Sweet Spot is lucky to have a guest blogger this week. A big thanks to our wonderful summer intern, Arielle, for sharing her story!
At the beginning of this summer, I was lucky enough to get involved with two amazing internships: one at Abrams Artist Agency (a well-known talent agency) and another at Sweet Spot Voiceover (an up-and-coming voiceover coaching company). Just a few weeks into my internships, I found myself with a growing interest in voiceover work, but soon got discouraged when I started to realize voiceover actors only get a few minutes with the script before they go into the booth to record. The first thing that went through my mind was, “Oh great, just another road block that dyslexia has put in front of me.”
My dyslexia has been the most difficult struggle for me as a stage and on-camera actor and now as a prospective voiceover talent. Dyslexia is more then just a reading disability: the words get jumbled not just when I’m reading, but also when I try to say them out loud. Dyslexia restricts me from finishing a script when I only have a day to read it, or when I need to memorize my lines before the first rehearsal, and of course, the dreaded “cold read.”
At auditions I try to quickly memorize my lines to avoid looking at the page, but they still sometimes jumble on me. When it comes time for a performance, I’ll sometimes trip on lines, even though I have them memorized. (Granted, the anxiety that comes with knowing that this is a struggle of mine is a big part of the problem.) Nevertheless it’s pretty frustrating when I know I am fully prepared for an audition and my brain knows exactly what I want to say, but my mouth won’t cooperate.
Sometimes it makes me feel incompetent or stupid (I hate that I allow myself to get discouraged by thinking that way). Dyslexia doesn’t define me, its just one struggle and I always remind myself that everyone (especially actors) have struggles, too. I refuse to let Dyslexia stop me from doing the one thing that fuels my passion. It’s not a reason to give up (no one should ever give up on what makes them feel alive and leaves them falling asleep happy at night,) but sometimes the struggle brings me down.
I’m determined to not let Dyslexia get in the way of me pursuing voiceover. But I am left wondering how will I get past this. I don’t have all the answers quite yet (because I am still learning,) but I know that in time, I will. I also know that I am not alone in this struggle. So I ask my fellow voiceover actors out there reading this blog for any advice or to share their story. It’s always more comforting to struggle with a buddy, right?