I love pinball.
I, like most people, play it once every 1 to 3 1/2 years and I’m terrible at it. It’s similar to my love of darts and bowling. You’ll see why I bring it up in a minute.
A couple of weeks ago I went to two networking events in consecutive evenings. One was an open house for a new studio (great space, Dave!) and the other was for people in independent film.
The open house guests were primarily friends and family of the studio who came to show their support. Many of said attendees were in the industry in some capacity (photographers, graphics designers, etc.)
The indy film crowd ranged from people in their early 20’s to mid-60’s. There were many actors, a number of screenwriters, and a few techies (lighting, sound, camera operators, etc.)
The open house was a very relaxed, casual affair but there was plenty of networking happening. I met some very nice people and was given a number of business cards.
The indy film event also had some very nice people. Everyone was very friendly and eager to talk about who they are and what they want to do. The room was filled with artists.
Here’s something I’ve noticed over the past, say, five years. All the producers and potential clients that used to attend networking events have vanished. They’re just gone. A huge swath of the industry just doesn’t seem to exist anymore, or at least they’re in hiding. Now it’s just a bunch of artists pin-balling off each other (there it is!), hoping they can get a gig from a fellow artist. Or if it’s a non-entertainment industry networking event, it’s filled with financial planners and unemployed people looking to take and not give.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that when I go to these events, I keep finding myself sharing business tips to help people think and act like a business. Most seem to be grateful and appreciate the advice (and I’m happy to help), but they don’t make any progress. Why? Because all of them are waiting to get “discovered”. I hate to break it you, but that just doesn’t happen anymore.
TIP OF THE WEEK
If you are an aspiring voice talent, musician, or actor, you are not going to get discovered. That is the stuff of bad TV shows and Broadway musicals. Life is not American Idol. It just doesn’t work that way. If you want to “make it”, and it makes me shudder even to use a term like that, you need to do all of the work yourself, and I mean ALL of it.
Over the years I’ve said that many are called, but few make the right choices. Most people don’t even know what those choices are. The big choice is whether you want to be an employee or a business. When I say business, I don’t necessarily mean like opening a restaurant. I mean thinking and executing like a business.
In other words, If you want to be a successful artist and can’t or won’t take responsibility for your career, you won’t get far. You need a plan, write it down, and stick to it. You can’t wait for the phone to ring!
But Tom, didn’t you post a blog recently that said half your work came from fellow artists?
Yes! Allow me to clarify. Almost all of those fellow artists who recommended me are veteran, like-minded voice talents that I met at voiceover conferences where the attendees are vetted. Many of them are now “real-life” friends, not just social media acquaintances. So there, nyah.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK