Woah, that’s quite a title – Voice over, compassion and a radical act! Where are we going with this?
On a journey my friend…
Let’s start with voice over, shall we?
You, my beautiful clients, often hire me for those warm, compassionate reads. In the last few weeks & months, I’ve lost track of the number of commercials, corporate, e-learning, explainer & on hold projects I’ve voiced that demand a caring, empathetic voice. I’ve talked about:
Scattering ashes at sea
Public toilets (yes, really! Well, we all need them sometimes, don’t we?)
Looking after bees
The beast that is cancer
to name just a few. Along with empathy, compassion in voice over is important. You want your audience to feel as though you really care at them, not that you’re merely paying lip service, don’t you?
So, onto compassion.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the world can ever have enough of this stuff. More of it & we’d avoid an awful lot of unnecessary pain & suffering! We’d listen more, understand, empathise and maybe our trenches would melt away. But when it comes to self-compassion, it’s often deemed to be selfish. Why is that? If we don’t care for ourselves, how can we look after others? What do they say on a flight? Put your own mask on first!
Kirsten Neff has so many wise words to say on the subject of self-compassion, from books, to Ted talks, podcasts and more, she’s all over that stuff! And it’s not just about the soft, kind, gentle stuff, it’s also about boundaries and getting things done. She describes it as the yin & yang of self-compassion.
As a self-employed little bird, I’m focused on ensuring that you, lovely client, are happy with my work & all I have to offer. And that means being able to both experience and channel emotions into your scripts. But it also means exercising compassion in working relationships, too. I understand the diplomatic line you tread, not to mention the deadlines! So, I have a question for you…
When was the last time you exercised a little self-compassion?
Life is busy, noisy and demanding for us human beings. And when you’re a creative (and/or self-employed) it can be tricky to switch off, can’t it? But it’s really important that we do, even if just for a short burst. That’s what enables us to give real quality time & attention to the people and work we love. I want to give you the energy you deserve, so it’s important to not only defrag, but to keep that battery topped up! So, we’ve attended to compassion, voice over & working relationships. Now on to…
A radical act.
OK, here’s an example of self-compassion in action. It may not seem radical to you, but it was for me.
Recently, my fella decided it was time to take the studio pup to see his parents. They live a good six-hour drive away. We put as much in place as we could to ensure it was as stress-free as possible for young Neville Longbottom & the humans who aren’t so used to dogs, never mind a bouncy puppy! I had a pretty good insight into how things might go. And just so you know, I was right! Sleepless nights & a pup who tried to exit Waterstones with not one, but three pencil cases in his mouth! All were unharmed, thankfully. Anyway, I knew my energy was limited – like many people this winter, I seem to have had viruses lurking in the background for months. So, I knew I needed to pace myself. My radical act of self-compassion? To stay at home & rest.
I’ve never been one for afternoon naps. I just can’t seem to do it. But that Saturday, I lay on the floor in front of the fire to do a meditation & the next thing I knew, I was waking up to the sound of my own snoring! Bliss!
So, that was my radical act of self-compassion. A few hours of time to myself. It may seem selfish. Or it may not seem like much at all, but it was worth its weight in gold for me. And it’s enabled me to be of service to you & to those I love, without falling out of my nest in a heap of mangled feathers.
It’s been a cold, dark winter, rife with viruses hitting our compromised immune system after the social-distancing years. We’re trying to wrap our heads around the new pandemic that is AI & what it might mean for us all & we’re experiencing a cost-of- living crisis, not to mention a crazy war & more besides. It’s a lot, right?
So, I’m here to urge you to be compassionate. To yourself & to those in your orbit. Because whether we like it or not, we’re on this rock hurtling through space together, so it’s in all our interests to make it as comfortable & enjoyable as possible. And to retain our humanity along the way.