I’m going to make a bold proclamation: It’s time to let go of our propensity for cynicism, snarkiness and being overly judgemental.
But Jamie, you’re British!!!??? Let me reassure you, I’m not entirely revoking my hard earned British sarcasm or perma-overcast view on life, I am however choosing in what way and when I turn on the grumpy.
There’s very little to be gained by harshly judging others, or jealously protecting our own ego. In my experience the more I embrace positivity, the more generous I am to others, the more the world becomes a kinder and gentler place to inhabit.
Nowhere is this philosophy more aptly applied than in business, and the longer I continue on this journey in voiceover the more I find it to be the case.
Being kind to yourself, assuming the best in your clients, helping fellow talent, not making assumptions based on level of experience, union status, or societal demographic. Going the extra mile, over delivering, not being shy about offering compliments, staying humble, curious and taking a step back when needed - these make for a much more pleasant working day and will grow your reputation as someone who is great to work with.
But this is not a free pass to overlook wrongdoing or bad behaviour. If you are in a position of advantage and you see someone being taken advantage of, it is incumbent on you to use your privileged position to raise the alarm, and if necessary to intervene.
I see far too many people shy away from this because of a fear that their reputation will be negatively impacted as a result. Enabling or tolerating bad behaviour IS harming your reputation, and people notice, so you might as well do what you perceive to be, to the best of your ability, the right thing.
We all find ourselves in negative places mentally from time to time, and then behaving in a way that we may later come to regret. Forgive yourself, learn from it and strive to become a better person moving forward, it’s truly worth it.
I'm a British voiceover actor based in the US. I'm host of the VO School podcast and co-chair of VOcation Conference.