13155: How To Listen Carefully For Opportunity Knocking Softly

Hey there, hero!

As a performer, you’ve made the choice to be in a very weird, counterintuitive, awesome, creative world. And it has its own quirky way of presenting us opportunities.

There’s a phrase we dive into in this episode to help us recognize those quiet moments of opportunities: “Listen carefully, because opportunity sometimes knocks softly.”

When I heard that phrase, I had to stop and think about it for a moment.

And it happened at a restaurant I go to. I’ll share the story about what happened in this episode.

What experience do you have with listening for acting and VO opportunities? How developed is that sense for you? What can you do to hone that? Give me your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. I found this episode particularly poignant, David. That phrase, “knocking softly,” resonated with me, as well, and I really enjoyed the story of the server tuning in to your dining partner’s menu request. Personally, I think this ties into the notion of being “mindful” and “present” when interacting with other people.

    Often, we as human beings behave in a reactive mode, allowing whatever we hear or experience to trigger our usual set of emotional responses. If we are to recognize those softly knocking opportunities, we have to do so from a quieter and more open mind.

    I also got a laugh out of your suggestion to press the Like button so much that it becomes illegible. 😀

  2. Excellent points David. Good reminder.
    Like you,I had many years in the radio industry before leaving that
    17 years ago and going full-time voice over. A little voice in my noggin told me it was time to move on. Listening more and speaking less is a continual thing for me. You’re right. Sometimes those softer, opportunity knocks can bring big rewards. BTW, I enjoyed your sense of humour on this post. Hats off to you as you help so many coming in to learn VO. Happy Holidays to you and family!

  3. The times I have tuned in to the soft knock, it has always been a wonderful experience and a great learning opportunity also.
    One incident comes to mind when I was doing my first server gig at the Westgate Dinner Theatre in Toledo, OH. I was one of the singing /dancing servers. As I checked my station I heard a lady say to her family that she should have brought her walker, she didn’t realize the restrooms were downstairs. I stopped by the table and explained that I would be able to arrange for her to go backstage so she wouldn’t have to worry about the steps. She was thrilled and she also got to meet the star of the show who was wonderfully gracious to her. Not an acting story per se however I was tipped well and had created a satisfied customer for life.

  4. Reflecting on this podcast today I realized that my being a VO Hero happened because I answered that soft knock. David, thank you for providing the knock.