Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Community. Not Competition

When I became a full time voice talent (or actor, or “-over” or artist, or faffer…whatever you want to call it these days! ;-), one of the statements that I heard over & over again was “Oh forget it, it’s always the same 10 people that get booked for those jobs.”

Really? So how have I managed to make a full-time living at this?


1) because I didn’t listen to the naysayers (or “dream bashers” as my mentor Barbara Winter calls them)

2) because I managed to find an amazing community of voice talent who are some of the most talented & supportive people I know!

In the past 2 months I’ve booked jobs from referrals from 4 fellow female voice talent: Amy Taylor, Denise Kelly, Moe Egan, and Lili Wexu – Yep. My “competition.” I also got a job from fellow talent Paul Payton…OK, so he’s not a female, but he could’ve called anyone, and he called me. And that’s just in the past 2 months! (Click on their names to be taken to their websites, they all rock!)

The voiceover community is amazingly generous. Both on the job and off, and that’s really what it’s all about.

When I broke my leg in 3 places back in May I was surrounded both “virtually” and in real life by voice talent who sent me goodies (the VO-BB rocks!), helped me get around at VOICE2010 (Thanks Moe, Kafer, Bob, CourVo, Pam & everyone else!) and drove me to gigs in NYC (Thanks Melissa!)

When my mom passed away at the end of July, this amazing community again surrounded me both virtually and in real life with love & support, calls, emails & Bailey’s! ;-)

I am constantly struck by the generosity of spirit of this community. And I am thankful for it everyday.

We may go up for some of the same gigs, but that’s OK. If I don’t get it, I want one of my friends to book it!

That’s what it means to be in a community like ours.

If you are new to voiceover, get involved. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that everyone else is your competition and therefor to be kept at arms length. And if you've been at this a while, well, you probably already realize this!

Read the blogs, pick an online board that fits your personality and contribute, get out and meet people at voiceover and networking events. Help out a fellow talent with information, support, or even a lead!

Basically: Get out of the booth! You'll be glad you did.