the weight is the gift

I can't say anything specific about the job, but I got to be a voice actor again today, working with people I love, on a show that I love. 

While we were all in the booth together between acts, waiting to hear from the director about our pickups, I took a moment to look around and appreciate where I was, who I was working with, and what I was working on. 

I talked a little bit about truly appreciating things a little bit on this week's Radio Free Burrito. My biggest regret from my years on TNG is that I was too young and immature to truly and fully appreciate how lucky I was to work with such wonderful people, even though I was able to enjoy it while I was there. I guess the only way to unlock the "appreciate" ability is by leveling up your Wisdom attribute, in other words.

In my life experience, I've come to believe that enjoying something and appreciating something each involve a sense of gratitude, but when you put both feelings together, you end up with something that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. The two don't go hand-in-hand unless you actively make the effort, but when you do … well, you end up having a day like today, where I enjoyed working with wonderful people while creating a fantastic characters, and I also appreciated the opportunity to be there.

21 thoughts on “the weight is the gift”

  1. I really like this post. Glad to hear you had a great day. Your point about enjoying something and appreciating something gives me something to meditate on.
    Cheers!

  2. Children very rarely experience that joint enjoyment and appreciation. I know this because
    1) I have a basic background in developmental psychology,
    2) I am a dad, and
    3) I was a child once myself (shocking, I know).
    Being young and immature is kinda part of the package of being a kid, Wil (as I know you’re aware now). I’m really happy for the gig today and the feelings it engendered in you.
    I’m even happier that I’ve been following you and reading your material long enough to have seen your growth and evolution as a human being that has brought you to the point of consciously recognizing this great moment today. (I hope I’m not sounding paternalistic or patronizing, I mean this in the best way possible; you’ve inspired me at many points along the way.)

  3. Just a question: since you clearly get a great deal out of the experience of recording with other voice actors, what do you have to do in order to get that sort of performance when being recorded alone? Is the challenge of remaining “in the moment” when not playing against the actual actors a pain or a fun workout?

  4. Can’t wait for the revelation of what it was. :D
    I’ve been listening to the Lulu version Just a Geek all day at work today and I can’t wait to get back to it tomorrow.
    Thank you very much for the stories.

  5. That is so great! I bet they loved you too. You deserve to have all kinds of great doors open up for you. I hope 2010 brings you everything you want.

  6. What sets you apart from many others, besides the obvious, is that you are able to look back and appreciate those who you worked with. I’m sure there are those that don’t look back so fondly on people they interacted with at a younger age.

  7. “the only way to unlock the “appreciate” ability is by leveling up your Wisdom attribute”
    In 100 years, that will be on a list of famous quotes attributed to you, I’ll wager.
    …Not that I’ll be around to pay up if it isn’t…

  8. I believe that is is hard to really appreciate something while you have it. But appreciation of things lost in the past can help us appreciate the things we have today.
    Now I’m waiting for the post where you talk about your appreciation for your teenage self’s decision to leave Star Trek.

  9. Well, that’s the thing about Wisdom: you can’t just grind to get it because it has to be earned through hard work and many quests.
    You can certainly find party members who will give you bonuses to Wisdom (and, in fact, one of the quests to gain Wisdom involves removing party members who lack the Wisdom to help you gain your own) but ultimately, you have to earn it, and it’s never easy.

  10. So does that mean that you have a new agent for voice acting work, or did the previous one realize the error of his ways and beg your forgiveness?

  11. I am still without a VO agent. All the voice acting work I've gotten in the last few years has been the result of my manager's hard work and offers from people I've worked with before.
    I consider myself to be very, very lucky.

  12. Wil,
    It is good to still read that you are still having fun with your art. The people around you, seem to be great, which can make you even better. You might find out, from them, that they are better because of your current work. Keep up the great work.
    FG

  13. Wil,
    Your quote says a lot: ” I guess the only way to unlock the “appreciate” ability is by leveling up your Wisdom attribute, in other words.”
    I do remember your character from TNG, but I don’t know how old you are. I’m in my 40s and only recently learned to appreciate what you just described. If you’ve learned this ability at a younger age, kudos to you.

  14. “I’ve come to believe that enjoying something and appreciating something each involve a sense of gratitude, but when you put both feelings together, you end up with something that is greater than the sum of its individual parts.”
    This sums up my relationship with my fiance perfectly. As an example: I love anything geeky, nerdy, etc. I enjoy sharing these things with my fiance, and the fact that she herself enjoys them and encourages me to show her more makes me appreciate what we have.
    On its own, a loved one encouraging you to do what you enjoy is simply a good thing. Combined with them enjoying who you are and what you are interested in makes it go from great to amazing.
    http://www.livingwithanerd.com

  15. Speaking of VO work, I’m sitting here with my 4yo DD, watching The Secret of NIMH. You’ve gone and touched another generation. Oh, and that’s another thing. DD wanted to Google images of unicorns the other day, and insisted on checking out THIS gem: http://wilwheaton.typepad.com/wwdnbackup/2008/10/stretch-out-and.html. Oh what fun to explain. She had trouble with the whole “tank of rainbows” thing, and I’m sure she won’t recall it later. But thanks so much for making my job as parent that much more interesting. :D

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