For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.
I got an email from a viewer who wants to be referred to as Jonesy, who wrote saying he felt a great deal of pressure to be perfect in his auditioning and his work, and spent so much time beating himself up when he’d make a mistake that it began to wear on his health.
He said that lately, he gets so mad at his lack of perfection that he is considering another line of work that isn’t so demanding.
I completely get this. I hear a version of it often…and here’s what I can offer as help.
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Hope this helps!
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Hey there, it’s David H Lawrence the 17th, and I just got an email this morning from somebody who wants to be referred to
Okay, Jonesy. Are you go, so he wrote saying he felt a great deal of pressure.
To be perfect in his auditioning and his work.
And spent so much time beating himself up when he did make a mistake.
It began to wear on his hell. He didn’t go into details as to what that was all about, but I can only imagine because I’ve
seen it happen before.
He said lately he gets so mad.
at his lack of perfection
That he’s considering another line of work. That isn’t so demanding.
Yeah, well, you know I can certainly understand that especially given the competition that you have so I can get this I
hear this a lot. I hear this all the time.
And I have some thoughts to share on this. This is a very tough business to be and what I’m talking about is.
on camera performance on Mike performance
You do so much in isolation.
You know, you’re by yourself, you’re doing self tapes you’re doing rehearsals you’re doing recordings to be sent in as
And you’re doing it in this kind of vacuum where you don’t have feedback and you urine that feedback right? I’m going to
actually be talking about.
why isolation is actually a good thing in an upcoming video, but
for this one
This sounds to me like a fairly common.
Limiting beliefs and what I mean by that is a belief that holds us back.
Keeps us from being successful.
stunts your growth
Keeps us, you know sort of stationary in our journey.
I am at limiting belief is I have to be perfect.
Someone else will beat me.
for the job if I’m not
And I’m here to tell you. I don’t think that’s true at all. Especially if it’s so bad with you that it’s affecting your
health. I wish I knew more about what that was all about, but I can I can imagine just mentally how that can affect your
so what I would say for you to do is
You can replace the limiting belief of I have to be perfect.
With I’d like to be better.
Now I have to be better, but I’d like to be better.
And not perfect.
And there’s some reasons why.
That will a let you off the hook and maybe help your health.
When you’re perfect.
you can seem a little bit too polished when you walk in for the audition that Rough Around the Edges feel isn’t there
anymore it is totally I want to say the word the
This way, you know how many times you view to the rear view mirror on the way home from an audition. I wanted to say V.
Not the v o I’m so stupid what’s wrong? And so
But but to Polished might come off.
You know this believability even with with voice over stuff.
The idea that you have to be spot-on perfect.
Can work against you?
Because instead of sounding like a real connected human being or looking like one on camera.
Precision that you create when you try to be perfect, whatever that is. I mean, you know
Is a whole idea of what the definition of perfect is, but whatever your ideas can come off to be so.
So polished that you don’t seem real you don’t have authenticity.
And giving yourself the permission to be a normal human being.
With your normal human being blemishes and faults and and and failures and searching and not knowing everything right off
I see people that try to be really perfect and what they end up feeling is really rehearsed.
As opposed to really perfect.
If you aim to Simply better yourself.
That can be a very satisfying experience because whatever you do to better yourself whether it’s small.
Or it’s huge.
Is really satisfied if the metric for success.
Isn’t any longer.
Oh, that was perfect.
If the metric for Success was instead.
That seems a little bit better or that was a that was a lot better what happened there. I got to figure that out.
Don’t kill yourself trying to be perfect. Nobody expects Perfection and don’t think that if you are perfect, you’re going
to beat out some other actor who isn’t.
You know how your Perfection isn’t necessarily what people want.
Or what they would describe as perfect your version of perfect.
If you replace the I have to be perfect because someone else will get the job if I’m not with.
I’d like to be better.
I come off as better.
that will go a long way toward helping you, nerves and and and not
Beat yourself up so much.
And there’s so much that’s beyond your control.
When it comes to auditions if you think that being perfect is the answer to the golden key to making people cast you.
That’s just simply a falsity.
It’s not true.
What are your thoughts on this to try to be perfect all the time? You beat yourself up when you have a bit a little bit a
mistake or a big mistake you up on a line or or you you send an audition in and it wasn’t the final version that you
Let me know in the comments below wherever you’re seeing this. I’d love to know what you thinking. I would prefer that you
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They have you in the group and if you want to see the last video, I just put up.
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Cuz it’s kind of Awesome.
I’m David H Lawrence the 17th.
And I so appreciate you watching these videos. I will talk to you tomorrow..
Spot on, David. The best response to this I’ve heard was in a commercial audition class by Chuck Marra, who said: “Clients don’t want it perfect. They want it human.”
Such a good reminder, David. Sometimes it’s those imperfections that they are looking for that make it human. We can be really hard on ourselves!
Such a wonderful video, thank you David. I say a virgin of this to myself as often as I can, and it’s just good to hear others who are also working with the struggle, in a good way.
I find that I have a tendency to beat myself up in all aspects of my life. This is excellent advice, not only for voice over work, but great encouragement in daily life.
This is so nice — I definitely need the reminder, and I’m sure I’ll be watching this video again and again. Thank you!!!
T Bone Burnett, the great music producer (O Brother Where Art Thou? et. al.) put it this way in an interview that I heard on NPR and was so stuck by that I wrote down his words, “Perfection is a second rate idea. Making something beautiful and making something human is preferable to making something perfect.”
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! Boy howdy, I needed this video!
Thank you again David. I believe this kind of thought crosses all of our minds from time to time. Your recognition and discussion of the ‘problem’ makes it easier for us to work toward a solution.
I’ve literally had directors ask me to “pretend like you’ve had a drink” or “pretend like you’ve just smoked some weed” because they want a less polished sound.
Thank you for the reminder! I struggle with perfection a lot. Reading my mind lately, David!
I try to be perfect all the time, and I beat myself up whenever I’m not perfect, especially regarding my treatment of others. I must always strive toward an ideal of honorable and virtuous behavior, or so I’ve convinced myself from a young age. There is no room for error, no allowance for being human, even though there should be. I feel like the struggle itself has value. Without it, I fear that people will no longer think I’m such a nice guy. So the struggle continues.
I’m sure my struggle with perfection influences my VO work, as well as other areas of my life. I really like what you said in this video about how casting people may prefer someone more human over someone more perfect. I’m probably sacrificing authenticity for perfection regarding VO and other things in my life. This video really resonated with me. Here’s hoping I can integrate its message into my way of thinking. Thanks for the video David.
Thanks David, I thought I was the only one who felt that way. Fancy that!! Thanks for the reality check