The last few weeks have been hectic. My family and I have moved to a new, bigger apartment and the move was both time-consuming and expensive.
Part of the reason why we needed to move was because my wife and I found ourselves between a rock and a hard place when my wife’s Aunt (Paternal Uncle’s New Wife) that owns the apartment we lived in and was renting it to us got divorced from My wife’s Uncle.
So we ended up in a situation where the landlady wanted her apartment back and I wouldn’t give it back to her because we had a 2 year contract and I was not about to move 4 months after I already moved. Some folks weren’t happy that I did not comply, and I didn’t care as long as the law was on my side. Also I had sold our kitchen and Air conditioners because the new landlady had said that she wasn’t going to get rid of hers.
Long story short. For the past 2 years we’ve been unhappy with the apartment we lived in and due to issues with the landlady I had to put my plans of making a studio room in my apartment on hold.
This all changed beginning of the month when we moved into a bigger apartment and I was finally able to claim a room to make my studio in. Also thankfully I found a local supplier of Audio Foam so I was able to purchase that locally as well as a batch from the US through Next Acoustics (was not a nice experience shopping with them but I hope they fix up their act and become a proper contender to Auralex).
So now I am halfway through fixing up my studio room at home and making it both comfortable to work with and setup for the best Audio Quality.
I’ve made it a habit on my blog to write some experience based articles as well as tutorials and interviews. Part of the reason that my posts have been few and far apart recently is because there is nothing new under the sun. We can sit and talk about business potential and rates and tactics but at the end of the day most of the information that is floating around on the Voiceover blogs is redundant and regurgitated. Not to mention that all of it is very subjective.
My experience as an international voiceover talent is vastly different to any of the American VOs in the community that seem to make up the majority of the online population. Although I am sure that the International VO community outnumber the North American Crowd 4 to 1 many of those are non-English speakers which means that it is difficult for them to contribute and join in a community.
Much like the idea of setting up conferences. Voice 2010 was an interesting event which seemed to be a nice intro to VO to the newbies and a meet up for the better known voiceover personalities (or I should say outspoken folk). I received a Press release a while back about Voice 2012 (www.voiceconvention.com) but the fact is with the increasingly draconian measures that the American TSA dept seem to apply these days there is zero chance of me even considering traveling to the US to attend an event like that.
Alternately the Faffcon community has had 3 or 4 conventions within a year and a half and those seem to be targeting a far smaller number at a much lower price for attendance.
Reaching out to your fellow voiceoverists is much easier for the US based crowd… traveling is all pretty much domestic.
Filtering Out All The Noise
There are a few folks in our community who are obsessed with networking. The majority of their days rotate around social media and communication. While that is great for getting your name around. I find that it does nothing to actually generate income, and isn’t that the reason you are spending so much time away from your family trying to get more and more connections.
Personally I have started to filter out all the noise. I’m not against promoting one’s self through social media… it is effective if done properly and with finesse. Its the constant bombardment that has finally convinced me that I need to cull the contacts and focus my communications to those who’s blog posts are beneficial , that the information they give me is not regurgitated and who actually are folks who’s articles I enjoy reading.
This is not the first time I mention this … but this might be the first time I list it. We as a community are made up of the following:
1. The Full time Voiceover Talent (Steady)
These people are well established and might have contracts with big agents and have steady work. These folks are the cream de la cream and are financially the most successful.
2. The Full Time Voiceover Talent (Moderate)
These people have moderate success and might not have the biggest agents but their work is steady and they might have some small time clients that generate some decent income.
3. The Full Time Voiceover Talent (Struggling)
This person might have been moderate or even steady at one time but has fallen on some bad times and work is no longer as steady as it used to be. Things have changed and life isn’t as rosie.
4. The Part Time VO (Successful)
This person has 2 jobs a day job (as a DJ or a TV personality) and works as a VO on the side. Usually their video work gets them the VO work and they are happy with working a day job and spending their evenings in their own studio at home.
5. The Part Time VO (Moderate)
Has 2 jobs and enjoys relatively steady work, would love to make the jump to full time VO but doesn’t have enough clients to do so
6. The Part Time VO (Struggling)
Might have just started in the business and is trying their hand to increase their revenue, has aspirations of going full time someday.
A person who has been told they have a great voice and want to “break into” the business but don’t know where to start so they follow people on twitter and read articles and try to make sense of what to do.
Kinda Like Friday Prayer
Every Friday those who follow the Islamic Faith (like myself) go to the Masjid (mosque) and attend a sermon. The Sermon is considered half of the prayer ritual and the other half is a physical prayer.
During friday prayers the Imam (or cleric if you will) who gives the sermon goes up and does two things. He either speaks of targheeb (enticing folks to be better humans so that they can claim their reward in the hereafter) or Tarheeb (warning them of the punishment that God will send upon those who disobey is orders.)
When I was younger I always wondered why sometimes they keep repeating some of the sermons and some of the information over and over.
As I got older I realized its to inform those who are younger than we are. For those who recently embraced their faith. So the folks like me who have some theological background can be reminded.
That is how I see the Voiceover community. We are a split into 3 groups. Those that are (full time) Those that are working toward (the part timers) and those that want to be (the lurkers).
We cannot look down upon those that do not have the knowledge that we might have gained through years of struggle… or through an article on a website.
To do so is to ridicule your son who will eventually replace you as a productive member of society. What we do need to do is educate the lurkers and the newbs so that they don’t undercut prices thinking this is competition.
Our job is to make waves. Sound waves and put emotion and experience into them. We do this job because we love it, or because we are good at it or because it is our calling.
When I look online to connect to my community or to just contribute… I seek those who understand what I am going through
Like most folks who have studios to focus on my job and record the best take…I need to shut the door… filter out all the noise.
And make waves.