New for the New Year

It’s 2019 and things in my life are going to change.  I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions years ago, Who keeps them anyways?  I instead make plans and changes in my life that are realistic and attainable.  I began calling these subtle changes “New for the New Year.”  This Year started with a LARGE change, on the 1st of January I packed up my equipment and important objects and moved to the rural town of Fort Stockton, Texas.  This change prompted other, long awaited changes including committing myself to become a Full-Time VoiceOver Talent.  Luckily, I have the support of my family in this venture.

The closets in my new residence are too small for a viable recording space, so  I set up a small corner in my bedroom while I go through the labor of building a more permanent recording space.

I am always willing to learn, improve, and build on my knowledge and experience.
I do what I do and I do it well

Thank you for Listening,
Dan Harcourt

Striving for Greatness

You have probably read by now that one of my favorite phrases is “I do what I do, and I do it well” These are words that I live by and strive to achieve.

Nothing is ever easy, if it is, you aren’t doing it right. Greatness requires a lot of practice, a lot of patience, and pushing yourself to excel. Take pride in your work, even if nobody else sees the potential.

Vincent Van Gogh, you know that name, is a great example of someone that pursued his passion even though nobody around him thought he would amount to anything, they didn’t want his paintings, they didn’t want him around, they thought he was just some two-bit hack.  He didn’t give up his painting.  He is known today as one of the greatest painters of all time.

My suggestion… surround yourself with people that make you want to be better, people that push you to be your best, and people that have the ability to criticize your work with an “objective eye” or in the case of Voice-Over “objective ear”.

Everyone has the ability to do anything, you are not entitled to do it, you have to work for it. For photography, It doesn’t matter how good your eye is, you need the training. In sports, you can be the most athletic person in the world, but you can’t just walk out onto the football field and play with the big boys, you need years of coaching and training. In VoiceOver, you could have the voice of an angel, but without proper delivery and training, you may as well be barking like a dog into the microphone.

Always be training, every day you should learn something new, never stop growing, always be ready, everything is subjective so be humble enough to take criticism, Be Proud of Who you are and have faith in the work you do, Rejection is always going to be a part of life, business, and art.

Life and pursuing your dreams go hand in hand when it comes to achieving what you desire.  As I mentioned above, Rejection is common, but don’t let it bury you.  Set your desired goals:
Are my goals realistic?   Possibly
What will it take to achieve my goals?  A lot of little steps
How far can I reasonably pursue my desires?  As far as my dreams and persistence can take me.
Can I be the best at what I do?  Probably not, but I can be the greatest “me” I can be
Do I need training to achieve those goals?  YES, without question
Is there someone out there that can help me achieve my goals? Always, but it will take some effort on my part to find them.
What else do I need to do?  Research, maybe there is help for me that I would’ve never thought to use.

Thank you for listening
Dan Harcourt

Small Business Owner

I don’t work a 9-5 job
I have a business to run
I work well over 40 hours a week
I don’t get paid Overtime
I am a small business owner
I work to provide a service to an ever growing community

Nobody ever said pursuing your dreams are easy
Nobody ever said that it would be cheap
We all have goals that we hope to accomplish
How are you pursuing your goal?
Are you sitting around just waiting for it to happen?
Or are you actively working to achieve that goal?

It took me a long time to find what it was that I really wanted to do with my life
Now that I have, I don’t want to let that dream go
The Struggles
The Failures
The Losses
The Victories
The Accomplishments
The Absolute Joy in working every day
Leading to the Ability to say
“I followed my dream, I fell down, but I got back up… and I am a success.”

Whatever your dream may be, know that you have either a hard road with lots of decisions ahead of you, or you have succeeded and that road is behind you and all you can do is continue to grow, continue to learn, and keep the dream alive.

“I Do what I Do and I Do it Well.”

Practice Makes Perfect —

Disclaimer:: None of the following compares with the skills you would gain from professional coaching.

We all know that practice doesn’t necessarily make you perfect, but it does help you to improve.
Practicing in the comfort of your own home whether reading the newspaper out loud, getting in your studio and just recording some random pages from a book or magazine, or participating in a workout group improves your abilities as a Voice Artist.
I am going to give you a slight insight as to what a workout group offers me.

Live Workout Groups
I recently went to a local workout group, and realized that people interaction in the VO world is pretty much limited to the occasional phone call and directed session.
I met some local talents, heard a bit of their experiences, and we sat around and read different scripts for our peers to review and direct.  It was a great time for everyone involved, and the feedback was amazing.  I recommend that any voice talent should find a group near them, get out of your little closet and meet some people face to face,

On-Line Workout Groups
There are several online workout groups that are available throughout the week, just do some searching through Facebook, your favorite search engine, and twitter.  Finding the one that’s right for you won’t be that hard.  The good ones are the ones that challenge you, are very candid in their feedback; not necessarily what you want to hear, but what you need to hear; and continually help you to grow as a talent.
I have been an active participant of this particular on-line workout group (linked image attached) since before I decided to take the next step and get professional coaching.  This group has assisted me hone the skills that make a successful voice talent.  Without the feedback from the peers in this group, my self-direction skills, my weaknesses and my strengths would be far less than I know them to be.  I am constantly growing and evolving thanks, in part, to this fantastic group of people.

This is just one of the ways to continue growing as a VO, supplementing, not replacing, professional coaching and real experience.

Thank you for reading.
Dan Harcourt

The World Around You

Remember when you were a child and everything seemed so new, fresh, and wondrous? You don’t have to lose that. Take a moment in this fast paced world to stop and look around, the world is still new, fresh and wondrous. Something new is happening in your life every day, seeing it requires you to slow down. The miracles in this world are constant, ever changing and always there. I was talking with someone about what I see when I look around, and they told me that this view of the world around me has brought them a new joy as well. I decided I’d share this view with you all today.

I have had an interesting life. Full of highs, lows, and everything in between. Growing up I’ve lived all over the country, visited and lived on 4 other continents. I’ve also worked in multiple fields of business including Customer Service, Sales, and Physical Labor. The world and my life seemed like it was just work, sleep, and food. I still work over 75 hours a week, and started sensing that my joy of life was fading.

I lost was the wonder in the viewing of this beautiful world. I live away from the cities where the air is clean and the grass is green. Farms and Ranches dot the landscape, animals freely move about the land, the wind blowing through the trees is unobstructed by buildings. I watched the sunrise while sitting on my porch, alone, and the world around me seemed a new place. Explaining what happened in my mind isn’t easy, I looked around and saw things that I had forgotten was there. The dew on the grass, the leaves on the oak in the front yard, a spiderweb in the corner. I saw the the life and wonder of the world around me and it became as fresh as it was when I was a child.

I now take a few moments every day to look around and take in the wonder of everything around me. You’d be surprised how much easier it is for me to go to work, get rest, wake early, and even deal with my own demons.

Take a moment to notice the beauty around you, you may be surprised that you find a new joy in your life.

Thank You for Reading,
Dan Harcourt

Dan Harcourt VO

Commercial Demo

Narration Demo

Real Estate Scratch Recording

About Dan 

Dan is taking the VoiceOver world by storm.  His peers have praised his folksy voice.
Dan was a theater performer all through school, even being recognized at the state and national levels for his performances.  After school he performed in many lines of work; from food service to information technology support, from general labor to tax preparation; providing the skills and experience to bring a natural authenticity to his VO performances.
Having trained with some seasoned professionals in the VO industry, Dan has begun to branch out and begin his Voiceover Career.

My personal motto that I strive to continually prove and improve…
“I do what I do, and I do it well.”

Your Passion Can Be Your Life

Originally posted to Facebook in Voiceover Camp
by Dan Harcourt
December 3, 2017

I’ve learned a lot over the past few months among the VO community. Especially here in VO Camp and while training with Terry, Tawny, and Rob.
Something that’s always hinted at, but not really brought to the table is the struggle that becoming a Voice Over Artist really entails. A passion is never easy to pursue, especially if you don’t know where the object of that passion is going to bring you. It takes guts to not only pursue that passion as a career, but it takes an uncomfortable initiative and real guts to take those first few required steps into the unknown.
It’s really not as scary or unknown as you think. You’ve already done similar in your past, whether it’s changing your major in college, buying a house, proposing to your significant other, saying yes to a proposal, starting a business, or making the decision (or not) to have kids. All of these things take the same initiative and guts. All of these things also require a passion or hopefulness in order to change your life toward the unknown outcome.
The road to becoming a Voice Artist is not an easy one. Look back upon your life, has it all been easy? Your life history is going to become a big part of who you are as a Voiceover Talent. Everything I’ve done in the past, and everything I’m doing now is influencing who I am going to become in my VO career. From marketing, bookkeeping, work ethic, and the knowledge that I’ve accumulated over my lifetime. Even the jobs I’ve performed are impacting my delivery, the work I look for, and the way I organize my time.
My foodservice background provides me insight to the client services and communication skills as well as a bit of sales. My retail management background has given me the ability to organize and communicate the products that I provide. My construction/Handyman background has already assisted me in designing and building a custom whisper room for pennies on the dollar of a professional booth. The Bar Ownership background has already shown me that if I want a business to be successful, I’m going to have to put in excessive time and energy to ensure that it happens (especially in the beginning). I have had many other types of jobs that I know will assist me in pursuing this career. I have a strong belief that I will succeed, as my proven motto for everything I have done is “I do what I do, and I do it well.”
These are just my thoughts and the way I am approaching my pending and growing VO career, I am thankful for all of the advice and training that my coaches have provided, and I will continue to learn and grow as a Voice Talent.
Your Passion can be your life. I’m trying to make it mine. I don’t care if you want to be a voice artist, photographer, tattoo artist, or journalist; If you are passionate about it, your life is already leading you there, pursue it. Do the research, take the required steps and training, and make it your own. It’s not too late, and it’s not too hard, you’ve already lived your life, make your passion your life.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, text and outdoor

What’s Stopping You?

Originally posted to Facebook Voiceover Camp
by Dan Harcourt
November 7, 2017
Disclaimer::: I no longer live at that location, and my “day job” hours have been cut significantly to continuously work on my VO career.

I live about 4 blocks from a train station. I hear a train about every 10-15 minutes. Rob Marley heard this in my coaching session with him yesterday, and Tawny Platis heard it today. These trains aren’t quiet. As I previously mentioned, I am currently recording audio books, and I have to be able to read in between these bouts of noise.

Tawny made a comment that made me realize how much I really want this career.
I can’t repeat it here, mainly because I don’t want to misquote her. But this is what I do.

I work over 75 hours a week in my “day job”, as well as going through the regular coaching sessions with our fearless leaders, Terry, Tawny, and Rob. I also found a way to record around the rest of the distractions in my life and in my recording area.

There is nothing that can stop you from pursuing your dreams except your own mind.
There is no excuse that can keep you from trying.

Pick up your feet, prepare, and do what you love no matter what it is.

“I do what I do, and I do it well.”