Have you ever been taken under the wing of someone who was more experienced and far more wise than you?
Jonathan Murphy‘s recent experience with a number of voice acting greats, including Frank Welker (pictured with Murphy at left), helped him grow and learn to appreciate the benefits of being mentored.
Hear his story and perhaps become inspired to mentor someone else in today’s VOX Daily.
Ignite a Spark: The Power of Being a Mentor
By Jonathan Murphy
When you are just beginning to navigate your voiceover career, there’s nothing better than someone who has achieved notable success extending a hand to help you pilot the ship. Though I’ve experienced some initial success, I’m really just breaking the surface of what I know (and hope) will be possible for my voiceover career.
Like those of you who are in my boat, I do everything in my power to grow my skills, look for networking opportunities, and market myself. But sometimes it feels as though I’m just bobbing around not knowing if I’m going to be able to keep my head above water. Do you feel this way too?
Enter the mentor–someone who has been there, done that, and is willing to throw you a life preserver of individual encouragement and support. Someone who will give you a realistic perspective and advice, and also say from the heart, “hang in there kid.” And it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment, but it will make a HUGE and lasting impact on the mentee’s life.
I took a great class called the “Cartoon Connection,” at Voice One in San Francisco with Mark Evanier who is the Supervising Producer and one of the writers on The Garfield Show. He left an open invitation to come and sit in on a recording session for the show. It took almost a year to coordinate, but I made my way down to Los Angeles and there I was with THE icons of Hollywood cartoons: Gregg Berger, Jason Marsden, Laura Summer, Wally Wingert, and…Frank Welker!
These are the actors who have voiced some of my favorite childhood cartoons. It goes without saying what an amazing experience it was to watch these pros in action. But more importantly, was what happened in between takes. I was included in every conversation and they all made me feel valued and important. We talked, we laughed, we shared, and being there gave me the boost I needed to carry on.
Mark spent some time giving me his perspective on working with voice talent as a writer and producer–he only surrounds himself with and chooses to hire those who are professional AND pleasant to be around.
Reflecting on the day, I created an iconographic of the experience to share on my blog. By including me in their working day, these professionals made a lasting imprint on my life and career.
The Invaluable Lessons I Learned
- No matter where you are in your career, always be friendly.
- Be generous…magic comes through collaboration.
- Surround yourself with talent and you’ll do your best work.
- Try to reach a point in your career where you can choose to work with only those you enjoy being around.
If you are one of the top tier professionals, too, consider igniting the spark as a mentor. With just a little investment of your time, you’ll be helping someone reach their own personal and professional goals.
Jonathan Murphy is an emerging voiceover talent who is currently the voice heard throughout California’s Great America Theme Park. Find more at jonincharacter.com and his blog.
Are You Mentoring Anyone?
Whether you are mentoring someone or you are being mentored, be sure to comment and share your story!