Competence

Well after that weekend, I’m glad of some ‘normal’ work now – for a rest!

If we weren’t digging vegetable patches, we were planting, weeding, clearing, cleaning, raking and generally doing outdoorsy stuff. It was great, really cool to be getting out into the sun clearing the winter detritus. But I’m feeling the pinch this morning – my back and legs have firmly told the rowing machine it can wait until tomorrow.

There’s something satisfying about a physical ache as a result of having made something dirty-clean, messy-tidy, unruly-kempt and being able to stand back and look at your handiwork. Well until it’s time to do it all again anyway. It reminded me of my time painting cars for a living, it may well have been against the odds – the rain and snow often wreaked havoc with the lacquer, but doing something that took a certain amount of skill, something you had to learn and then get better at it every day really satisfied.

That’s one of the things I am loving about the voiceover work.

Many of you will know there are four stages of learning:

1. Unconscious Incompetent – (you don’t know what you don’t know)
2. Conscious Incompetent – (you know what you don’t know)
3. Conscious Competent – (you know, but think about it when doing it)
4. Unconscious Competent – (you can do it without having to think)

In the world of #VO I’d liken the first stage to that point at which someone says…

“You’ve got a good voice – you should do voiceovers!”

Ah – it all looked so easy from the outside didn’t it? Rock up, say a few words, get paid – simple!

Then stage two hits:

“Blimey, you mean there are different types of microphone/DAW software/Audio Interface/Voicing style? Etc… etc.”

As a learner, I am an ‘activist-pragmatist’ which is a really weird combination, any qualified trainers out there will be pulling a face now! What that means is that I will dive into something, not considering the consequences of failure – but at the same time need to be reassured where it all fits.

On the face of it, they are contradictory – but actually it means I take a balanced approach, and it means that I can chuck myself into recording something which I think is great, then when my coach picks it apart I am able to shrug my shoulders, say ‘Oh Well’ and do it again – hopefully better.

I would liken the Conscious Competent stage to that bit where you’ve done the research, bought the gear, made loads of mistakes, learned from them, and started to work out how you can do things ‘better’.

And there is SO MUCH out there to help you get from stage two to stage three – advice at every turn, another REALLY cool thing about this community. People like Gary Terzza, Abbe Holmes, Debby Barnes, Derek Chappell, Marc Scott to name but a few. I have learned loads from their postings and updates – and I know I will have missed many people, and not yet come across many more!

It appears to me that it takes YEARS to reach the Unconscious Competent stage – and I gotta say that whilst I am thinking about what I am doing, I feel it’s a lot healthier.

After all, we all know what the stage after Unconscious Competent is:

YEP – BACK TO UNCONSCIOUS INCOMPETENT!

Just take a look at any ‘Unconscious Competent’ driver:

• On the phone
• Playing with sat nav
• Texting
• Listening to music
• Telling the kids off
• Arguing with the other half

And we know this, because we ALL do it!

Sadly, what we are not doing is focusing 100% on our driving – and we know the risks of that.

So, I am happy becoming comfortable learning to become a great Conscious Competent Voiceover artist – and it gets better every day. Hopefully!

Now, time to record some stuff – and maybe I’ll give my back a rest today and sit down at the mic!

Steve

 

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