Personal Writing

You’re being audited (and that’s a very good thing!)

What a time we’re living in! When I was at the height of my voice over career, about 10 years ago, I had to go into a professional studio to audition and record every spot. Today, with the incredible technology that’s available to us all, I can make top-notch recordings from my home office. It’s extraordinary.

To that end, this week, one of my new gigs went live. I’m thrilled to announce that I’m the host of Humanities North Dakota’s brand new podcast HNDred Watt Podcast. I’ve loved this organization for a long time, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be working with them in this way. Enjoy the first three conversations with more coming out soon. I’ve already read books I never would have encountered any other way and had conversations that have knocked me over. What a gift this role is already playing in my life, and I’m only weeks in!

But I’m not just talking about this new position because I want you to listen, like and share the episodes, which I do! There’s a Spark lesson in all of this, too:

Let me take you back a bit:

1994: When I was a junior in college, I told my Theatre professor I was going to take a lower grade for the quarter’s acting course because all I was going to focus on was lowering the placement of my speaking voice.

I was doing it to prepare for my career in Hollywood. Turns out, it led to what has been an extremely successful voice over career, and now I’m using it to bring the humanities to North Dakota and well beyond.

If I could ask my 21-year old self if any of this was of interest to her, she would say emphatically, “No. I’m going to be a film actor. Period.”

1997-2001: Beyond my Theatre degree, I went on to earn an English Ed licensure and a Master’s in English after Quinn was born. Neither of those degrees were of burning interest to me, even though I’ve always loved reading. I really only did them out of the desperation of being a young, single mom who needed some work.

But it’s those degrees that gave me a strong foundation in the humanities in the first place.

2010-2023: During my 13 years as the President & CEO of The Arts Partnership, I spent an enormous amount of time talking to people, leaders & artists, giving talks and moderating conversations.

2011: That summer, Prairie Public, our state-wide public radio station, was between hosts for their main news program. Over the course of three months, I guest hosted more than a dozen times. Thankfully, my skills as an actor served me well: listen hard, be curious, do your homework and show up and be present. I learned a TON doing those interviews, and I talked with some amazing people, among them the stunning poet Naomi Shihab Nye and singer Stacy Sullivan, glorious interpreter of Peggy Lee’s music among other things.

May 2, 2023: I had no idea when I sat down for lunch with Brenna Gerhardt, HND’s ED, that we would end up putting together this whole podcast concept in about 5 minutes.

I was primed to do this work from a lifetime of dreaming about, practicing and pursuing various tasks and jobs that I thought were for other reasons so that in the moment, I was ready to step into this opportunity and say, “YES!”

Over to you

Take an audit of your life the way I just did. Pick some highlights and consider what the original purpose was and how each of them has served you in other ways.

What skills, talents, interests, hobbies, passions and opportunities from various stages in your life could present in a new, and possibly surprising, way today?

Those are your Sparks. Some are obvious, some you kind of fall into. Regardless how you have (re)discovered them, let their role in your life shine. They are lighting the way to new directions you couldn’t possible have imagined.

And if you’d love some guidance doing this kind of audit and other Spark work, be on the lookout for my Black Friday Spark Special, going on sale November 20. It will only be available until November 27, so keep your eyes peeled. It’s an extraordinary offer and one you won’t want to miss.

If you want early info about it, sign up for my Sunday extraordinary newsletter here, so you’ll be the first to know all about it and everything else going on in the Spark Empire.

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.

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