Mind Your Business
Humans are curious by nature. We have an inherent desire to find out what is going on with the people around us. It’s not always a bad thing, especially if it means checking in on a friend who needs support or hopping in on a
Don’t Compare, Compete!
Have you heard the reference to life as a “Rat Race”? It specifically refers to an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit (like when rats attempt to earn cheese, in vain). It’s commonly
Competition: You vs. You
As an actor, we often hear that auditioning is the job. Most of us spend about 90-99% of the time that we are actually acting doing auditions. Inherently, the premise of an audition is a competition between you and
Competition is what makes the world go round. It’s what gives birth to better. Without the contrast between “winning” and “losing” in life (whatever that looks like for each of us), we would never evolve!
Green Means Go
I’m noticing more and more that often in life, you just have to “go for it”. We all have those things that we keep saying we’d like to do at some point or that we should really start doing more. Of course there are sometimes financial or even…
Can We Keep an Open Mind?
Here we are in the early twenties of the 21st Century, and it’s a really polarizing time to be on planet earth! Staying open-minded seems harder now than it’s been in living memory, and it’s a practice that calls us to task on a daily basis.
Something happens when you approach the age of 30, where you start looking for “life checkpoints”. Have I made it to such and such point in my life or become so and so? You attempt to analyze your life in some sort of quantifiable way.
It’s Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere, and renewal and regeneration is on everyone’s mind. We’ve come out of a long, cold Winter once again (think Alaska if you’ve never visited the bottom of the World!).
The Loop of Anxiety
Lately I have found that normal, every-day occurrences (or even hypothetical situations) give me anxiety quite easily. Sure, I had been anxious about things before. Social anxiety prior to (or after) a gathering, emotional situations.
Pushed or Pulled?
Are you being pushed by the pain? Or pulled by a vision? Such a profound question! It was more than a decade ago when I was asked this question, and I’ve been asking it of myself ever since.
About 6 months ago I began my quest to make the Blumvox Studios website more compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, using a tool that follows specific rules.
Being of Service
“The true currency of life is time, not money, and we’ve all got a limited stock of that.” -Robert Harris
I immediately thought of this quote when contemplating the idea of “being of service”. Why are people so deeply…
The Influence of You
Whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not, you and your actions influence others. This is not true for every individual thing you do, but it’s often enough to make an impact for those around you.
Nature versus Nurture
It’s an age-old debate, nature versus nurture. Do things happen because we’re born that way, or do they happen because we were raised that way.
Aussie – A Friend of Teens With Autism
You never know when you will meet someone that changes you. Here is another personal story that I hope you will relate to.
Trigger Warning: Discussion around suicide and depression. I lost a friend recently. I could go on and on about how wonderful they were (and they really were wonderful).
Rob Wiethoff’s Unique Journey
Known as the voice and motion capture actor for John Marston in Red Dead Redemption, Rob Wiethoff exemplifies gratitude, humility, and graciousness. Learn more about his journey as a family man, construction worker, previous world record holder, and actor!
Tenacity was the theme of our last issue of The Voicemonkey Dispatch. It seems to be the theme of the Year in fact! Tenacity is defined in many ways, usually referring to “sticking with something even when the going gets tough”. However, it’s also qualified as a state of being.
Past Jobs – All Things Must Pass
The noisy little Ektachrome lab was cramped. It is warm and humid, the faint smell of formaldehyde and other chemicals always present. The Hope Roller Transport machine with its many tanks of chemicals, gears, rollers, and pumps, provides a constant hum.
Tenacious D (Dad)
So much about who I strive to be, I have learned directly from my dad. Many of you know him as a talented and versatile actor. He is most certainly that, but he is also a gifted musician, a handy craftsman, and…
The Gift of No
When was the last time that you did something you didn’t really want to do? I’m not talking about things that no one usually wants to do like scrubbing a toilet or taking out the garbage when you’re too tired or.…
The Art of Surrender
Surrender is defined in Dictionaries as “submitting to an authority, giving up against an enemy, and ceasing to resist an opponent”. Surrender has always been a word that relates to battles, enemies and warring.
In a recent company meeting, I relayed that I had an experience with a vendor who was behaving in an inauthentic manner. I was frustrated. Steve suggested that authenticity would be a good subject for my next post…
Play to Your Strengths
Imagine for a moment that you’re auditioning for a character, or perhaps have already been cast. As you explore the intricacies of the role and navigate the style of the piece you discover that one or both are unfamiliar.
Underneath The Surface
Life is usually passing by too fast for me. I go through my day accepting the things that need repair both in my physical space and in my body and mind. This week I learned more about what is under the surfaces of my world. I’ll share what I’ve learned.
Change is Inevitable
“Change is inevitable” they say, and a good thing too. We don’t always want OR need things to stay the same. It might be great when “what is” IS great, but when the chips are down change can also be a very welcome thing!
The Anxiety of Choice
The skill of choice is something I’ve had to work on (and continue to work on) a lot throughout my life. Those who know me best will tell you I am incredibly indecisive. Picking simple things like what to eat for dinner or what movie to watch are often particularly a struggle. More often than not I will end up making a list of appealing options and offering it to the other person. I would like to think it is because …
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Jennifer Hale was a special guest teacher in Steve Blum’s Live Teaching Series class recently. WOW! She is a powerful representation of goodness and light! Not only is she an award-winning actress, successful businesswoman, published singer and songwriter (the list goes on and on), but she’s also passionately interested in helping you become the best version of yourself! I could gush for a while about Jennifer Hale’s brilliance and intense caring, though I’ll instead focus on …
Right Where You Are is Ok
People have lost their businesses. Many lost their jobs, their sources of income, their loved ones. Whether it was due to the virus or the aftermath of months of lockdown and distancing, the social animal that is the human has had to become anything but that, and that hasn’t gone so well for a lot of us…
Why Take a Risk?
I sit at my desk in my home office 40+ hours a week and haven’t found anything stimulating or inspiring to write about. I’ve spent the better part of a year interacting with people only on zoom and binge-watching old re-runs on TV. (I’m on the last season of Deep Space 9 at the moment). Then a surprise: Last night (March 16) I was invited to watch a …
Respect is Both a Noun and a Verb
It is not simply a (fantastic and iconic) song by Aretha Franklin or something to instill in school children as they learn to play peacefully with others. Respect is something you earn, something you have, something you do and show. Feeling it for someone or something is great but showing it is so much more meaningful…
Take Time to Slow Down
For many people, it’s common to stay busy – to chase a never-ending list of “things to do”, but if we continue to move too fast without rest, we eventually become mostly reactionary versus reflective in our thoughts and actions. This can cause not only awkward mistakes, extra complexity in tasks, and misunderstandings in communication, though it can also impact our general well-being. It might seem counterproductive but slowing down can help you to be more successful. Yet …
An Unexpected Voiceover Journey
Most of you know me as someone that helps facilitate Steve’s Classes, but I also enjoyed my own voiceover journey for more than 10 years. I want to share with you a powerful story from that journey that ties directly into Steve’s teachings, that I never even knew til I’d heard him teach it a dozen times and then experienced it myself…
Time to Reconnect and Rebuild
Now that we can see a path for beating COVID, I’ve been taking stock of what I’ve personally lost. How can I recover some of that loss? Maybe in the process, I can better myself and rebuild an even stronger me. Music for me is not just a hobby it’s also meditative. Playing guitar or piano takes focus. That focus helps me to let go of everything I’m holding onto for a moment. It clears and calms my mind…
The willingness to constantly reinvent oneself as an actor/artist is a level of self-reflection that is critical for retaining the joy and…
Seemingly Random Happenstances…(aka my Journey to Team Blumvox)
As I write this, I realize I have not yet officially introduced myself in this amazing community so… Hi! I’m Gwen (aka: Gwendolyn), a theatre lover living in the Greater Seattle area with many passions in the artistic and creative world. I believe that LIFE IS IMPROV, and I love to play around and create – especially within the areas of photography, culinary, poetry, music, and more! Also, I believe in philanthropy and …
Leadership- What does it really look like?
Leadership (or lack thereof) is something we’ve gotten a good dose of throughout the world this year. Thanks to Covid we’ve seen Leaders who don’t “walk the talk”, leaders who don’t do what they tell us to do, and leaders who fall far short – and some that have fallen from grace as a result…
Opportunity or Is Our World Random?
First a Little About Me I’m the new “kid” on the BVS team and this is my first Blumvox Studio’s Team Blog Post. As an independent contractor, I helped Blumvox Studios with their website technology update in 2018. This fall, I was delighted to be invited to join Blumvox full-time…
What Do You Want?
It’s almost a New Year. A time when folks take a moment to reflect on some things they should do differently. A time for asking yourself, “What do you want?” and committing to change. They are often seemingly simple things on the surface but ultimately require a complete change in lifestyle (or at the very least, an overhaul of time management). You know the normal resolutions: work out more, eat healthier …
There’s no denying that 2020 has been a roller coaster of a year. We started January with “normal” expectations and goals, then news of a virus started creeping across the country and slowly, our nation and our world (both physical and mental) started shifting – and continues to do so – often!
From recalibrating our website and how we present you with our classes, to recalibrating our Team and how we communicate with each other, it’s as if right when we think “this is perfect!” we realize we need to pivot and change things again. It’s been that way all year, and I’m sure you’ve felt that flux in your own life as well….
To say that a time like this is uncommon would be a severe understatement. How often does an event occur that calls for the whole of humanity to act? We are living through a period that future generations will be shocked to hear about. They will stare wide-eyed at us as we speak of being stuck at home for months on end. It should go without saying that a time like this requires a hefty amount of recalibration…
Recalibrate Your State
Right now, more than ever, we need to recalibrate our own internal navigation systems. Each and every single one of us has one, yet it seems that the majority has forgotten. We’ve been disconnected from them for far too long…
Celebrating No Matter What!
“Why Should We Celebrate during a Time like THIS?!” Celebration might not be something you can imagine at this time, during this year, but bear with me. There’s a reason why it can be of great help in steering your life toward things that…
Awareness of the Actor
There are so many layers and so much depth to the seemingly simple concept of awareness that to sum them up with this one word can seem somewhat daunting. In theater alone, the plethora of internal and external factors that make up this beautifully simple concept…
Persistence (AKA Persist-Dance)
I love to think about Persistence as a Dance, one where we are in the constant ebb and flow with ourselves, with others and the Universe. So much comes from staying the course, internally and externally that we must learn to be…
Awareness is juicy – it’s some quantum level ish. I have three favorite sayings about awareness that have helped me cultivate it in my own life. I say these things to myself all the time. Whenever someone tells me…
Trust in the Power of Authenticity
How much time have you spent looking at yourself in the mirror, making funny faces, and playing around with characters? We all do it (quite unashamedly I might add). Why then do most of us tend to hate the sound of our own voice when we hear it played back? What makes us cringe at the sight…
When Reality Bites, Let Yourself Cry
In-authenticity is learned behavior. We suppress our feelings and our tears. Somehow not crying is perceived as strength when it’s actually the opposite. It’s toxic to our systems when we hold the tears back. By doing so, we set ourselves up for disease and illness while risking the loss of our authentic nature…
When Reality Bites, Move Forward
In the crazy, wonderful, ridiculous pursuit of acting there are going to be times when reality bites. Things will just seem to be stacked against us (and it will likely happen a lot). It truly can be one of the most disheartening businesses out there, designed to…