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Hey there, hero!
I was in the lunch room at a client’s studio today, and I overheard a phrase I loved.
And it appears the person that said it created it, because when I Googled it, there wasn’t any result.
I’m jealous, because it’s awesome:
“You make rules for the forest, but you make exceptions for a tree.”
And it occurred to me that there are lots of examples in the world of performance.
Hope this helps!
Links to all episodes
One Step At A Time
Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me
Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me
Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe
How To Be A World Class Complainer
The False Nobility Of The Struggle
Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change
“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”
Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating
The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired
Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!
Don’t Confuse Price With Value
Whiteboards In The Hallways
Go Wake Up Your Luck
Playing and Planning
The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon
10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.
The Curse of Knowledge
The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions
Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers
“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”
Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths
How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
The Problem In Every Commercial Script
The Job In Every Commercial Script
The Secret In Every Commercial Script
How To Pick Your Stage Name
Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.
Helping Make Resolutions Stick
ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly
Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?
Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”
Are You Engaged?
Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer
Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others
Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like
The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator
My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips
What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well
Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops
Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New
Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management
How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform
My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)
My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)
A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself
How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer
How Lazy Can You Be?
Avoid The Struggle Porn
The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe
Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”
Making Your Links Irresistible
HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You
The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME
The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully
How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever
“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”
Killing Customers With Kindness
I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About
How I Answered Voices.com’s Inquiry
Turning Mountains Into Molehills
Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package
Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.
The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment
I Don’t Want To Go Blind
What Fair Markets Are, And Why Voices.com Isn’t One
Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness
Getting Ready vs. Getting Started
You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard
There Is No Failure, Only Feedback
Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?
73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears
If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP
Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info
One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS
The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff
Voices.com Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy
The Gig Economy: RIP?
For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.
Celebrate Your Isolation!
Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought
Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap
The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism
The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds
Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?
Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter
How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics
Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?
Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook
Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr
Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?
“Young People Are Just Smarter.”
The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam
Beware Of Overkill
Laying Down The Perfect Slate
An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?
10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)
AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning
Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success
A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”
Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?
What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?
Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s
I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy
Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily
Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty
The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging
Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?
Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack
Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More
Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads
One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is
The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1
Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?
Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend
Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial
American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing
Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up
Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.
Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You
3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of
3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of
Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.
Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For
What’s Your Imprint?
Fallacy Follies, Volume 3
Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies
Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner
A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers
A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters
Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality
Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.
Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery
A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t
Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.
How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.
Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything
Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly
Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube
What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.
Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper
Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?
Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair
Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off
Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should
Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!
Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.
Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over
Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?
Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits
Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO
What Is The Overton Window?
How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress
Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews
How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?
With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official
Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?
What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO
I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get
You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute
It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.
Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.
The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over
How My VAs Support Me And My Team
What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”
The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach
Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.
Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing
Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing
One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman
The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category
What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?
Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night
How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names
Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible
I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?
Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief
“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.
Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement
Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication
The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?
Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters
Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular
On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do
How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”
One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain
Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz
10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck
One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain
Why You Must Wear Headphones When Recording
Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”
Having Fun With Headphone Volume
Please Stop Rushing To Perform
Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu
One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom
For The Sheer Joy Of It
The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!
What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About
Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term
Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!
Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice
How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices
What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success
Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge
Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates
O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!
So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?
The Root Words of “Typecast”
Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make
Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work
200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?
I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day
One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility
Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.
The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?
Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.
Raw YouTube Captioning
hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and today I heard something that made me
really jealous it made me really jealous
that I didn’t think of it because it’s
so perfect I was at a studio doing a job
for a client and I was in the lunchroom
and one of the producers was talking to
one of the policymakers at the studio
and they were talking about a particular
subject they were talking about this was
it a producer for audiobooks and they
were talking about the concept of if the
author only puts the number at the
beginning of a chapter doesn’t say
chapter 1 but just says one should you
put the word chapter before it now they
were talking and one of them had always
done it that way and the other was like
well you know it depends you know
depends what the author’s intent is it’s
kind of something we’re mulling around
you know and then and then she dropped
this she goes you know you make the
rules for the forest but you make
exceptions for a tree or two or three
and I just loved that I just loved that
because it’s so encompasses these things
that we make rules for ourselves about
and we need rules we need organization
we need stability and we need to be able
to rely on our standards for things but
take a couple things first of all that
you know do you do that well you know it
depends usually yeah but sometimes no so
it’s that sort of situation
here’s a couple more you have a very you
know very strict and and and coached and
counseled admonition from me that you
should charge what you’re worth you
should say no to things that you don’t
get paid what you’re worth for a million
different reasons not the least of which
is you really won’t want to do the work
if you realize you’re getting paid less
than you’re worth but that’s the rule
for the forest what if your parent came
to you or your kid came to you or a
really dear friend came to you and said
hey could you do this for me you know I
got this I got this you know answering
line on my my business phone could you
record my output on voicemail message
could you do an IVR job for me you know
would you say yes I can do that for you
for a minimum of two hundred fifty
dollars for the session and fifty
dollars for the message for each message
now you’d say sure I can help you out
because you have the freedom to do that
you’ve made the rules for the forest and
you make the exception for a tree a
really nice lovely clothes tree a tree
that’s your favorite right how about you
know those demos that I get this
question all the time you know should I
have a producer for my demos and the
truth is the vast majority of demos you
don’t need a producer for things like
audio books explainer videos you know
often you can just take the finished
product or you can take an audition and
turn it into a demo but there are a few
exceptions those are the trees in the
commercials animation and video games
promos and trailers
I’ve ER and training training videos
industrials they all have a very
particular kind of advanced production
where they are the exception right and
then you know the idea of chapters
before numbers and a million different
things that you learn and then you think
huh I wonder if that’s a reasonable
exception and I’d love to know what
yours are what do you make rules for and
then make sure you have the freedom to
make exceptions what do you what forests
do you make rules for and what trees do
you make the exceptions for that’s what
I’d love to know in the comments below I
just think it’s fascinating because I’ve
been thinking for a long time how do you
describe that thing where the the rule
is absolute until it isn’t right and
there’s lots in performing that’s like
that there are lots of things in
performing that’s like that so I’d like
to know what it is for you any part of
your life any walk of life your your
relationships your performance stuff
your production whatever it is I’d love
to know some examples please jot it in
the comments below and if you want to
join my list there’s a box down there
called get on the list we’d love to have
you and other than that you know every
single day this year I’ve made a rule
for the forest and I’m not going to find
a tree on these videos to make an
exception for we’re gonna do one every
single day for the rest of the year I
promise I’m David H Lawrence the
seventeenth I thank you so much for
watching and I will talk to you tomorrow.