Thank you, Self

5/25/21- Rain! Not enough, but better than none. Draught conditions before Summer.

I wanted to take the time to write myself a thank you note for a small victory. In efforts to practice gratitude more consciously during prolonged tough times, I must appreciate the little advances I make since I am naturally (or perhaps through my childhood nurture/:) inclined to be very critical of myself, deprecatingly dismissive of my successes. No, my critical eye is not reserved strictly for others. I am hardest on myself and those close to me, like most. And I have been struggling for over a year now to garner much support and maintain momentum in Voiceover without anyone really to cheer me on consistently but myself. I know I am not alone in this endeavor, but I have found few relationships that encompass or articulate similar life experience.

Being sent pretty poorly written copy for months now through various pay-to-play VO websites, I had been thinking about my dissatisfaction with the content, my growing disconnection from it. Knowing that I’d feel more invested in my process by writing my own copy, I began to do so and found myself with renewed interest in my practice and with greater connection to my material, allowing for better reads. I had taken copy from a few emails generated by the Endangered Species Coalition regarding declining Salmon and Orca populations caused by dammed rivers, overfishing, toxic industrial effluent, soil erosion from clearcutting, tanker engine noise pollution and so on. I edited it meticulously to generate some VO copy soliciting my involvement as a narrator for an upcoming audio/visual exhibit in Seattle. Emailing the Creative Director, I was invited to resubmit some of the material as an ad for the show.

Only took 3 years. Granted, there is an ongoing worldwide pandemic, the interruption of 2019’s foray into Acting for skills building, and possibly a renewed general aversion to my manner of speaking since it has become even more strongly associated with platitudes of ignorance through the Trump era. Yet, throughout the many months of the COVID 19 quarantine, I have been steadily plying away at my trade in the shadows, sending spots to friends and family that hardly respond, reaching out to production companies and talent agencies across the country, fine tuning my tiny hallway closet studio to counter the noise consistently and unapologetically provided by an upstairs neighbor. A 22+ year veteran of hospitality situated by spinal injury and financial necessity, I have been unable to return to a permanently closed restaurant and have been nursing a dislocated shoulder for months to allow me to return to hospitality work as Vaccinations allow for the health safety to do so. Time is getting tight.

So, even though I was paid a nominal honorarium for hours of work copy writing, recording, multi-tracking with a new DAW, editing and submitting 2 radio ready Spotify commercials, I found myself thrilled to do so, happy for the new skills I gained through responding to the needs of the situation, and heartily invested in subject matter about which I care. The work was effortless, fluid, invigorating; I completely forgot about my chronic pain on multiple occasions! I also made a connection within the Environmental community, hopefully a future collaborator. So, even though these affirmations might not help when rent comes due and the groceries are low, the boost that Jeanne Dodds allowed me to allow myself with this work has me feeling far more (cautiously) optimistic about the future, or at least the rest of the day, week.

Thank you Self, for persevering in the shadows. You did well.

Submergence: Going Below The Surface with Orca and Salmon, Spotify Ad #1
Submergence: Going Below the Surface, Spotify Ad #2

Published by Theron W. Wells III

Voiceover Artist and Actor. Southern Drawl and Infectious Grin. Portland, Oregon.

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