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5 Things That Halp Jessica Osborne!

Jessica Osborne has been doubling as a voice actor and designer in equal measure for the last decade. She can be heard in gaming titles including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, Genshin Impact, Hearthstone, Spellforce III, and others yet to come. Originally working by day as an Art Director in advertising agencies, and later in-house as a Senior Product Designer for myriad software products, they have designed for international brands like Tone, Henkel, The Predictive Index, BambooHR, and many more while mentoring students new to design through Designlab.

My specific personal hurdle is ADHD brain along with a hefty dose of impostor syndrome, so 90% of what 'halps' me is in the name of conquering those things.

  1. Our brains like to trick us a lot, and data is often kinder than we think. I built a custom spreadsheet to track my auditions that lets me filter and hide things so if I'm feeling anxious about the booking rate, I don't have to see everything I sent and only see the stuff I booked. It's been great to look at during periods I felt were slow, because often the numbers prove otherwise. It's also useful to get a clearer picture of where I'm successful in terms of what type of projects or roles I tend to get most often.  

  2. Coaching! If I'm feeling stuck in a rut, isolated, or just unsure of what else I could be doing to move forward in my career, I'll grab a little time with my favorite coaches I haven't checked in with lately, or a new one whose work aligns with my current goals. I always come away with some new perspective, a little validation of my hunches, and sometimes forge a great new relationship with a cool person. At the start of each year, I usually make a list of new coaches I want to try working with so I have that list ready when I want to try a new one. Often I'll try a class out first, to get a taste of how the coach works with people, then decide if I want 1-1 time with them. (Halp Academy has been a BIG uh, halp, in this regard. ;) 

  3. I keep samples of my favorite work. These are so handy to listen to if I'm feeling a little down on myself and my craft. I also occasionally listen to them ahead of doing other auditions to pump myself up and remind me I know what the heck I'm doing. Occasionally, it even gives me a fresh idea on a read for those new auditions.  

  4. I keep a journal for VO things: my wins, goals I can work toward, wishes I can hope for but acknowledge I have no control over, and specific lessons/feedback learned from classes and coaches. The lessons are handy to have in the booth when I'm doing audition work; I use it like a checklist of things I can try when approaching an audition. The book is as close to a literal toolkit as I can get in the booth, and it's a great safety net if I'm having an off day.

  5. I treat everything as an experiment. As much as possible, I avoid putting pressure on myself with each audition. I frame them all as opportunities to try something new so I don't ever get comfortable enough to phone it in or speed through things too much. I let myself play with techniques, archetypes, placement— whatever feels appropriate to the work. If I like what comes out the other side, I send it. If not, I don't have to send it, but I will have learned something. This helps the audition daily grind feel MUCH less grindy, especially for ADHD brains that crave novelty to keep going. 

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