The New Humble Brag

by | Jan 14, 2019 | Ruminations

Why you’re reading this blog I don’t know.

By almost any measure of VO success, I’ve failed.  I’m good at writing blogs, though.  Maybe that’s what I should do. Full-time writing.


That’s even more challenging than voice-acting.  ALL the freelance endeavours seem to be a challenge.

So maybe I’m just letting the peaks-and-valleys nature of freelancing get to me.  Most of us – I would think – gauge our VO success by how steady business is, and keep track of our revenue to find the evidence of our hard work.  It’s not always cause and effect.  Hard work can leave you with little to show for it.

January has blessed me so far with one voice-over job.  $350 dollars for a phone-patch session.  One job…14 days.

Now, I realize this may not be the experience of my colleagues, many of whom remind me of their “busyness” alla time.  

I call it the new humble brag.

It usually happens when there’s an agreed-upon appointment on the schedule.  At the last minute, the other party offers their regrets  “Something’s come up, and I can’t make it” they’ll say.   Then they feel the responsibility to offer a reason for their absence; an excuse for missing the meeting…kind of a teacher’s note for voice actors. 


The success of my VO comrades is encouraging. They're finding work, and that means the marketplace is active...but... Click To Tweet

But this is where the humble brag begins.

All that’s really needed to explain the absence is: ” ‘got a last-minute gig”. 

Of course!  A paying gig always takes precedence.  Good onya!

But the apologizing party goes further.  “Yeah, it’s just one several agency jobs I’ve gotten recently in the big city this year…I’ve been steady driving back and forth to their studio!”.

Or: “I’ve got this long ‘n’ involved eLearning project that’s taking me two weeks to finish.  Big Bucks!”

Or: “I’m just so busy, that I can’t afford to take a break in my day.  HUGE job that’s on a looming deadline!” 

Those are all legitimate reasons to beg off an otherwise low-ROI meeting with me.  But I don’t need to hear the details.  That’s salt in my no-work-coming-in wound.

Now…there are those reasoned voices that claim you should never judge your success by any one else’s metrics.  I get that, but it’s never worked for me, and from what I can tell, it’s almost impossible to do.  I understand the argument, but I have always turned it around to say that others’ success spurs me on.  The work is out there!  I just have to try harder, I’ll say to myself.

Then the new humble brag comes along. 

It’s defeaning.

I admit this is sour grapes.  The success of my VO comrades is encouraging.  They’re finding work, and that means the marketplace is active.  So…then…why one measly job in the last two weeks?

Back to work, I guess.  ‘Just gotta try harder.  More marketing.  More networking. More cold-calling. 

Just don’t call me to say you can’t make the meeting today because you’ve got this lucrative mongo job that is consuming all your time and schedule, and it’s so nice to be BUSY!

A simple:  “got a last-minute gig” will do just fine.




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