I grew up with Wesley Crusher. Figuratively speaking, of course. In September of 1987 I was 8 years old and Mesmerized by the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I think Wesley Crusher was supposed to be about 13 or 14 at the time. Remove the 380 years between Next-Gen time and me, and he basically could have been my older brother. Those who know me personally know that in some sense, he kind of was. I have the Enterprise on my desk. I have Wesley's effigy along with other TNG vinyl cutouts on my truck windows instead of stick figure family members. There were days in my high school years that I could (and sometimes did) watch up to 17 DIFFERENT episodes of Star trek on Non-Cable syndication
And now, I'm doing what Wil Wheaton (the actor who played Wes for those of you poor souls uninitiated in Star Trek Lore) does. And Levar Burton. And Kate Mulgrew. And Patrick Stewart. And Avery Brooks. And John De Lancie. And Leonard Nimoy (RIP). And Rene Auberjonois. And on and on.
It's certainly not the only thing they do, or have done. And I make no pretensions that I'm at any of their caliber. I'm just a storyteller who loves what I do. They were my childhood heroes. They still are my heroes for that matter.
I've heard it said that you can't sit around saying "I'll be happy when ______." My point is, the above list wherein my name appears - I just asked to be added to it! I've got 9 finished works under my name available on audible, 1 on soundcloud, and 2 on audible under a different name (we won't get into that just now). Wil Wheaton has 36 Audiobooks he has voiced. I've sold about 200 copies of my audiobooks so far and have about a dozen reviews of my works. Wil Wheaton has in the tens of thousands of reviews. But because I asked if I could be included on what was a very short list at the end of a list of popular narrators, I was.
How often do we sell ourselves short because we don't bother to ask? I've been waiting to approach my favorite Sci-fi author until I have some mileage under my belt. Maybe the time has come? Mr. Timothy Zahn, if you're reading this post, that's you. I've got a pile of your books that I've read & only about a third of them have audio versions. I'm your guy.
We all - consciously, or unconsciously - have some kind of bar we set that is saying "I have arrived," or "I'll be successful when." I've had a few things I've thought of through the years like this. And I've had a few that have come and gone somewhat unremarkably. Others are still far down the horizon. I have yet to conduct a Mahler symphony. I've never been the lead in a play.
The point is - DO something about it. Ask to be put on a list that includes someone better than you. Risk something. I'm advertising a couple of my books in AudioFile magazine later this year. It's had Levar Burton on the cover (Star Trek Plus Reading Rainbow. The guy's a genius). One of my favorite movies is Joe Vs. the Volcano. "You know what it is you're afraid of doing, why don't you just do it," Joe says to Angelica. Later, Patricia tells him, "We'll take this jump, and we'll see!"
Another line I love from Joe - Patricia says, "My father says that only a few people in this world are truly awake, and they live in a state of constant, utter amazement."
Wake up! Do something with your life!
I've auditioned for more than 70 books in a little over a year. Some I really wanted to do and didn't get. I just accepted an offer tonight for the 1st of a 6 book series by Mari Collier (Earthbound: Chronicles of Maca book 1). I just recorded the last chapter of Maria Grace's first Jane Austen's Dragons series. I've got 3 other books by different authors under contract aside from those! I love what I do. Narrating 8 Attributes of Great Achievers V. II by my friend Cameron Taylor also helped to inspire me to keep going with my dream. There have been some amazing people through the years that we can all emulate. I'm burning the candle at both ends while I build myself a new career and keep supporting my family with the old one, but I've never felt happier. So, yes. I have arrived. I am here to stay.
Where are you going? Are you there already and don't know it? What are you afraid of doing? Take the leap & you'll see!