The Producer’s Chair – with Jim Kennelly


So voiceover friends, summer is coming to a close. But it still looks like rough seas for both SAG-AFTRA members and the freelance world. Well, here’s what I will advise and will continue to do to help all my voiceover clients and talent friends be as successful as possible online and in our studio.

It’s true; I’ve been in some unpleasant situations in my life. Who hasn’t though, right? That’s life. Live and learn, it’s the best medicine. Some situations were of my own creation and others were nearly impossible to prepare for. I wanted to share actions that have helped me be patient and loving and find release between bad takes.

Be nice to people

Yes, kindness is underrated. When was the last time you asked a professional friend if they are OK? Just starting a conversation and being kind is all they may need to lift them up for one take or one session. I’m not saying it will create new accounts or get you more bookings, but it will give personal satisfaction and gratification. As they say, what goes around comes around.

Accomplish something

When I feel as though whatever I do to push my business is pointless or goes unnoticed, when I am struggling between reaching out to old contacts, new ones, checking social media and online casting sites, even small accomplishments are worthy to note. Get up and stretch, update your online profile, clean up a take you’ve recently laid down, finish that demo that’s been sitting around for months! I get involved with helping someone because it makes me happy. So do the same, whatever you will feel good about and will make you smile.


Honestly, the only things you can actually control are what you do, say, and think. The voice game is a pick and choose business, it always has been. We all could seriously reduce the stress that comes with business events by allowing ourselves to let go of that which you can’t control. It is what it is.

Treat yourself

I’m not saying go spend a ton on a Neumann microphone, but just a little something, it has always helped me. For me it is a new headset or something fun to place in my studio. The addition empowers me.

Do something for someone elsePope and JHK

Go out of your way to do for others, realize that you are not the only person in the industry who is struggling, that there tons of people in the biz who are having a tougher time than you are.

Reach out to someone

And I don’t mean reach out to someone and unload. I mean reach out to someone in the biz in friendship, rekindle a professional relationship, join a committee or attend a convention, force yourself to be around other industry professionals.

Do something new and exciting

The best voice talents share a wide field of experiences. Maybe you’ve been thinking about expanding, why not try? You will learn something new and meet new people. Don’t settle into misery. I made myself do things I had never done before and it brought me so much perspective and gratitude, not to mention fun!


Importantly, to me, do whatever it takes to make yourself laugh. Share a funny awkward story with your voice friends or clients, listen to your old voice demos. I’ve been trying to learn how to direct in Spanish…it’s comical… ay, que bueno! Why? Because, happiness is fleeting. It’s rarely, a constant state of being for anyone, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue it even when there seems to be nothing worthy of that happiness. You can either let struggle swallow you or fight your way to a silver lining.

Remember, your happiness is your responsibility. I say FIGHT!

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