock it usually because there’s something you’re not being honest about with yourself. Either your view of yourself is not quite accurate, your evaluation of your skills is not quite honest or you’re not being honest with yourself about what you truly want to do. It’s often easier to be honest with others than with yourself. Becoming honest with yourself so you can truthfully decide what your next course of action should be can be one of the most challenging things for aspiring artists in any medium.

      So if you’re feeling blocked, it’s probably time to get really honest with yourself.

      All the best to you in 2014!

      • Brendan says:

        Thank you so much Crispin! You said, “Either your view of yourself is not quite accurate,” I gave that some serious thought and realized I see myself as a victim.

        Thinking further back I realized that I started seeing myself this way 14 years ago, and that it’s become a habit. So I’ve decided to break that habit.

        I wasn’t even aware of any of this until I read your reply! It never ceases to amaze me at how much benefit I get out of these podcasts! I can only imagine how they’ll impact my life once I actually start getting into voice acting.

        You have my sincerest gratitude, Crispin. I can’t thank you enough for these podcasts and the tremendous impact they’ve already had on my life. From building my confidence(episode 9) to self realization.

  10. This podcast struck a very powerful chord with me, and it’s given me a lot to think about. I’d like to share my thoughts with you and perhaps garner wisdom from your experience.

    I’ve reached a place where I feel like “picking from a list” is no longer possible, and one thing must take priority: completing my demo.

    It’s no longer a question. I’m ready to take this step. I’m confident in my abilities and I’ve had a lot of reinforcement on this from both peers and mentors.

    To that end, I’m working with a great studio and a great coach. However, I am struggling a LOT with the process of creating content without agonizing over perfection, and no matter how many times my coach urges me to worry less about the material and more about the acting, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed.
    I suppose the knowledge of how important this demo is to my career has suddenly piled on a lot of unexpected pressure!
    It’s become no easy task to find a healthy way of approaching the work, and I often find myself wanting to do anything but what I need to be doing β€” and only because I know how much getting it right matters (and making it brilliant, because why not).

    So that’s where I’m struggling. I appreciate all the advice you’ve offered, specifically here and in both 032 and 028.
    Now I need to find a way to light a fire under myself and stop over-complicating things. Or I need to find something that inspires me about the demo process, which until now has only aroused frustration and dread.

    Thanks for reading, and for helping me sort my career out over the past year.
    I find myself tuning in on the subway as a form of meditation, believe it or not!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Hey there Christopher. Thank you for your thoughtful and well articulated question.

      If you and your coaches agree that you’re ready to produce a demo, then by all means you should focus on accomplishing that. A good demo is central to being able to market your skills as a voice actor.

      I also understand your desire to get your demo “just right” for fear of making some incurable mistake that will forever tarnish your chances of succeeding in voice over. But take a look at that last sentence I wrote and realize how alarmist it is.

      If you truly trust your coaches, and if you truly believe that you are ready to produce a demo, then give yourself a break and trust that it’s time to get your demo done. If you are agonizing over your demo, you need to find some way to relax so you can approach it from a constructive rather than a critical place.

      No demo is perfect. It doesn’t have to be. It just has to be competitive. Needing your demo to be perfect before you move forward is a way to avoid moving forward. It’s an excuse that comes from F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real). Don’t do that to yourself. Do your best, ask for feedback and then let it fly and be free. This isn’t the last demo you’ll be making, only the first. More will come and you’ll improve on each one you do as time goes on.

      Also, it depends on what you plan to do with your demo. If you are making your demo to put it up on your website (or pay to play websites) and showcase your talents, then by all means go for it. You’ve got to start somewhere. The only caution I would give you would be if you’re submitting it to agents. You never get a second chance to make a first impression with an agent. Listen to the demos of the clients the agent represents. Does your demo sound competitive with them? If so, then go for it with an agent as well.

      From the language you used in your question, I would say that you don’t need to light a fire under yourself. You’re already stressing yourself out. You need to find a calm place where you can get some perspective on your work and not worry it to death. The more you worry, the more you lost perspective and can’t tell if your acting is communicating or not. Deep breaths and feedback from people you trust can help allay that worry.

      In the end, you need to go forward feeling good about things. I don’t believe in charging ahead if you’re worried or scared or nervous. That usually leads to problems. Do what it takes to relax, do what it takes to feel confident about your demo and do what it takes to enjoy becoming a voice actor. You did start to do this ’cause it was fun, right? πŸ™‚

      Hope that helps.

      • I understand. And thank you, Crispin.

        I admit that I caught myself grinning when I re-read that one sentence, because only a moment before I was in full agreement… (yes, exactly! you get it! … wait a minute…)

        You spoke well to a number of my fears, and it’s taken a day or two to digest. I’ve been having a hard time remaining objective, and thinking of it as the be-all-end-all has kept me from relaxing and enjoying the ride.

        I suppose that speaks to finding enjoyment and fulfillment in the process rather than worrying solely about the product. And I guess if you change your perspective and think about it from a career-long angle, that kind of thinking would only make for misery in a life full of auditions, wouldn’t it?

        So. It sounds to me like I need to find a meditative place where I can focus, free from distraction, and play, so that I can find material that feels natural, and sounds good, rather than trying to concoct something that looks perfect on a page.

        Easier said than done, right? But the perspective you lend is very helpful, and I think I have a direction now.


        • Crispin Freeman says:

          I’m glad you took a while to digest my comments.

          If you can joy in the process, the product will almost certainly turn out better. In the end, products are fleeting, but always being able to enjoy the process can sustain you for a lifetime.

          A meditative place is always a wonderful place to make decisions from. There, you can be quiet enough with yourself not to act out of fear or desperation. I’m sure you can find that place and I’m glad if I’ve been able to help facilitate that.

          All the best to you.

  11. Hey Crispin,

    I was listening again and you said that if nothing truly fascinates you about a particular topic then, congrats, because you know what you don’t really want to do or be.

    It occurs me to me that this isn’t necessarily limited to voice acting, but can be applied to any sort of aspiration so my question is;

    Suppose you want to be a voice actor, chef, lawyer, doctor, etc, but your fascination with those careers has disappeared entirely and don’t know what else fascinates you?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      It’s true, my advice about following one’s inspiration can apply to almost any pursuit.

      If you wanted to be something (a voice actor, chef, lawyer, etc.) but no longer feel any inspiration in that direction, then you either believe something negative about that pursuit (like it won’t allow you to make a living, you don’t have the talent, others look down on that pursuit) and that is blocking your ability to feel excited about it, or else, you really aren’t excited about it anymore and there is something else that would excite you. I do believe that we do know what fascinates us. If we say we don’t, it’s because we’re not being honest with ourselves. You do know what fascinates you, at least you have an inkling if nothing else. You need to try things to see if your fascination with something is more than skin deep. But I’m sure if you’re completely honest with yourself that there are certain things that interest you more than others. Pursue those interests to see if the subject can really hold your attention for a long time.

  12. Thank a million Crispin! Have you ever considered being a life coach?

    You’re right in that I feel or believe something negative about the goal I’m feeling uninspired about. It seems an impossible goal and I’m not 100% sure that it is truly what I want to do, but if I chose anything else I’m interested in I’d still be in this position.

    The reason that I believe and/or feel the negative things about my goal is because I lack confidence in my own abilities to accomplish what I need to do. I learned that from VAM Episode #9.

    When you lack the confidence to do something you’ll also lack the inspiration, and you lack the confidence because your image of yourself is inaccurate and that’ll be reflected onto your estimation of your own capabilities and skills.

    So I have a lot of mindset changes to do but thanks to you, Crispin, I know where to start. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate this.

    Thanks so much! You’re the best!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Thank you. That’s very high praise indeed. Sometimes coaching someone in acting becomes coaching them in life as well.

      I’m glad you’re able to apply lessons you’ve learned in earlier podcasts to later episodes. That was my hope when I created the podcast.

      I have no doubt you’ll be able to change your mindset to achieve your goals. Proceed confidently in the direction of your dreams.

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