I consider myself a Brave person… and many who know me would say the same. I have had my share of challenges in this lifetime, (more than my share), and at the end of the day, I always choose to get back up, dust myself off and move forward. When I was laid off from my full-time job back in the Fall of 2013, I came to a fork in the road. I had always had a full-time job and did Acting and Voice Over on the side. My choices consisted of two paths:
Get a new full-time job with security, benefits, a weekly paycheck and a 401K.
Jump boldly into the abyss of uncertainty & fear of the unknown.
Now Michelle ABSOLUTELY was going for DOOR #1, you see, I AM A SAFETY girl. I have lived through some pretty crazy traumas (including my house burning to the ground, some major health issues, 8 retina surgeries and other traumatic events that have made THIS GIRL crave a SAFE life). I am kind of embarrassed to admit that, it doesn’t sound very cool, fun or sexy to crave safety, but if I am honest, that is how I really feel. Add to the mix that in the Fall of 2013, right after being laid off, I had 2 new surgeries on my eyes (which is a story for another time). The result of these surgeries has caused a strobe effect in my vision field that never stops… even as I write this today almost 9 years later… it’s there, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. So, when I came to this fork in the road, DOOR # 2 felt SCARY AS HELL. This is where my husband Tony comes in. At this very crucial crossroads, which was a very difficult and challenging time for me, I was blessed to have someone in my corner to cheer me on, to push me to try the unthinkable and be BRAVE, to choose DOOR #2 and take that chance, even if I fail, with no judgement. The truth is, HE BELIEVED IN ME more than I believed in myself. I feel quite confident that I would never have taken this chance on my own. Around the same time, my mother gave me a beautiful bracelet that said, “Leap and The Net Will Appear”, another sign from the universe that I should take this chance…. So, I DID!!!!! I went ALL IN, and it has been a crazy ride. The truth is the first year was terrifying and the second year, was only slightly less terrifying. The third year I had a very bad fall and could not use my arm for many months and lost some momentum, and the year after that I came back strong. You should know, just like any new business, it took me a full five years to make what I was making at my full-time job… 5 years of working very hard every single day, nurturing relationships, building client trust, marketing, auditioning, grinding. The 6th, 7th and 8th year have surpassed all my expectations and I love what I do beyond measure…but I would never have gotten there if I had given up year 2…. THIS CAREER IS NOT FOR THE WEAK AT HEART… it really is FOR THE BRAVE.
Who would have ever known the crazy ride this job as a Voice Actor would take me on… the amazing projects I would voice, the interesting clients and colleagues and friends I would meet and work with. The countless beautiful cinematic videos, commercials, corporate videos, and live music shows I would lend my voice to… it feels like so much more than a job, it feels like a calling, and I may have missed that calling had I not had that support, that nudge, in the direction of uncertainty. This makes me ask myself, what other callings or opportunities does this “safety” girl miss… but most of all, it makes me grateful for those who push us outside of our comfort zone, who nudge us in the direction of our dreams.
Because sometimes BRAVERY needs a little PUSH.