I know you all know how to study, how to take workshops, how to practice but when it comes to actually taking the next forward action – do you freeze? I have noticed some people just stay in classes or maybe you could call it hiding but I don’t want to presume. I just know that getting out there and doing it – Acting like you’re a professional/Being a professional is being actively responsible for your career. You can’t wait until you think you’re absolutely perfect at it. You need to get going and make mistakes, learn from them and get to work!
I made a little list to help out those of you who may be a little “stuck”. I hope it can help shove you out of the nest bit if you need it!
- Get Your Home Set Up Going – If you don’t have a usb microphone, some decent software and a quiet place to practice auditioning you are missing out. Most talent agencies have cut way back or just eliminated “In-house” directors for auditions so most are auditioning from home. In fact, I think some of these agencies are being run out of someone’s bedroom and have no brick and mortar address but still, you need a good set up. You can see a past blog of mine where I listed several options for microphones.
- Learn How to Self Direct – Script analysis and technique will be key here. You need to be able to figure out what they want quickly and deliver. It can get crazy if you’re not sure. Too many takes leads to insanity and plenty of editing time. Know what is going on in the world and the Zeitgeist of voice over art. “The Zeitgeist is the intellectual fashion or dominant school of thought that typifies and influences the culture of a particular period in time.” If you are current, you should be able to read any commercial script and understand it. After that GET THE JOKES! They love that. In animation, you better have had some scene study or improv. Think on your feet and get those characters out onto the airwaves.
- Network – Yes, I said it. In Los Angeles the voiceover community is tight. There’s no one place, no local bar or clubhouse where everyone hangs out but there are some opportunities to meet and mingle. Our beloved Rob Paulsen “(TMNT, Animainiacs,Pinky and the Brain etc.) has a fantastic live show called “Talkin’ Tunes” at the Improv on Melrose Ave. I have been several times and each time he has a theme and a fantastic panel lined up to interview. There were more voice actors intuit nightclub than I had every seen together. Have been back several times and not only learned but met new people and had access to some very sought after voices. There are also “Meetups” in town or, you should start your own!
- Social Media – I know, it’s a very weird thing to say but if you haven’t heard or seen people be discovered onTwitter or Facebook, you’re living under a rock. I am going to be starting up my Twitter Chat again next month and hope to have some interesting people for you to meet. The chat was something I learned when I took Madalyn Sklar’s “Twitter Smarter” webinar. http://www.madalynsklar.com/twittersmarter/ Madalyn is mostly a music consultant but I learned so much by digging deeper into Twitter with her. You will need to promote yourself. I encourage you to come up with an original idea for a weekly SM post. This could be a recording, a Vine, a video of you at the mic, anything that is fun, creative and entertaining. Not only is it good for exposure it is fantastic for your creativity!
- Forget the Competition – You are only competing against yourself. Stop telling yourself how hard it is and start loving the journey! For the most part the V.O. community is friendly and supportive….most people want you to succeed! That is true in life. People want you to be good and get that job and have a happy life. If you find some that don’t “Ain’t Nobody Needs That In Their Life” Move along. You will find that doing voice over work and preparation, imitating the greats, experimenting and creating new fun things to work on are all positive and the universe knows it! By the way, do something for someone else today…they don’t have to know about it either….just make a nice gesture or be helpful, it feels really good.