The Facebook Stories
If you’re in voice over, and you’re on Facebook, then you know how many groups there are for voice actors. There are so many. Why do I think voice actors spend time posting, commenting, and chatting on Facebook? Well, when you work alone in a padded foam booth, it’s really nice to have people. There is a really amazing, close knit voiceover industry, and even during covid, we all stayed close by continuing to chat on places like Facebook. In the past two weeks, I had to Facebook anniversary reminders of friendiversaries with close friends. Seeing these video reels flash in my feed brought me profound joy. It reminded me of how much I have built. If you have the privilege of working in voiceover, and you are successful, you know that it takes a lot more that years of long days of hard work. Success in voice over also takes the support of awesome industry friends who are there to support you on good days and bad.
How It Started… I’m not really sure
If I had to go back to the very beginning, and try to unravel this thread, I’m not really sure how my multitude of VO friendships and connections started. It may have begun with Anne Ganguzza and VO Peeps. I certainly “met” other voice talents that way. It may have begun with taking zoom classes through GVAA and keeping in touch with my classmates. It may also have begun with attending Uncle Roy’s famous BBQ. As a newbie, all of these made me feel part of a community and helped me see where I fit in. When you are just starting out, it is sometimes hard to push yourself to go. You might worry that no one will talk to you. It is so, so important to go and meet people face to face. I can tell you that as you continue to work, sometimes you are tired and you have family “stuff.” One year we were dealing with some hard medical issues and I skipped Uncle Roy’s BBQ. I still regret not going. Who knew a pandemic was coming our way. Just show up. Participate. Be yourself and make voiceover friends. Everything will be better because you did.
Conferences are an AMAZING place to bond. It literally does not matter which conference you pick, they are incredible. Yes, there is lots of learning and sharing of knowledge. But, in truth, as we all learned from doing everything remotely this year, the educational aspect alone is not what gets us to leave our families and hope on a plane. It is for sure the social aspect of the conferences that is worth more than gold. It feeds your soul and builds you up. The interactions are genuine and you will make friendships that endure. The women that I speak to daily I “knew” before I met them in person, but seeing them at WoVo Con and seeing them at VO Atlanta was our time to connect and really get to know each other. We lift each other up in every way possible.
Clubhouse is an amazing opportunity to connect with fellow voice actors and support each other. For example, every week I co-host a panel with one of my VO besties and fellow VO Coach Diana Birdsall. Our club is called “Ask the VO Coaches” and recent panelists have including Dave Scott from All Systems Go AV, Randy Thomas, George-the-Tech Whittam, Dan Leonard, Shelley Avellino, Bev Standing and more! Lot’s of voice actors come into the room and we chat about topics that matter to us. Clubhouse has given us a space to support each other and have an active and on going dialogue that raises the level of performance of the industry.
The Day to Day
Put Simply, on a day to day basis you need people who get what it means to be a working creative who has to juggle a lot of balls. You need people who regularly walk in your shoes in your life. You need friends who have your back not just because they are your friends, but also because they know what industry standard rates are, they know what it’s like to have a good live session or a brutal one, they know when the pickups just keep coming, or when none of your direct marking has gotten a result. On your best days and on your worst, you need other voice actors who will celebrate every single victory and get you over every tiny hump. Only other voice actors who have been to this rodeo get it. If you don’t have VO friends yet, get some.