Recently, I contacted every social connection I had made over the last few years to let them know of an agent looking to sign new voice talent. It was fun to give back, and if you are interested email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This agent was of the understanding that most of the connections I have either came from social media, college, or worked on P2P sites. After hearing many auditions, this voice over agent felt inspired enough to send me an email (see below), and it made me wonder why voice talent often give power to those, who do not give back. This is especially odd given the online business world survives on “give and take”. After hearing several auditions, I was sent an email by this agent, which reads:
[Why] are these people doing work on low-paying jobs on [P2P sites]? They are really good!
The only thing I edited from that email was the shock and awe that led to some profanity, and I completely understand it. I know how good many people are, and have often wondered the same thing myself. Getting back to my original point, “Why do voice talent give power to those who do not give back?”. I have some thoughts, and would love to hear yours, too. Why do people give power to those who do not give back? They are usually:
- Convinced they must act desperate to get work
- Believing that every day they don’t audition, they are not trying
- Trying to people-please everyone; not realizing some they attempt to please, don’t give a damn about them or anyone
- Attracted to the success of the powerful
- Someone has convinced them, “You are not good enough. You need me.”
I think out of all the above, #5 bothers me the most for it is the way a dictator usually thinks. The plain fact is this…and if you are a voice talent…you need to stamp or tattoo this somewhere on your body so you never forget it!
- “Find a balance of power that serves your career” (I hope you have big arms if you tattoo that!)
- Do what is right by you, even if it is not always profitable…because doing the right thing is always profitable in the end.
- Do not let anyone ever convince you that you are worth less than you think you are worth.
- Actions speak louder than words
- Never take anything personal.
Did you know that 74% of Americans would rather be unemployed than work for someone who does not care about their work performance? I interpret this to mean that a smart worker understands there is no career growth doing things for a business, that will not give back even the slightest bit of acknowledgement or advice. In this fast-changing world of “time” as a currency, career-growth is of the utmost importance.
Conclusion: Whether you audition for an agent or a website, remember you are both businesses. Act as such, and save the drama for behind the mic! You will be much happier that way, and feel more in control of your business.
Steven Lowell is a blogger, voice actor, and voice-over industry advocate