Voiceovers by Gregory Houser
A man, a martini, and a lot of microphones.: CISSP and Voice Over? Learning to "own it".

Sunday, April 12, 2009

CISSP and Voice Over? Learning to "own it".

For those who didn't know, I recently took the exam to become a Certified Information System Security Professional. Normally, you want to take a few months to prepare for the exam since you have ten domains of knowledge upon which you are tested, and the adage "mile wide, but inch deep" is very true when it comes to the exam certification.

And true to course, I was given less than 10 calendar days to prepare for the exam due to the nature of my employer (who, unfortunately, does not understand the nature of the certification). That okay though, because at least they were offering me the opportunity and covering the bill.

Since this is a voice over blog, you know that I'm going to find something from one and use towards the other. And you'd be right in stating so. In this case, it has to do with confidence. Both with the CISSP and in your own voiceover career the confidence you have in yourself will often make or break you. Without turning this into a self-help posting, how often do we go into something and simply say "I own this!"?

Probably not as often as we should, and as I scrambled through the 3500 pages of material that I needed to know for the exam, I found myself at wits end about 4 day prior to the exam. Quite simply, there was too much to do and I hadn't been given enough time. Were I allowed to put my job on hold, in addition to my coursework, and all other responsibilities, then I know I could have done it. However, in the state I was in I just couldn't see it.

And then I looked at it from the point of view of a performer. I remembered what I'm so often told by those I train and perform with. Simply put, it's to stop worrying about what might happen, and to go in with guns blazing knowing that regardless of the decision that I owned it as best possible. From that moment on, that's exactly what I did. When I was able to study during the rest of the week, I told myself to own it. When I did the practice exams, I told myself that I owned it. Reviewing the materials one last time before the exam, I'd remind myself to own it. And regardless of the outcome, I knew that I owned the exam. Pass? Fail? It doesn't matter anymore... the important thing is that I got the experience. If I didn't get it this time, then I continue working on it until the next exam and I'd get it then.

Precisely what you need to do in voice over. I'm as guilty as the next of getting into my head and psyching myself out over the audition. I mentally beat myself up on the drive home, or worry about how I did, if I'll hear anything, or if I just bombed. Does that help anyone? No. Instead, you need to go in with the attitude of owning the audition, moving on to the next challenge as soon as you're done. Leave the worrying to someone else, because it's out of your hands now. The only thing you can do is to continue to train, strengthen up your weaknesses once you've identified them, and go after the next audition with the same philosophy of owning it.

Ironically, it took an infosec certification to really learn the message that people have been telling me for years. If you don't own these challenges, they're going to own you, and regardless of how you learn that lesson, you'll never reach the next step of your career without it...

-Happy Easter!

BTW: for those interested, I passed the exam on the first shot.

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Anonymous Bryan Boyle, CISSP said...

Yeah, mile wide and inch deep.

But you did it, brother. Welcome to the ranks. You earned it, even if your employer has no freaking idea what it is or what it means, in the scheme of things (I have a feeling it's just a check box they can feel self-satisfied that they can check...), or even how to use it properly.

You should be rightly proud. It's a big, intense, and hairy deal to pass the CISSP. I'm proud to know you, and certainly proud to call you a friend.

April 13, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Greg Houser said...

Well Bryan, it is good to get the monkey off my back. True that my job is going through the motions, but so long as I put it to good use I don't see much of a problem with how I got to take the exam.

Good seeing you on the blog, hope to see you around these parts (yep, the site is almost done).

Keep out of trouble ;-)

April 14, 2009 at 9:33 PM  

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