...or Heresy For The Voice Actor
Hey all. Welcome Back!
Hope you have been both busy and having fun these past few weeks! Including Halloween. Did anyone dress up as a U87 or an AKG C 214? Did anyone go as Don LaFontaine? Whatever or whomever it was, I hope you at least had fun doing it. I was home watching horror movies on my couch with a glass of wine and what a time it was!
Finally some cool Fall weather headed our way.
Wait, what’s that “hissing” sound?! Oh right, that’s my radiator. Gotta stay warm. Hopefully it won’t interfere with any recordings.
Well, I’m back with another voice actor blog post. You know, the one where I talk about things that both irk and make me proud to be in this business. For the title of this post, I decided to steal/seek inspiration (depending on how you see it) from one of my favorite playwrights and theater icons of all time—David Mamet.
At any rate, here are some new insights from the Non-Golden Age of Voice Over:
Alrighty let’s begin…
1.) Stop eating Cinnabons. They’re bad for you. I know…but they’re so good.
2.) Stop paying for things that don’t yield quality results
3.) No I will not buy your book and then participate in your over-priced coaching program.
4.) I’m lucky to be with a solid agency here in town and they have been very good to me. There’s a reciprocity. But from what I’ve heard from many of my more experienced colleagues and at some conferences, not many agencies are willing to take chances on a newbie, unless of course the demo is beyond amazing. Then there are some veterans who say no one listens to demos anymore. Conjecture? Probably. Depending on how you look at it. It’s become more about your “body of work” rather than how great you sound. Actually, it’s not really at all about how great you sound.
5.) Do you really need to be on 10 different social media support groups, spreading your tentacles into every topic forum? Get off of them for a few weeks. Go outside. Smell the air. See the world. Save your psyche from discouraging comments.
6.) Please stop telling everyone your salary. Not cool, bro/sis.
7.) Never underestimate the power of generosity amongst your colleagues. Don’t just say “Thanks” and call it a day. Back up your gratitude with action.
8.) You will often hear that "being a nice person" is the key to repeat clients and making others want to work with you again. Yes, being nice to people is the name of the game. Making a good impression. Being the professional you call yourself by giving clients a hassle-free experience. Keep your word. But that doesn't mean you can't exercise some slight aggression in standing your ground. Be firm with people. Don’t settle for less. Know your worth and if they take it personally, that’s their problem. You can take a firmer stance with people without being a pushover.
9.) Be wary of the coaching trap. I feel that many talents get on that bandwagon way to too soon in their career. “Here let me not only do a demo for every category that I haven't booked a single job in but I’ll start coaching other aspiring talents on side and making videos because some social media blowhard told me it will increase my SEO.” Not a good idea.
10.) If you find yourself still sitting in your office chair at 2pm and the weather is gorgeous outside, stop what you’re doing and go outside.
11.) “I’m Full Time”
Ahh, the three most dreaded words in voice over. A thing only voice actors seem to be capable of admitting. Not even actor actors. In this over-saturated business, it’s like a parasitic trend in marketing oneself. "I need to stand out from the amateurs so therefore I should admit that I in fact do this as a living NOT as a hobby." The big dogs will take me more seriously and then the real clients come a’ knockin’. Sorry, Charlie..that's between you and your accountant I'm afraid. But honestly, then what’s the difference between a full-time prosecutor and a part-time prosecutor? I’m sure it’s that the former takes their job more seriously and that the latter just shows up in court because it seems like a fun way to pass the time. Or a full-time mechanic vs a mechanic? You get my drift.
12.) Crank up the Mozart in the morning.
13.) Take a yoga class. I recommend Bikram or some form of Hot Yoga. But you can just as well do Vinyasa or another form too. I prefer Bikram because it is intense, hardcore and, while you may want to die in class, the feeling afterwards is simply amazing. The release of toxins from the body. You feel like you're walking on a cloud. As if you just discovered a new drug or had mind-blowing you-know-what. TMI, TMI.
14.) How often do you really PUSH yourself?
15.) Email newsletters are the greatest challenge of all marketing efforts. It's gotta be about you but not about you in a way that is invasive and doesn't help others. You must call attention to yourself without calling attention to yourself. It's a great practice of mindfulness too.
16.) Stop reading this blog and go do something unrelated to this industry.