It's Not All That Bad
New age wisdom for the average voiceover artist
When we're constantly being bombarded with things it's good to take a break or give our attention to things in small doses. Lately, for me that's been happening. The following list of experiences, thoughts, epiphanies might help you get through these cold winter months. And with a grain or two of salt.
1.) If you're always doing favors for people for the sole purpose of getting something in return, you should re-evaluate the need to do so in the first place. To past, present and future producers and/or voice over-seekers, it's kind of awkward when you ask me if I think YOU could do voice over. As a friendly reminder, and I speak for my other colleagues as well, this isn't a hobby. Also the question might trivialize the existing relationship and puts me in a weird position. At times I think we all want to have our cake and eat it too. That's just human. Though if you are interested in becoming a voice talent yourself because it "looks like an easy, high paying life", I have three words for you: GET REAL FIRST. Then, I would be happy to point you in the right direction.
2.) Yes non-union rates can be abominable, in-perpetuity contracts are a curse to new talent, and just because it's a local spot doesn't mean you have to be stingy in budget. We all start somewhere. We just have to exercise more caution when choosing the work. Many projects I've come across in the "NU World" have fairly decent rates. Some projects I've passed on, only make room for better long-lasting ones. Not being desperate has allowed me to keep a positive mind-set. It's not all that bad.
3.) When was the last time you explored a hobby from your past? Or one you have but keep putting it on the back burner? Photography has really saved my sanity. At least once a month I've made it a habit to travel up along the Hudson Valley. Trains just happen to be my drug of choice and it's afforded me some serious respite. Just check the photo above to understand where I'm coming from.The same with writing or journaling my thoughts early in the morning. Fleshing out the excess to make room for clear, coherency..or taking advantage of the chaos. Either way, it's helped. Cooking also has it's therapeutic benefits. But none of it comes close to the addiction I have for shutter snapping. Need inspiration? Feel free to check out my work.
4.) Voice actors need to stick together. These past few weeks I have had the pleasure of being in the company of some talented, genuine and fun individuals. It is thrilling to be reminded of the support system we have out there. We don't view one another as competitors, but as colleagues. When a friend gets the gig over us, we commend and congratulate them. It should be a part of the universal voice talent job description. Empathy and support for others. And, getting each others backs or referring one another for other work or maybe a project isn't right for us but it is for your friend. I just did that last week. And then of course not always talking about VO. Talking about sports, food, travel, relationships, bizarre events, being weird...anything, except politics.
5.) If another voice talent inspires me or simply blows me away with their dedication and quality of work, I'll go ahead and tell them. What happens next could change your life.
6.) Are you a hashtag geek? Meaning, do you over use hashtags to call attention to your brand/business? From a social media standpoint, I can see the value of doing this in moderation. But overkill is an easy trap. Especially if you quote Gandhi and then hashtag "voiceover" next to it. C'mon dude!
7.) Sharing of recently booked work on social media is abundant and can be annoying. Not when it's shared cleverly though and with a wee bit of mystery. Some talents I know are absolute pros and, when they post, they do it in moderation. There's that word again. I'm sensing a pattern. Since experienced voice talent are not still trying to prove to everyone how busy or good they are. Rather what they'll do is share a link to a video by introducing the company or product they voiced WITHOUT saying they voiced it. When you click on the link, you're happily surprised and caught off guard. Being indirect is very cool. Don't need the attention so badly.
Well, that's it for this week! Stay tuned for more experiences, wisdom and funny stories soon! Please feel free to share your thoughts below or you can email me directly. I look forward to hearing from you.
And as always, thank YOU for reading!