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The VO Boss podcast blends business advice with inspiration & motivation for today's voice talent. Each week, host Anne Ganguzza shares guest interviews + voice over industry insights to help you grow your business and stay focused on what matters...

Jun 13, 2023

Join Anne & Lau as they provide expert insights on overcoming self-sabotage and building powerful connections in the voice over industry. Learn to bring your authentic self to every performance, acknowledge negative self-talk, and rise above self-doubt. Discover strategies to take control of your negative self-talk and move past excuses to help you excel in your voice over career. Anne & Lau will also guide you on how trying new things and getting used to small failures can help you break out of a perfectionist rut and take your voice over business to the next level.
It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.
Anne: Hello, BOSSes. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast and the BOSS superpower series with my ever so special guest,(laughs), Lau Lapides. 
Lau: Thank you, Anne. Hello. How are you? 
Anne: How are you? Oh, awesome. Look at us. How are you?
Lau: Jinx. 
Anne: What is that punch? What is that? Punch Bug. Punch Bug?
Lau: (laughs). Wait, what is that show? Uh, Wonder Twin powers, activate. 
Anne: Activate.
Lau: Form of --
Anne: Right? Business superpowers. Activate. 
Lau: Activate. 
Anne: Activate. 
Lau: (laughs) Ooh, I love that. (laughs) 
Anne: Speaking of superpowers, activating, sometimes I find that my students have a hard time activating their superpowers, and I'm a firm believer that everybody has superpowers in the booth. However, it takes a lot to get past things so that they can activate those superpowers. It's like they get in their own way. Right? Get out of your own way. 
Lau: Yes. Get out of your -- if there were a place, if there were a waiting room that we could leave ourselves in when we go into the booth, or a camera, or an interview, or wherever you're going to do your work, we could leave ourselves there and not worry about it until we come out and get ourselves again — that would be a good thing to do. 
Anne: Yeah. Yeah. You know, it's so tough. I think I always go back to what we do is so personal, right? Our voice is such a personal extension of ourselves, and we're being asked to bring ourselves to a performance constantly. But yet, there are times when we cannot do that, right? In reality, we think we're trying to bring the performer, right, to the performance, but in reality, we want you to bring yourself to the performance. And I think that is what most people have the hardest time doing, getting out of their own way so that they can bring themselves to that audition, to the booth, to the read, whatever that is. And so how do we get out of our own way, Lau? I mean, I think it's a struggle that everyone that gets into voiceover encounters at one point or another. 
Lau: I mean, I think that this is a struggle that we encounter throughout our lifetime, whether we're a voiceover talent or not, but certainly actors of all kinds are always going through identity crisis, always going through, who am I now, and am I good enough? That old imposter syndrome? 
Anne: Yeah. Yeah. 
Lau: And one thing that I always do, and I do this for myself, and I recommend this as a coach as well, is self-talk scripting. I think self-talk scripting is really important to do. And you guys, you can do this, and you can do this all day long, and you can even do it in your head. But I recommend you start out by doing it on paper and write down your negative script. That is the thing that you are saying to yourself in the moment that is really negative. And then I want you to convert that into something that's positive and probably closer to the truth. 
Anne: I like that. 
Lau: Yeah. It just gives you a step. 
Anne: And hang that in your studio. Hang it in your studio. 
Lau: Yes. 
Anne: So you see it. Yes. Absolutely. 
Lau: Yes. And so it can be revolutionary in the sense of saying, wow, if I'm moving towards some sort of enlightenment in my personhood and in my career, I have to be authentically who I am, which means I'm flawed. I'm not perfect by any means, and I'm not even close to it. I'm a real person who's interesting and diverse and complex and sophisticated. So when I have something that comes in my way to self-sabotage my success, I have to stop and recognize it. I have to take accountability for it, and then I have to change it. 
Anne: And I think number one, for people really just starting off -- I think people that have been doing this for a while, they understand the process. But the first thing that people will do is judge how they sound. And we've talked about this so many times, right? They're like, oh, I don't like the way that audition sounds. And I don't think it sounds like what they want it to sound like. And that right there is your self-sabotage. The fact that you're saying, okay, it needs to sound a certain way, and you're not in any way thinking, how can I bring myself to this read? Or how can I bring my person to this read to make it unique, to make it something that will really perk up the ears of the casting director and really tell the story. That's what gets in the way, I think, a lot of times. 
Lau: And even as part of that, like if you're having a piece of copy in front of you, a script in front of you, anything written in front of you, that gymnastics that a lot of times you may go through in saying, I don't know if I wanna do this. I'm not ready for this. I don't really know what this means. And I've never seen — all the stuff, all the excuses we start to come up with --
Anne: Oh, so many excuses.
Lau: -- to procrastinate from getting to the job. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: Right? I'd love to come up with that first before we even open our mouth. (laughs). Like, what do we say to stop us from getting to the point of doing the job? 
Anne: Well, I'm gonna say, stop like talking to yourself and beating yourself up about how you sound and spend that time instead getting out of your way. How can you get out of your way constructively? Well, there's a little thing called Google(laughs). Anne GanGoogle says, Google. Right? Especially if you've got a script and you've got some clues in that script that can help you find out more about what that script, that content is about. Because to bring yourself to that party, you've gotta involve yourself in the story of the script. And the more you know about the story of the script, the more you know about the brand that's involved in that script, the more you know about these little clues that are in the script, these little sayings or nuances, the more you can educate yourself on that, the easier it's gonna be for you to bring your point of view to it. 
Lau: Hmm. I love that. And add on to that, have your circle ready to go. Who's your circle? Your coaches, your family, your friends, whatever. Just have people there that you can call upon to remind you about your greatness and your fabulosity. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: Now, make sure they're not gonna rip you down. Make sure they're not gonna rip you apart and make you self-doubt. Because if they do that, then it's counterproductive. You want people who are going to keep building you up, building you up, building you up, so that you have the confidence to face what you need to face. It doesn't mean they're lying to you. They may not even be in the industry. They may not even have the industry knowledge, but you wanna have that circle of people there for you to call upon to say, you know what? I don't feel great today, or I don't think I sound great. What do you think? And they say, I don't hear anything wrong with your voice. Your voice sounds great. So what's your deal? And it makes you just stop and get out of your head. I would say get out of your head and get into the world. 
Anne: Yeah. I love that. I love that. Definitely you need your network, your VO family. And honestly, as we were discussing before, in a weird sense, I'm gonna say you are more than VO. If you just take a look at the words voiceover, right, there's really not much substance to voiceover in words. It's like a voice, but in reality, you are so much more than just that voice. I mean, you really have to start establishing yourself or thinking of yourself as much more than just the voice. You are the actor, you are the entrepreneur, you are the business person. 
And with that, I think, comes a sense of something that you can bring to that read or that script that is more than just thinking, oh, it's just about the voice and then stressing yourself out over and over and over again and beating yourself up about how it's not -- what am I doing wrong? Or why is nobody listening to it? What is the feedback? And absolutely reach out to that network, network of coaches, network of accountability buddies that you have to get you out of that funk. Because sometimes it is a funk. 
Lau: It is. And much of the time, that's all it is. I would even say, do something. Okay? And what I mean by that is, be active and be in action. The moment you're inside your head oftentimes will be inactive, right? Now if you're thinking you're active, but I want you to be interactive. So meaning the moment you have that thought, you need to cut it off by physically doing something. Whether you move to another room, whether you call someone up, whether you go out and take a walk, whether -- whatever you do, you need to break that also with physical energy. It's really important. Because that heady stuff weighs us down and we actually get cut off from the rest of our body. 
Anne: Yeah. What a great piece of -- we can go home now, Lau. That was a wonderful piece of advice. (Lau laughs) Absolutely. Sometimes just getting up, taking a breath and deep breathing, getting out of the studio. I always like to pet my fur babies. Go see my hubby. Or just do something that gets you out of that, out of that funk, out of that mental -- and you're right, physical can really be a wonderful way to get yourself out of that funk. And when you get out of that funk, and you can actually start to get into the story, get into whatever it is, the dialogue, whatever it is that you are working on in your booth, magic will happen. 
Lau: I love it. 
Anne: I always say to people, when it's right, you feel it. You don't hear it, but you feel it. And that's where I think, every once in a while, when you get that script and you just feel it. And it's like, oh, damn. You don't know quite how it happened, but you felt that it was right. And I wanna say that's what we should always strive for, right? Just that feeling that, yeah, I hit that, that worked. And then even if you, let's say, don't get that audition or don't get that gig, be proud of the fact that you have evolved. That's such a beautiful, wonderful feeling, when you're like, oh yeah, that was good. That was really good. And you can feel proud of yourself for that. 
Lau: Yes. And do a little VO feng shui, meaning do two things. I want you to think up a new idea and learn a new technique that is the implementation of the idea. So it could be something very simple like, oh, today I'm going to, oh, I wanna reach out to this company or these people. I'm gonna reach out to these people in this way. And then I have a new technique for doing that, because I'm gonna do a drip campaign. So that to me is a little feng shui of the spirit of you and your business. You don't have to do exactly the same way every day and get into a rut. You can really say, this week I wanna try something new. And I sat with Anne, I sat with another coach or whatever, and I learned a new idea, a new technique, and now I'm gonna try it. 
Anne: Well, I love that you just brought it out of the booth and into your business, which is great. So getting out of your own way doesn't just mean performance-wise in your booth and acting wise; it also means in your business. So getting out of your own way in your business. And I cannot tell you, there's so many things, Lau, that a lot of people in their business don't like to do because, number one, maybe they're not familiar or they're not educated, they don't know how to do it, and so therefore they don't do anything. Or they will simply just say, oh, I can't, I just can't possibly do that. I don't either have the money or I don't have whatever the excuses are. And I've heard them all, right? And money is a big one, and I get it right, as BOSSes running a business. 
Lau: Yeah. 
Anne: I totally get the money thing. And we've had multiple episodes about money. But I will say is that you have to open your mind for abundance and open your mind for the fact that you need to invest that money and also save that money so you have money to reinvest in your business. And that can help you. Just that alone, money, get out of your own way. Right? Get out of your own way with money. Get out of your own way with marketing. Get out of your own way with all the things, maybe cold calling or whatever it is that can help to grow your business. 
Lau: I'm feeling an Eleanor Roosevelt quote coming on (Anne laughs), and I have to release it -- 
Anne: I love it. 
Lau: — so I don't explode. 
Anne: Release it, please. 
Lau: Here it is. Here it is. I just have to do it. Okay? It's like, do one thing every day that scares you. 
Anne: Oh God, yes. Oh, I love that quote. 
Lau: Okay. And I'm not saying, God forbid, don't jump off a building. I'm not saying that. I'm saying within the framework of who we are as talent and as business, do one thing that kicks you a little bit, to do something that's a little uncomfortable that may even really scare you and see what happens on the other end of it. 
Anne: I'll tell you, that's hard. That's not an easy thing to do. And especially if you've been doing this for a long time. And there's so many, and I'm sure, Lau, you get this a lot too. I hear from a lot of students how they're, they're stuck in a rut. Or I'll do consult calls. So people will say, I, gosh, I've been in voiceover for years and I'm in this rut. I need help. And this is great because you're reaching out. Right? But when you reach out for that help, you then cannot say to me, okay, I can't do this because of this, or I can't do this because of that. Or can you give me the quick 15-minute answer? No, that's the other thing. In a 15-minute, 20-minute consult call, I can't give you the answer to all of life's issues. Or how to run your VO business. However, I can say, here's what I suggest to help you to get out of your own way. 
Lau: And if anything, grab a buddy. Grab accountability buddy. Preferably someone in your business because they get what's going on. They feel it too. They're living it too. 
Anne: Oh yeah. 
Lau: And move through the tougher experiences together. 
Anne: So powerful. 
Lau: Like hold each other accountable. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: You know, have that coffee together weekly or biweekly. and say, you are gonna do this and it's a lot of money. And it's kind of scary. Well, did you do it? So let's do it together. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: Sometimes we need that collab. We need that ensemble thing to get us going. I know I'm a creative, I love ensemble. I need that team oftentimes. 
Anne: Yeah. Yeah.
Lau: I don't think you have to apologize for that. We're not an isolated being; we don't have to just work alone. We have wonderful people. Like you're on another whole coast, 3000 miles away, and we hold each other accountable to showing up, to giving our all, to caring about our audience, to being awake, to throwing on our lipstick. I mean, that's all hard work. It doesn't look like it is, but it is, because so many would rather lay in bed. They'd rather watch TV. They'd rather go the easy route. Go the difficult route. 
Anne: Absolutely. 
Lau: You know, challenge yourself; there's a lot better stuff waiting on the other side of that. 
Anne: Yeah, absolutely. And I wanna come back to, again, what you said about writing things down. I'm a big believer -- I love that you said to write down the negative thoughts and then cross it out and write, like write the absolute opposite of that. 
Lau: Yes. 
Anne: Turn that around. And I love that because I'm the person that likes to write and cross things out as I accomplish them and get them done. So if you have those negative thoughts, write them down, cross it out, and turn that thought around. And also with anything that you've done in terms of not just negative thoughts, but in terms of accomplishments, I think writing down your accomplishments can really work wonders for helping you to gain confidence and to get out of your own way. 'Cause I think a lot of times when you get in your way, it stems from fear and it stems from a lack of confidence. And reading something that is solidly written down, an affirmation, or even like meditation every day, right, can really help to beat that negativity out of your brain. 
Lau: Hmm. Oh, these are great. And I do, one thing I love that I learned from a wonderful coach that I worked with, do a brain dump. Try to do it every day if you can. It's just a five-minute sitting at your table, your desk, in your car, and I want you to write, write, write, write for five minutes, time yourself, five minutes. Don't pick the pen off the paper. Write, write, write, don't edit, don't critique. Get everything in your head out on paper. And that's gonna feng shui your head, that's gonna empty your head and leave room for focus. 
Anne: I love that. Feng shui your head. 
Lau: Feng shui your head. 
Anne: That's a quote, Lau. Feng shui your head. 
Lau: Feng shui your head.
Anne: And get out of your own way. (laughs). 
Lau: Because you don't ,believe it or not, you don't have to believe everything that comes into your head. You know? We get backed up. (laughs) 
Anne: And the biggest -- ‘cause I took a feng shui course, by the way, back in the day and it was one of the best things I'd ever done, is that clutter? Right? If you have clutter in your house, you have clutter in your brain. And if you have clutter in your brain, I love that. Do a brain dump so that you can then start to think clearly. 
Lau: That's right. 
Anne: And then start to really focus on what you need to do to get out of your own way, to make that marketing effort, to create that website, to go ahead and get that additional coaching, to audition for that job that you're scared about and out of your comfort zone. Wow. All that good stuff. 
Lau: Yeah, 'cause we don't wanna hold so much in our head and be balancing all of that and then try to give output that is like high productivity. It's very hard for us to do that. We have to release certain things and get them out there that are not priority for us or that are sabotaging us. We gotta get it out. Sometimes you even just like clean your desk or rearrange something. You know? 
Anne: Absolutely. Or when you come into your studio, clean your studio, or do the brain dump before you do your auditions for the day. I love that. 
Lau: It’s awesome, it's awesome. 
Anne: A lot of times when we're in the middle of an audition, if we're stressed out about other things that are happening, that's coming out in our voice, right? And so we really just need to (breathes), you know, do a brain dump, do a few breathing exercises to relax, and really focus on the story at hand, which is not gonna be like, I don't know, what you need to finish up or when you have to start dinner or what you have to do at home, or what's stressing you out. 
Lau: Yeah. And how the things in front of you, whether they're affirmations or mantras, or you just write a little sticky note to yourself to remind yourself -- like one of my famous sticky notes that I love is that I'll just look just for a second and it'll say, you're enough. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: Stop trying to be perfect. Stop trying to be too much. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. You're enough, you're enough. And it's just a quick reminder. Like we need those quick reminders when we're busy and all of that, to not overload ourselves with stressors that are not necessary. They're really concocted stressors that ultimately tear us down and get in the way of our productivity. It stops us. 
Anne: And I think also when we meet people, new people, right, I feel as though, I mean, hopefully anyways, I'm a fairly good judge of people, I think. I use a lot of gut instinct and intuition, and I feel as though that personality that I meet when we meet for the first time, if I initially connect to that, that is what I think you need to get to that level in your booth or in your business. Right? That this is who you are, this is your personality. This is, and I always like to say that if your personality comes from a place of service from the heart, I really feel as though that can benefit your performance, that can benefit your business. 
If you are coming from a place that doesn't have a bunch of stressors from here and there. And it's really just coming from a place of, let me service this copy. Let me be the best business, let me be the best voice that I can be, and let me network with my client to see how can I help? Instead of coming from a place of what is my talent? I'm not talented enough, or my voice isn't good enough, it needs to come, like, how can I best service my client? How can I best serve my business by bringing myself and my heart of service to it? 
Lau: Hmm. Oh gosh. I just love that. That gave me tingles. I love that. That's great. I would even push that even farther. And I would say, find a moment that you can sacrifice or give of yourself in a selfless way, because we wanna be selfish. We wanna be self-centered. We wanna get, get, get. Find a moment where you can authentically give. And that is a moment that when you start doing that, it's kind of painful. But then you get used to it and you say, wow, I got so much in return. So like for instance, when I was a working talent all the time, before I became an agent and a coach, I was working talent, I would talk to people and create all sorts of relationships with casting, and they'd say, you're just not right for this, Lau. I mean, you're just… I'd say, well, right, okay. 
Anne: Yeah. And then worry about it ever again.
Lau: Guess what I'd come back with? I had so much chutzpah now that I think about it. (Anne laughs) I'd come back and I'd say, you know what? That's okay. I'm gonna get you the right person. Who do you need? And they couldn't believe I said that to them. They'd be like, well we're, we're looking for this. We'll send you the breakdowns, and maybe you can find some -- I, I always, always would put in referrals. 
Anne: And then when they need you, you're the first person at the top of their mind. 
Lau: And the funniest part about for me was it became much more satisfaction than getting it for myself. So (laughs)
Anne: Isn't that so telling now that you're an agent?
Lau: It's telling.
Anne: And that's what you do. Right? 
Lau: Yeah. It literally built a whole career for me because I started that habit. 
Anne: That is so interesting because before my career in voiceover, I used to place students in internships and teach, of course. So everything for me is very telling. I coach now. And I also, I love to place my students on rosters. I love to recommend jobs to them. I love to do referrals, I love to cast. And so I feel like there's that match, right? 
Lau: Yes. 
Anne: When we know our students or we know our clients and we can put those two together. 
Lau: That's right. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: And sometimes, and this is where you and I have spoken about, be interactive, don't be passive about it. Sometimes they're not coming to you. Like sometimes you're just observing that there are people around you that they need to know they need to meet. You know, something about your friends or your talent. Because remember in business, anytime you make a referral or recommendation, and it works out, it makes you look great. 
Anne: Oh, absolutely. 
Lau: Like you become --
Anne: Oh my gosh, yes. 
Lau: — someone that they can't live without. Right? 
Anne: Absolutely. So they trust you.
Lau: They trust you. 
Anne: People buy from people they know, like, and trust. 
Lau: Yes. So don't be afraid and think, oh, but I'm --
Anne: I’m giving a job away.
Lau: — myself. 
Anne: I'm giving a job away. 
Lau: No, no, no. Because you know what? If they really wanna work with you, they'll work with you. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: If it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be. But that doesn't mean you're out of the picture. There are many times, especially in live circumstances, where you can do introductions, you can do referrals. 
Anne: Sure. 
Lau: You can do this and that and just plant the seed. And they may not go for it, but a lot of times they do. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: And they go, oh my gosh, Lau, you introduced me to this person. This person's amazing. We signed a contract the other day. Do you take a percentage of that? I don't. 
Anne: But Lau, you don't. But then sometimes you can. 
Lau: So that's a whole job unto itself. (laughs) 
Anne: Well, there you go. So look, I'm not gonna say I try to get a dollar for everything, but honestly like that when, when we're talking about the referral and the agenting and then getting other people work, when it turns out to be something profitable, it can also mean profit for you and your business. Now, I'm not saying everything should turn into that, but I mean I've had instances where I've referred clients or I've referred — and I've been offered and I'm like, no, no, no. But it has been insisted by the client that I get some sort of a fee for that. And so, and I think I am worthy. Right? That was a good referral. And both client and talent are now making money off of that or they're being fairly compensated. So I don't entirely dismiss the idea saying, oh no, no, no, no. If somebody's gonna say here, no, I am going to pay, I'm a business short. That's awesome. 
Lau: Absolutely. 
Anne: And how else can I help you (laughs)? 
Lau: Well listen, if you get really good at that and you start doing that a lot, there's all different ways to frame that, whether you do management, whether you do fee for service, whether you do — there's all sorts a way to frame that matchmaking thing that some of us are really good at.,my point is, is like, like just give, just give. Don't worry about giving. You'll get enough back in return. 
Anne: Well Karma. 
Lau: Karma. 
Anne: It's karma. I mean, VO BOSS was started from giving. Literally, if you remember, I tell my story over and over again. I was trying to give up my VO Peeps brand and I was gonna roll it into VO BOSS, 'cause I wanted to continue educating. I wanted this to be a resource, an educational resource for the community. And it turned out to be so much in addition to that, really. 
Lau: Yeah. 
Anne: Look, I got to meet you. And I mean there's just so many wonderful things that have come from the place of giving, and I really feel that every business needs to have that aspect to — which is a very popular trend these days with businesses too. 
Lau: You just brought up a mouthful. The BOSSes would love to know about, without naming any names or titles of anything, you and I met doing an online panel together. 
Anne: Oh, yes, we did. 
Lau: But here's the thing I want the BOSSes to know. I can't speak for you, Anne, but I didn't make a penny on that. 
Anne: No, I didn't. Yeah. 
Lau: And that was A-Okay by me because that was education to that company and that community. And I love that. I love that. But look what came out of this. 
Anne: Oh yeah, absolutely. 
Lau: Look at this relationship that was built out of that. 
Anne: Absolutely. 
Lau: And this is the example of what we're saying, like karma.
Anne: A place of service, a place from heart. 
Lau: Look at this. If we hadn't done that, if we said, look, I'm at a place in our careers, we do make money for everything we do, whatever, we wouldn't have met, we may not met. 
Anne: That's true. Very true. 
Lau: Isn't that amazing when you think about that. 
Anne: There you go. And what a great story. What a great story to end on. 
Lau: Very heartwarming. 
Anne: Good stuff. BOSSes, get outta your own way. You can do it. Get rid of the clutter that stops you from being the very best you that we know you are. And we know you are the BOSSes. So, all right. Lau, thank you. It's been great.
Lau: Do your thing, thing.
Anne: Yes. It's been great. And so speaking of giving back, right? As individuals, it can be difficult to make a huge impact. But as a group, we can contribute to the growth of our communities and give back in ways that we never thought before possible. Visit to learn how. And a big shout-out to my favorite sponsor, ipDTL. You too can network and connect like Lau and myself like BOSSes. Find out more at Guys, have a great week. We'll see you next week. Bye!
Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.