When I tell people that I’m a voiceover guy they have a hard time putting me in a box. They can’t figure out my financial status because they have no idea “what that pays.” They don’t know my social circle or habits, and wonder what makes me tick. They have no idea how to stereotype me…. And I love it. Over the years I have kept in touch with many people through social media and it has allowed me to mold an image of what people think of me. And blogging has helped add to the image of who Dane Reid is.
Before Jan 2015, here are the things I would’ve wanted you to know 1)I’m passionate about civil and social justice. 2)My Sennheiser 416 and I spend a good amount of time traveling the country and abroad at a whim. And 3)I poke fun at the fact that in spite of having involved myself with scores of women, I still can’t find “The One.” Of course there are other things that you can derive from my social media profile but these are pretty much the big ones. Oh, and of course, did I mention that I’m a voiceover guy. Of course I did; A voiceover guy with a superman complex.
Having the ability to write my own story has made me believe that I can accomplish anything and that I will win in any scenario. In ways, I feel superhuman sometimes. I have bad experiences of course but things always turn out well so I take that for granted. But January 2015 has been quite interesting and even slightly humbling. And it has reminded me that I’m not superhuman, I’m just human.
Like everyone else I started the year off with a set of goals. When I set goals I am unwavering in getting them done. Mine are to go farther in my voiceover career. I had already set the stage for some of my initiatives late last year and was in full swing by the beginning of 2015. I’d been in a series of meetings with people who have track records of starting and running successful businesses who were interested in some of my ideas. Big things were on the horizon for 2015. Nothing could go wrong. Right? Until something went wrong early in the month.
On a routine drive back from my mother’s house, I slid off the road and ended up with my car stuck in a mud ditch. I was physically fine. But what just happened? I consider myself an exceptional driver, someone so confident in a car that I have often pushed the boundaries of what a person should even attempt in a vehicle. High speeds, amazing accident avoidance incidents, outrageous maneuvers and even out running law enforcement are all on my driving resume. So how could this happen to ME? It was low speed. I’m familiar with the road. And, did I mention that I had just heard myself on the radio just a few minutes before this all transpired? But at the end of the day, AAA arrived and pulled me out of the ditch and I was back on the road with no damage to car and only slight damage to my ego.
With the hydroplaning incident behind me, I was back to normal life. I’m the voice over guy driven to make amazing things happen in the new year. With one bad incident already having happened, I figured to have exceeded my limit for the year. But life had other plans.
On January 22 I had a full day planned. 5:30 a.m. gym. 7 a.m. back home, shower then microphone work. At 10 a.m. I was out running errands. But by 2 p.m. I was feeling a bit of pain in my stomach. By 4 p.m. I was in a meeting consulting a client on a project in West Africa. But by this point I was in increased pain. I was doubled over as I walked and had to cut the meeting short. The moment I got home I knew that I couldn’t continue. I had to go to the hospital. I got a ride there from a close friend. When I arrived at the hospital I was triaged. The wait was a few hours long and when I got to the examination room the ER doctor suspected an appendicitis. He CT scanned me and confirmed and recommended surgery. I wasn’t convinced. So I checked with my primary health physician, Google, for a second opinion. Dr. Goog agreed I needed surgery. “A Laparoscopic appendectomy would take little out of my busy schedule.”
I received the surgery overnight and was released by midday Friday in time to deliver some lines to a station I do radio imaging for. But aside from a few minutes behind the mic, the rest of the day was easy going. I just laid on the couch. My mother even came by to keep me company and brought some good ‘ole chicken soup.
But just hours down the line I was back in the hospital in the worst pain of my life. I was begging for them to knock me unconscious because their strongest meds we’re working. They scanned me again. My intestines became twisted in the process of the first surgery. The blood supply was being cut off and I needed emergency surgery to correct it or face my last day on earth. For a week following, I was laid up in the hospital. Half of the time I was so drugged up I couldn’t stay awake long enough to read my first name much less a conversational read for any auditions I received. My clients were mostly understanding that the guy who gives them commercials was challenged just to get out of bed or walk down the hospital hall. In there, no-one cared about pop filters or plosives, they were just concerned that I could poop. I never knew that pooping was a major accomplishment that people would clap for. But in the hospital, flatulence and defecation trump a great voice and being heard on the radio.
Sometime in my week’s stay a nurse did ask me what I do for a living and I told her. She was so fascinated that she told another nurse who also found my career choice interesting. But they still seemed more excited when I first passed gas. I never felt like a voiceover guy, one of the cool kids or Superman in this experience. I just felt so human, like everyone else, instead. And for the first time, passing gas was more exciting than hearing my own voice playing in my car.