Why the “second nicest”?

One of the very best things to happen to me at Faffcon took place 10 minutes before the first Faffcon got underway in Portland, OR in September of 2010. Doug Turkel gave me an insight and some advice that struck a chord of resonance in my soul that continues to reverberate to this very day.

That insight and advice led to my position as the “second nicest guy in voiceover.” Since I first started using that line, the day I got home from that first Faffcon, I’ve been asked many, many times a question that is almost inevitable. It goes something like this: “So, who’s the first nicest if you’re only second?” And my answer to that question varies depending on whether I’m being asked the question in person, on the phone or via email.

The essential answer is to ask a question in turn: “Would the nicest guy in voiceover claim to be the nicest?”

But, here’s the truth behind that question: I’m a human being, just like you are. While I do try to be nice to everyone, sometimes I fail. I mess up. I make a mistake. In fact, (I make lots of mistakes. Just ask my daughter Karen or my son Eric. They do the lion’s share of the editing for me and have to deal with my mistakes all the time.) And sometimes, I’m not nice. I can even be a complete jerk from time to time. Again, ask my kids or my wife Cinda. They can tell you.

So, at it’s most essential, I can’t claim to be more than the “second nicest” guy in voiceover because that’s all I am on my best days.

4 Comments

  1. I can honestly say that some of the most powerful and important things to happen to *me* at FaffCon took place in the company of Bob Souer. Both when listening to him share some of his masterful approach to the world of voiceovers during numerous FaffCon sessions, and during private conversations between the two of us.

    As for sharing “insights and advice?” I think that a better characterization of my end of that conversation would be “pointing out the obvious.” Still, I’m glad to know that it was helpful.

    Cheers,

    Doug

    PS. I’m pretty sure that I know the identity of the nicest guy in voiceover. But I wouldn’t want to embarrass him on his own blog… ;)

    Comment by Doug Turkel — April 7, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

  2. Doug,

    Thank you for your very kind comments. As for the phrase “insights and advice”, it’s my blog and thus my description.

    Be well,
    Bob

    PS: That pink glow you see in the night sky to the north of Miami? That would be me, blushing, up here in Pittsburgh.

    Comment by Bob — April 7, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

  3. Bob, I put something on Facebook the other day about if you are all things to all people you might loose who you really are. I don’t see that happening with you and yet you are pretty close to that without loosing or selling out. That is the secret ingredient. If you could bottle it and sell it then……….but hey there is only one of you.

    On another note I am sure my VO career could jump up a step if I had my own family editors. Lucky you and also such great kids. Xoxo

    Comment by Juliette Gray — April 8, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

  4. Best wishes for continued success, Bob! If in one’s quest to be ‘nice’ there are occassions when you slip up a bit, it’s ok. As long as you’re true to your ‘intention’ to be nice. There are, unfortunately, some who perceive ‘being nice’ with ‘being weak’ and some have even gone so far as to say “I’m not in a popularity contest.”

    In truth, there are only two ways to get someone to do something: Force or persuasion. If a kid is running into the street in front of a car, ‘force’ in the form of grabbing him or her and pulling back is quite appropriate. For most human interactions, persuasion is far more efficient. Less effort, more lasting value, and the basis for ‘relationships’ to be developed.

    So keep your title of ‘second nicest’ and wear it proudly. You make a good example for the rest of us!

    Comment by Dan Nims — April 8, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

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