Relax. You'll Live Longer
It's been a funny old week. Exactly a week ago in fact, I broke the cardinal rule of life - never say things are going well. It was a beautiful spring morning, down by the Trent-Mersey canal outside Stafford, when I said it to my amazing partner Rebecca. As soon as the words left my lips, I felt the clouds roll in. A literary critic might call in 'pathetic fallacy', the weather foreshadowing the events to come that week.
I don't want to dwell on or describe in detail what happened next, suffice to say that my departure from my employer of the past 24 years was hastened in a brutal and most unfair way. That precipitated several days of darkness, the clouds rolling into my mind and feelings of self-recrimination that derailed me completely. When your career has been your defining outward feature in the world, to have it ripped away is a very hard thing to take.
It hurts. It probably always will. Yet this blog and website is focused on the career I have begun building to replace the old. Narration is so much more satisfying - both creatively and personally - than juggling egos, bending one's soul to meet edicts from above, and acting in-authentically so as to avoid conflict or upsetting anyone. It's just you, the mic and the text. Your voice and skills create the world for the audience as you interpret the author's words, trying to convey meaning and emotion to the listener so they can escape their immediate reality.
Done well, the narration process, is a positive force for all parties. From my perspective in the studio - it is deeply satisfying to complete a project and feel it's a job done well. It has a beginning, middle and an end, and has a tangible outcome at the end - an audiobook that will be enjoyed for years to come. There are no nebulous targets to meet, or shifting codes of office etiquette to abide by. It is a purely creative challenge, which done well, brings meaning and satisfaction to everyone involved.
I now have more time to feel that satisfaction, so perhaps Sir Michael Caine will be proved right. 'Always use the difficulty.' I will sign off now. The studio beckons.