The voiceover industry isn’t perfect. It’s filled with the same little professional hassles and internal squabbles that any field faces. Some of these challenges are more important than others, and they don’t necessarily deserve to be dismissed.
Nevertheless, as people who get to do this work professionally, we should always stop to count our blessings. Leading with gratitude has always carried me past even the most gnawing VO irritations.
Here are a few things I’m grateful for:
I’m grateful to have great representation in numerous markets, and am not the least bit bothered if the occasional job is sent to me that I’m not a good fit for, or if jobs are duplicated among multiple agencies. I have agents who curate auditions just for me, and others who blast the firehose into my inbox. I book with both, and every single agent I have has proprietary work that I don’t see anywhere else.
I’m grateful to be on their rosters in times where agents are fighting harder than ever to uphold rates and feed their own families. The inconvenience of getting an audition for a Hungarian female with a falsetto voice is a small price to pay for having access to quality paying work.
I love new talent. I love their enthusiasm, their energy, and their excitement. Do they ask a lot of the same questions both privately and in public forums? Sure. And I think it’s great. The fact that they consider our opinions as pros to have some value is rewarding after putting a quarter of a century into this business. There’s nothing that will dampen the enthusiasm of new talent faster than being ridiculed for a dumb question or being shouted at to use the search tool instead. Noobs, ask away. I’m grateful you think I have advice worth listening to.
Conferences, All of Them
From VO Atlanta to VOcation to One Voice to MAVO and That’s Voiceover, and all the others out there, I’m grateful that the organizers make it their mission to create places where industry colleagues can congregate and learn. The enthusiastic reception received even for virtual content in the middle of a pandemic is a testament to the quality that these events offer, and to the need among our tight-knit community to come together whether in person or remotely to celebrate what we do.
And I’m grateful to all the presenters. The veteran sages we see at almost every event because their wisdom is too valuable not to have them on the marquee, and the new blood that continues to join the ranks of VO educators each year, offering fresh takes and diverse perspectives that dovetail with the changes taking place in our industry and society.
Even the demanding ones who dump volumes of work on you the day before vacation, or need just one more ABC, or want you to sound “like Don LaFontaine, but conversational.”
You pay our bills, and in the end, the customer is always right. I’m grateful that you place value on my performance, and I’m dedicated to rewarding that confidence with quality.
Otherwise known as our colleagues, for being brilliant at what you do, in whatever part of the industry you work, and for pushing me to be better at everything that I do so that I can keep up.
For reminding me what this is all about. Not money, or visibility, or even the satisfaction of a job well done…….but knowing that another day in the booth is another day that they are taken care of, and seeing their smiles as a reward for a hard day’s work.
It’s so tempting to find frustration in the things we do. To lash out at those who annoy us with their actions or sensibilities. To engage in call-out culture and clubby backbiting.
Leading with gratitude isn’t the easiest choice. But after more than twenty-five years, it is one big reason I wake up each morning pinching myself…..wondering if I really do still get to do this for another day.