We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean M. Dale and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean M., what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks has been a learned effort. It’s never easy to take risks because there are so many factors to think about. At the end of the day (for me) it comes down to a blend of two things: what feels right in my gut and what aligns the most with my goals no matter the obstacles. Studying/living abroad was the catalyst for me to explore how I approach risk taking. Picking up your whole life and moving it somewhere unknown and, at most times, isolating, is a very daunting thing. But, I found, that it is in the growing and learning that make the risk taken worthwhile.
In my career I’ve had to take a lot of risks. I had a good job that allowed my wife and I some freedom to travel and go out, but it wasn’t feeding my soul. I felt as if my brain wasn’t being used in the way that I knew it could be used. So, I took a huge risk in leaving the comfort of that job to pursue a further education in Acting. Within a year of leaving that job and following my gut and my goals, I found myself living in London, England. A dream that had never occurred to me.
At the start of the pandemic, for many performing artists, the world turned upside down. Many of us were left trying to figure out our place when there was no prospect of performing in sight. It was in that moment that I decided to take a risk and endeavor into a world very unfamiliar to me: Entrepreneurship. A handful of good friends/colleagues and I decided to create a business that gives us both an opportunity to perform as well as contribute to an underserved community. Although, none of us had any formal business training we each had a collective skillset that gave us the foundation to take that risk. Now, we have developed a voiceover program with a growing number of subscribers and have gone from a random idea on how to survive a pandemic to a non-profit organization preparing for our next season of work. All because we took a risk that we believed in.
So, again, it is definitely a learned trait. It doesn’t come without it’s challenges, but the rewards of overcoming those challenges are sweet at sugar and finding people to take the journey with you is equally important. Just like anything, it is a muscle that needs consistent training and the more you train the easier it becomes to take on bigger challenges.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When Borderless Theatre Company first formed, our main goal was to provide a service to both writers and actors. We saw at the start of the pandemic, a real need for writers to have a space to showcase their new work. So with that idea we formed our company with the intent to provide an audio platform that was replicated after the experience of a stage reading. It is exciting to provide this type of space for writers because it gives them an opportunity to showcase work on a larger scale that might not have otherwise been seen. It also allows a creative space for actors to hone their craft through voiceover work and have the excitement of performing something brand new that they can make their own.
Getting to where we are now has been, I would say, a really exciting challenge. Building a business during a pandemic was both challenging and convenient. We had to navigate challenges such as microphone shortages, rehearsing across different time zones, and finding scripts that people were willing to let us showcase. Yet, on the other hand, we were provided a unique amount of time to dedicate to seeing the process of building this business through. We knew the window of opportunity was tight and that it would be a race against time to put out something of quality that would be attractive to theatre lovers everywhere.
Some of the lessons I’ve learned have been to trust the process in everything and know when/how to use your voice. Things take time and you have to be willing to roll with somethings, knowing that the payoff isn’t immediate. Using my voice has been a work in progress. Learning to conduct a board meeting was probably the most intimidating thing that I’ve ever done!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh man… okay here’s the itinerary:
Sunday – Hermosa Beach Pier– eat some food at one of the restaurants, chill out at the beach, grab a delicious beer, and play some fun beach games
Monday – Hollywood! We’d walk along the blvd. and check out the stars, do all of the tourist-y bits. Then take them over to Beverly Hills and walk around. Then that late afternoon/evening pop by Dr. Sandwich, grab some take out, and hike up the hill to Griffith Observatory and eat dinner and watch the sunset over the city.
Tuesday – Spend the day getting some goods at the fashion district. Find a cool rooftop bar and chill out.
Wed-Friday – Take a drive up to Santa Barbara and spend some time hopping around wine country, eat some delicious food at one of the spots by the pier
Saturday – Another beach day, Venice Beach day. Then finish the day off with a sweet dinner/view at The Odyssey.
**All of these days would begin and end with a donut and/or coffee at a different spot each day! You can’t go wrong with donuts in LA**
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been so many people along my life’s journey that have encouraged me along the way. Many of those people I have the joy of working with like my team at BTC: Kara Leimer, Anna Fontaine, David Soyka, Shea Donovan, and Klay-Brackney Wandelear.
I also want to give credit to a couple of my mentors that have really supported not only what we do at BTC but also along my personal acting journey: Kelly Jo Eldredge, David-Matthew Barnes, and Robin Sneller along with all of my instructors at East 15 Acting School.
Finally, and most importantly, my sweet wife Luciana who has literally taken every step of this crazy journey with me with the most unwavering support. So much so, that she took a huge career risk herself and paused her career as a nurse just to allow me to pursue graduate school in London. THANK YOU BABY! I LOVE YOU! Keep saving lives!