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Summer Vacation: I Said 'No' To Smart Phone. 
And Disconnecting Was Liberating, Refreshing

August 31, 2016

Note: The author needs a vacation from THIS?
Well, he doesn't do VOs on horseback. VO talent Rich Owen took this photo of the author and his TN Walking Horse, Jett, during a recent visit to Nashville and Rick's ranch.

By Rick Lance
Voice Actor

Summer is one of my favorite times of year. I love all the seasons, but thereís something about summer that makes it extra special.

Maybe itís the nostalgia of it ... thinking back to childhood when school let out and you had three WHOLE MONTHS of freedom, swimming, riding bikes, ice cream treats, and of course, the family summer vacation.

I loved it all as a kid, but as an adult, Iíve come to treasure this time of year even more, and especially the vacation part. I mean, who doesnít love a vacation?

But for me, itís become so much more than enjoying a new locale, oohing and ahhing over scenery, or finding the perfect souvenir.

Vacation is my mental respite. Itís quite literally an application of the brakes on my life. Vacation is a balm to my soul.


Donít get me wrong. Voice over is my life. I love what I do, and I make a decent living at it.

Of course, I am extremely dedicated and work very hard to continually build and maintain my business. This often means long hours in the studio, recording and editing and making sure I can deliver the best quality product to my clients.

Itís exhilarating yet stressful. Fun but not easy.

Naturally, itís nice to step away every so often and slow down and unwind.


This year, I made a special point of truly disconnecting during my time away. Itís second nature to stay connected nowadays, what with smart phones enabling us to be available 100% of the time.

But this year, I said no. And for the first time since I was a kid eating ice cream cones and riding in my parentsí old car down a dusty road, I felt truly liberated.

Each day of vacation, I woke up feeling invigorated. I felt purposeful, but without a to-do list a mile long.

I watched the sunrise, I went on walks, I ate delicious foods, I took naps - and I make a conscientious effort to be truly present in each of those simple acts.

I can tell you, without a doubt, that doing so was a vacation game-changer for me. I have never felt so refreshed and recharged, or so complete.


And I learned a valuable lesson, too. The key is in being present. Thatís what changed it for me.

Quite simply, I was just there. I removed the distractions, I focused my attention where I wanted, and I was present.

Itís amazing how much this can promote peace within, and itís something that I am going to apply to my life from this point forward.

Sure, I know there will be times where Iím feeling stressed and overwhelmed, but Iím going to look back to my summer vacation, and remember how I felt. I know that I can use what I learned this summer to help me be the best that I can be in all areas of my life, both personally and professionally.

One suggestion though: Make sure you alert your clients and potential clients that you'll be unavailable for a short while before you decide to take off!
Rick Lance has been working as a voice talent since 1993, transitioning from singing demos and personal projects in Nashvilleís music business to voicing hundreds of commercials, then promos, narrations, character voices and more. His vocal style is described as Americana, the voice of the Heartland. He is currently the voice (narrator) of three hunting programs and one outdoor program on the Sportsman Channel and the Outdoor Channel. His client list includes Toyota, Harley Davidson, Sony Entertainment, Coca Cola, Life Care Centers of America, John Deere, Jordan Outdoor Enterprises and Sacred Seasons II. He has also become a leading voice for the industries of construction, manufacturing, energy production, trucking, agriculture/equine, outdoor sports, travel, community banking, finance and health care. And he is a colorful voice for film, television, museum and corporate documentaries. "Iím lucky to be working within my comfort zone," he says, "literally living out my voice acting life as an outdoorsman, horseman, weekend cowboy and working man, gentleman farmer on my six acre mini ranch with my horses, dogs, cats and my wife near Nashville.Ē


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Comments (2)
Howard Ellison
9/6/2016 at 10:03 AM
What a Zen piece! Yes, we are just back from 10 days in Cornwall, the olde worlde western corner of England. No laptop, no emails, just a pocket radio and only two stations audible.
Most memorable: bright, happy three year old cousin cavorting around in the sun. Simple, joyful.
Darla Middlebrook
8/31/2016 at 9:35 AM
Good for you, Rick! I don't own an iPhone.
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