This past weekend I attended the Voice Over Cafe Podcast's 2nd Annual Holiday Mixer in New York. As a resident of this great city, it was a real treat to be able to hop on the subway to Mustang Harry's, just shy of Madison Square Garden and join in the celebrations with some fabulous folks. If you are a casting director, producer and/or agent and didn't attend, you missed a good time to mingle with potential (and very bookable) clients.
Events like these also have a way of putting things in perspective for me. I'm able to reflect on what I am grateful for as a voice talent, things many of us I feel often take for granted when there is either a draught in work/gigs or we're getting in our own way. And believe me, I'm certainly "known" for getting in my own way. Between Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, I figured it would be good to create a list of what matters most to me in this profession, rather than dwell on the inequities and most commonly debated topics, for a change.
So here goes...
For career longevity, health and prosperity.
1.) Having a functioning and healthy voice
2.) Hot water and lemon in the morning
3.) Coffee before an edgy, wry read
4.) Referrals from close colleagues
5.) Referring a close colleague and them booking the job.
6.) The early morning session with an international client. Gets you up and ready. No time to waste. No messing around. Stay sharp and focused.
7.) Very thoughtful (and highly unneccesary) care packages from fellow talents. Those pickles were delightful, Kelley Carruthers Buttrick!
8.) Discovering how to properly use Mac track pad with Twisted Wav without developing carpal tunnel.
9.) Voice Talent friends who talk about their favorite music and hobbies.
10.) Being physically brought in to audition for a casting Director. Remember those? And knowing how crazy their lives on the other side of the table are. Hello! Perspective!
11.) A no-fear approach to cold-calling.
12.) When a client expresses concern over an audition not being what they originally wanted but in the session you nail the read on the first take.
13.) When clients are articulate and clear in their intentions and communicate what they want. A true blessing. Thank you!
14.) In a session, when everyone is on the same page.
15.) When the producer asks if she can take a picture of you in the booth to send to her daughter. That's about as close to celebrity status as I'll get. And it makes me so happy.
16.) Being appreciative that you were hired and not taking things personally even when, after 30 takes of the same line, the director asks you to do 30 more.
17.) Knowing that auditioning is imperative no matter what stage of my career I'm in. Entitlement in voiceover can burn bridges..FAST! I keep an open mind.
19.) Spending less time on social media. And more time out in the world!
20.) Cultivating outside interests and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in spite of the isolation challenges this career may bring. It's about finding that balance.
21.) Walking out of the session, and everyone's smiling.