When Reality Literally Bites!

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When Reality Bites was the theme of our 3rd issue of The Voicemonkey Dispatch for 2020. The student-only newsletter boasts a range of interactive articles and never-before seen footage, as well as “homework” for budding voice actors direct from the man himself. If you’re a student of Steve’s Teaching series be sure to check it out in your member area.

The following is an excerpt from Steve’s “When Reality Bites” article in the VMD, which we’ve also made available to the public as a blog, in order to provide that little bit of extra support during these difficult times. We hope you can glean some insights from this as we all are charged to move forward into life even while “Reality Bites”. 

      -Wishing you all the Best, Team Blumvox

 

A couple of weeks ago I was bitten on the toe by a black widow spider. I had to go to the emergency room.  My foot swelled up with infection to the point that I couldn’t wear shoes.  Three days later I was stung by a bee. My thumb swelled up so big it was hard to hold anything with my right hand.

That same week my Pro Tools began to freeze, my email stopped working properly and the bluetooth powering my studio mice and keyboards stopped working completely.  I was pretty close to being shut down from my ability to work – during an insanely busy week.

I was also selling my house and found out that I would now be responsible for over $20,000 of unexpected repairs after I had spent several months and tens of thousands to try to make it perfect for the buyer – even repairing and replacing things that she would never see.

When reality bites everywhere

Later that week riots broke out as protesters were being teargassed. Small businesses – already hurting from the Pandemic – were being destroyed by looters, and still more people were dying of COVID19. Sickening expressions of hate and violence seemed to be spewing from everywhere. I began to understand on a far deeper level that some people live in fear of this every day.

Suddenly my problems seemed absolutely insignificant by comparison, and yet I was feeling overwhelmed… from everywhere.  Insomnia, high anxiety and massive headaches became the constant.

We CAN transform our reality

These are the kinds of moments that can cause us to feel powerless. Hopeless. Frozen. To completely shut down. They can also become some of the most powerful, transformative moments of our lives.

As impossible as it may seem while we’re in the midst of it, we still have choices.  What’s happening is happening.  Often much of it is WAY beyond our control.  We do always have an opportunity to choose how we react and how we allow our circumstances to affect us. We can open our eyes to the lessons available to us and we can grow from them.

Personally I’ve found it helpful- as a regular practice – to become aware of everything to the best of my ability. To feel it fully as it’s happening, to even cry or rage or isolate for a little while if that’s what feels organic and necessary in the moment. And to reach out for help if needed.

I made a new Reality for myself

I gave it a little time, meditated and got outside as much as possible.  Walks with my dog were incredibly helpful.

Then I began to formulate a plan… making a list of productive ideas that I could follow to help me to continue to move forward.  Sometimes it felt forced.  I didn’t accomplish anything on the list at first, but at least I had a new point A to start from.

Two weeks later as I write this, none of the feelings have gone away completely, but the lessons that came from those experiences have empowered me with new resolve to keep going.  To do what I can do and forgive the rest until I’m able to address it.

And Life moves on…

My physical wounds have healed.  It made me grateful that everything basically functions normally again.  Today I say a prayer of gratitude that I can put a shoe on or hold a glass of juice.

I upgraded my equipment and learned some new stuff.  It was expensive, time-consuming and incredibly aggravating.  The learning curve has sucked.  But I can actually work more efficiently now and more so than ever before.

I’ve found ways to reach out.  To speak out.  To donate and to educate myself in areas that I didn’t know I didn’t know.  I make a concerted effort to be better, to listen and to admit when I’m wrong and ask for forgiveness.

And I’m taking a songwriting class! Something I’ve thought about for years.  Another form of expression that will help me the next time I experience big challenges and need to maintain my sanity. I’m excited to see what new creativity erupts when I least expect it.

We can grow, even when it’s hard

It’s not going to be this difficult forever. Sometimes it may be even more difficult!  That’s just life. But being aware that growth is possible every day, can open new, unexpected areas for creativity and enrichment of our lives and our art.

When reality bites…

embrace the wound,

take care of it,

and be open to the magic that can follow.”

-Steve

For more information on the songwriting class Steve is taking with the Brothers Koren, including how to connect with them directly if you’re ready to explore the songwriter’s journey, click here: www.brotherskoren.com/connect.

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