More Cheese With Your Whine?

Ahhh, complaining… Music to My Ears


Woe to the Woe Is Me-ers

Gotta love it.  Don’t you?  The whining.  The ineffable charm of a complainer.  The moans!  The irritating and life-sucking drain of a nitpicker flailing in misery!  Waaaaah waaaaaaah waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.  Ahhhh!  Music to my ears, and makes life worth living!

I love complainers.  Almost as much as I love getting suckerpunched in the face by a random passerby and then doused with acid.  It gives me the proverbial warm fuzzies, puts a skip in my step, and kinda makes me feel like Julie AndrewsThe Hills are alive - with the sound of whining…

There’s nothing quite like listening to someone drone on and on (and on and on and on)….and on (and on)….about how equipment costs this much and membership costs that much and software costs this much and training costs that much and on and on…..and on.  (And on.)  Complainers.  Whiners.  Woe-is-me’ers.  Glum from Gulliver’s Travels. They bring balance to the planet and a song to my heart in the same way as having my femur bone cracked in half.  Those individuals whose lofty ambitions exceed their ability to do so.  Those poor unfortunate souls whose determination is crushed into a bloody pulp by the weight of reality.  It’s Sadness from Inside Out:

Sadness: “Wait, Joy - you could get lost in there!”

Joy: “Think Positive!”

Sadness: “OK.  I’m positive you will get lost in there!”

But could it be…is it even conceivable…that one can change one’s perspective, reframe one’s outlook, and reset one’s viewpoint to look through the lens of possibility instead of despair?

The answer is yes, you sad, whimpering bonehead.


Sister Hazel said it best

Remember that song by Sister Hazel?

If you want to be somebody else,

If you're tired of fighting battles with yourself

If you want to be somebody else

Change your mind…change your mind

I love no-BS songs like that.  I love when the truth isn’t sugarcoated and we honestly tell it how it is.  Oh – and also I love lyrics that make me shout “Fine!” and tramp off to my room to slam the door and cry over my toys in utter isolation while the world misunderstands me.

Ever seen the “No Whining” button or sign?  Too often, many individuals look at a mountain they want to climb, and they dream big: that pinnacle becomes the object of their desire, the focus of their ambition.  And then, they arrive at Big 5, grab all their rapelling gear, ropes, helmet, harness, crampons, pulley, etc., put it in their cart and amble on up to the cash register with all the optimism of an unflappable one-legged man entering a butt-kicking contest.  Mr. I Think I Can receives the total….and here come the waterworks.  Whaddayamean it’s gonna cost that much?  But what about my dreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaams????

Waaaaaaaaah!   Waaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!


Yes, Captain Long Term Focus, your dreams take investment too.  Change your mind.

There’s a wonderful blogger who has written on this subject before, about the difference between expenses and investments.  His name is Joshua Alexander, and oh boy is he wonderful.  Oh – and did I mention that he’s wonderful?  Seriously, Full of Wonder.  Check out his magical, wonderful blog on this topic here.  He’s wonderful.

If you wanna be somebody else, if you’re tired of fighting battles with yourself, if you wanna be somebody else, change your mind.  Narcissus didn’t want to be anyone else: he was comfortable admiring himself until he died of thirst.  If only.  If he had just changed his mind and decided that he needed to invest in some water.  If only.  Don’t be Narcissus. Be an Investor.

I can’t tell you how frustrated I get with people who use Audacity, and no, I won’t link to it here.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve said “there’s a reason it’s free.”  Usually, when something is free, it sucks.  Its life will be short-lived, it’s not as good as the rest, it has no resale value, it’s underperforming, it’s subpar, etc..   You don’t use something just because it’s free.  You invest into something that will genuinely serve you.

Remember, good is always the worst enemy of best.

I can’t tell you how irritated I get with people who want to do voiceovers but scowl that there are in fact some startup funds needed to, ahem, invest into your business.  It’s a business.  It takes time to grow.  Just like planting a fruit tree, you need to invest in shovels.  Seed.  Water.  Buckets.  Fertilizer.  There are investment requirements to any startup.

As far as I know, there is no career that pays you to sit on your couch with your feet up, drinking beer and watching TV all day.  If there were, everyone would be doing it!  Except for me.  I’ll take an Appletini, because I’m a CAW.  That stands for Certified Alcohol Wussy.  But this raises an interesting scenario, so let’s talk about this one for a moment, shall we?  What investment are you making into your couch drinking beer glutton profession?  Isn’t it costing you money for beer, TV service, furniture, and utility bills for water and heat because please for the love of God get up and take a bath?  Doesn’t it require you to invest into your profession in the same way that any other profession has a cost?

Let’s zoom out a bit and look at this:

  • Doctors aren’t just issued a license and then hop into an O.R. and start cutting up patients, unless of course they’re Hannibal Lecter.
  • Lawyers don’t just take a bar exam and start representing clients
  • Pilots aren’t just whisked into a 747 and start flying people intercontinentally
  • Basketball players don’t just stride out onto a court for the first time ever and pull a Michael Jordan flying dunk
  • Astronauts don’t just waltz into the Space Shuttle and go sauntering off to the moon.
  • Voiceover Artists don’t just score a national TV campaign with 60-year residuals

Dreams take investment.  They require drive AND commitment.  They require you to change your mind.  And I’m not talking by a lobotomist, hypnotist, or any other -ist.  Not even Kuato can get into your mind enough to change it.  I’m talking about real, attitude, perspective and willingness change…that all starts in your mind.


Mind if I ask what’s the Matter with your Matter over Mind?

When you let your hopes get squished by the fact that you’ll have to put out before you can reap in, that’s pitiful.  When you whine and complain that something you deeply desire has a cost, that’s pathetic. At that point, I’m sure even Jesus is saying “Come to me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden…uh…yeah, uh…except you in the third row, ya nitwit.  Tone it down, will ya?  I’m trying to walk on water and you’re really bringing me down.”  Even Philippians 2:14 says “Do everything without complaining or arguing.”

What’s the matter with the matter?  Is it a matter of mind over matter, or a matter of matter over mind?  Does it even matter what the matter is?  My philosophy has always been one of “just do it”, or at the very least, “just try it.”  When I was faced with the prospect of coughing up another $400 annual membership fee to another pay-to-play voiceover marketplace, my thoughts didn’t really consist of “Oh well, I HOPE I even make this money back.”  It was so much more one of intention.  It was “I intend to make my money back.”  The people who whine and grovel over such a fee make me want to slice my ears off, bronze them, mount them, and then present them to the whiner so that they might install them in their home somewhere in Grovel Central in order for them to have something they can perpetually whine to and has no choice but to listen.  Because I certainly don’t want to.  Granted, I won’t ever hear anything ever again….but I'll be laying back with my hands behind my blood-soaked head, grinning and bleeding profusely out of my ears in complete silence, devoid of whining.  Ahhhhh….

When I was faced with purchasing the Sennheiser MKH416 microphone for $1000, I didn't throw myself onto the floor and pound my fists and cry out "The price isn't fair!  Why?  Whyyyyy?  Whhhhyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!?!"  It was something I needed, and I deemed the stated price to be reflective of the quality of investment I was making.  It was a no brainer.

Seriously, folks!  It’s called an investment.  Does an investment carry risk?  Yes.  Any one of them does.  But it’s a reasonable risk.  Let’s zoom out again.  If you were to purchase an annual membership at $395 a year, that averages out to $1.08 a day.  ONE DOLLAR AND EIGHT CENTS A DAY.  Certainly you spend more than that on other things per day.  I think the primary issue is you might just not have that money on hand at this very moment.  You could charge it, as I did, and then be preoccupied about paying off your credit card, but then you’d have it paid off after a month or two with the jobs that you’d be awarded.  You could simply wait and save until you have the money.  You could also rob a bank, but I fear the subsequent challenges you’ll face would be greater than having no money so don’t do that please.

The point I’m trying to encourage is let’s swap whining for genuine Belief.  It’s less irritating, more palatable, less eye-roll inducing, and Jesus won’t hate you.  Stop whining.  I mean it.  Cut it out.  Believe in yourself, and as they say, “Let God sort ‘em out.”  Sometimes you just have to go in all guns a’blazin’, rockin’ the Sister Hazel. Otherwise I’ll need to suckerpunch you in the face.  Cool?



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Joshua Alexander
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Talent for hire

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