A recent YouTube video got me thinking about the voiceover community.
I’m a big fan of David Brooks. He’s a brilliant & thoughtful journalist, author, and pundit. I always look forward to watching him on Politics Friday on the PBS New Hour for his weekly observations. I just saw a video of him speaking at a conference. Here it is:
After watching this fascinating speech about community, I came away with a LOT of thoughts.
We’re a lonelier, less social society than we used to be thanks to technology, social media, and a socio-political divisiveness that only benefits politicians and people who are trying to sell us something. Social media sites have become boring and depressing. They promote divisiveness and isolation, FOMO and jealousy. It’s the same political rants, me-me-me shows, and pictures of your food and your cats. Don’t get me wrong, I love food and cats but you love your food and cats more than I love your food and cats and I just don’t wanna see them all the damn time.
I want less tribes. I want more villages and more community.
I want less vitriol. I want more support and common decency. I want people to actively build social capitol.
In a voiceover context, we all want to be good at what we do and be recognized for it, whether it be rewards of money, status, joy, or some combination. We want live in harmony with our career choice and the life choices we have made that make our lives what they are. And that’s hard, especially when our upbringing often goes against the grain of how we need to think and what we need to do to be a successful voice talent. We have been raised to be workers or soldiers, not self-determining entrepreneurs. That’s how our educational system functions. The Systems of Thought and systems of values that have been ingrained in us throughout the 20th Century is difficult to resist.
But the thing I love about the voiceover community is the overwhelming sense of community and affection. Jerks don’t last long in our circles. I don’t know how or why this happens as opposed to the TV/film/theater industries which are crammed with vicious, shallow, shabby folks but man, am I thankful for it.
TIP OF THE WEEK
As the voiceover community, we are collectively responsible for the health of our industry. I’m not just talking about rates, I’m talking about culture. What can we do to uplift the culture of our community?
Be responsible for the things you complain about. If you have an issue with how your voiceover business is running (or not running), look objectively at the issue, pose thoughtful, objective, specific questions, and seek counsel.
Contribute positively on social media or shut up. I mean it. Social media has become a divisive cesspool, but a necessary evil for voice talents to brand & market themselves. Either participate to the discourse positively and constructively or keep it to yourself.
“Know your neighbor” and “build villages” as Mr. Brooks said so eloquently. Get out of the house and connect with people. Not just the people in your neighborhood, but the people in your voiceover community. Attend in-person events like networking groups and voiceover conferences.
Be as kind to your community as you want your community to be kind to you. 🙂
NEWS AND NOTES
Thursday, January 24th @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar will be “The Sales Funnel”. We’ll discuss what it is and how to push voice seekers through it. Click here to sign up.
Thursday, February 7th @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Business and Money 201 webinar will be “Rates, Negotiating, and Billing”. We’re gonna talk about, well, rates, negotiating, and billing. Click here to sign up.
Wednesday, February 20th @8PM EST: my next Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar will be “4 Words That Will Kill Your Marketing”. We’ll talk about how think like an effective marketer. Click here to sign up.
SAVE THE DATE Tuesday, February 26th @9PM EST: I will be leading a “Managing Your Money” webinar hosted by the wonderful Julie Williams. Details to come…!
SAVE THE DATE Sunday, March 24th @1:30 PM EST: I will be leading a “Managing Your Money” workshop at Arts On Site in NYC. We’ll talk about all things financial as a voiceover business and how to files your taxes in 2019. I will post the link when tickets are available. FYI the VO of NYC donation-based events sell out FAST so when tickets go on sale, don’t dawdle!
March 29-31, 2019: VO Atlanta 2019 update! My Breakout Session will be “The Sales Funnel” and my X-Session will be “Managing Your Money”. If you’re attending VO Atlanta, the X-Session seats are limited so sign up today!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Tom Dheere is a 20+year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. He is also voiceover business consultant known as the VO Strategist and is currently producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.