A Girl Walks into a Bar…

Two identical women screaming at each other, isolated on black background.

OK … so it wasn’t really a bar, it was Panera. But it certainly felt like a bar from the moment I sat down… glasses clanging, silverware clinking, people hustling to grab a table…. it was a loud and busy lunch hour.

The “bar” noise, however, only turned out to be elevator background music compared to the Bar Brawl I accidentally sat next to! Sadly, it quickly became apparent that the four women loudly arguing were discussing funeral arrangements for their recently deceased father. I think I would have felt sadness for the four immediately if I’d sensed any sadness in them at all.

Instead, they were consumed with violent anger and yelling at each other in such a way that I couldn’t look away. I really couldn’t. I was supposed to be lunching with my son and discussing a new car he wanted to buy… but my eyes and ears would have none of it – they were absolutely glued to this train wreck of a unplanned family reunion.

From what I could tell… the crux of the breakdown came over the flowers and the casket… 3 of them wanted the more expensive flowers and 3 of them wanted the more expensive casket (2 of them were apparently absent but “on their way”) and there was something about a mysterious lock box I was never able to really discern. But it became so heated at one point two of them were standing and yelling at each other across the table. Eventually one stormed out…. and then came back with another sister… they argued more… and subsequently, three of them stormed out together telling the remaining sisters they could just do the funeral on their own. (IMHO The three that stormed out were, ironically, the more reasonable of the bunch and had had it with the one tyrannical sister being rude, bossy and generally horrible to everyone)

Though I was captivated by what was happening, and (I’m embarrassed to admit) found myself half-hoping for a throw down, I actually was very heartbroken for them. I kept wanting to jump up and scream…”STOP IT! STOP IT STOP IT! Don’t you all realize he’d DEAD?! He doesn’t care about flowers or caskets or funeral arrangements and even if he DID, he would care far MORE about how you are all treating one another!”

Now I know that grief takes us to ugly and difficult places and it’s not surprising to find this kind of family breakdown during what is clearly an emotionally charged time. But being a fly on the wall today gave me the kind of perspective I needed to remember an important lesson I hope I’ll hang on to in my own dark days of loss. Ready for this? Here it is…

HOW we disagree with people is FAR MORE important than WHAT we disagree about. Said another way, PEOPLE are always more important than positions, projects, politics, possessions, prizes or any other thing that does or does not begin with P! It’s important that we make people (especially those closest to us) feel that way… even when we disagree.

How does this have anything at all to do with my voiceover business? I’ve been asking myself that same question all afternoon and all I could come up with is this… today’s drama also reminded me never to yell when I’m angry (or happy, for that matter) because it’s not only damaging to our relationships and our souls (anger yelling, that is) but also to the vocal folds!

There you have it – two great tips for the price of none! Can’t beat that with a stick, now can ya?!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear?!

Welcome to my NEW (online) Home!

welcomeIf you have been living under a rock and haven’t poked your head out –  the voiceover world has radically changed… and is continuing to!  When I began my journey in this business – way back when bread was .54 and gas was $1.25 – audio was recorded on “tape” that wound itself around a Nagra AND edits were made with “tape” of a different sort and a wax pencil! That method is a far cry from how things are done today using CPUs and DAWs and although it’s been challenging, believe it or not, this old dog has learned quite a few new tricks!

I’ve been voicing commercials, audiobooks, e-learning modules and more from the Chicagoland area for the past 10 years and not long ago decided I wanted to really define MY sound… my essence… my working world presence. However, having such a large body of work spanning many different genres made that a gnarly task.

Thankfully a Dynamic Duo came to my rescue!

Celia Siegel of CSM did an amazing job helping me understand that my working world presence is really no different than my “real” world presence. What I bring to your TV Spot or Phone Recording or E-Learning script is the same thing I bring to my family, friends and neighbors… it’s ME! The things I pour into each and every project are the very things I was gratefully born with… genuine warmth, honest caring, gentle softness, deep love, tested strength, true compassion and playful fun. Celia realized these were the exact same qualities she loves about her closest neighbors and friends and thus the idea of The Neighbor Lady VO was born.

homeI have to be honest at this point and say that I didn’t love the concept at first… it felt to “old” for me (a young girl of 29!) … but as I sat with it for a few days I was smitten by the authenticity of the idea. It’s a brand identity that truly captures the essence of who I am. I really do want to be your best “go to” neighbor lady pal for anything – always here at the ready – to open the door, welcome you in and help you with whatever you need for the day: a quick turn-around VO for a TV spot or corporate narration, a listening ear or a literal cup of sugar.

Denise Biondo of Biondo Studio took Celia’s concept and brought it to life with her creative vision, enduring patience, discerning eye and delightful energy. She artfully crafted my website and logos to reflect my likes, my personality and budget. She is a very talented, professional creative who’s work I have loved and that I have loved working with.

So… thanks for stopping by my new online home. I hope you’ll feel welcome, happy and comfortable while you’re here and of course, please let me know if you need anything by using any of the contact links on my page!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear?!