Sunday, February 4, 2007

Wanna Race??

Growing up, my mother always had this great saying, "life ain't nothin' but a pig show." Of course, it wasn't until I was older that I realized just how insightful she was (and still is!). If you've ever spent time in the country, or were raised on a farm...then you've been to a pig show. Maybe you were someone that actually raised and showed pigs? When a pig is being judged, there is no 'real' clear-cut way to decide which pig is the best pig. It's all in the eye of the beholder. Just because your pig won first prize doesn't make it the greatest of all pigs, and if you lost- it doesn't mean you raised a loser pig. After all, pork is pork- right?

Thinking of life in these terms has helped me overcome many moments of rejection. Beauty? Talent? It's all in the eye of the beholder. If I didn't get the job, it doesn't mean I'm not great! I just wasn't what the judge wanted...but I will be next time.

With this way of thinking, there is no 'best' or 'greatest' at anything. There is always someone better, and it's important for us to remember that.

--On a different (and yet still somewhat similar) note--

When I decided to take my 'hobby' of voice acting and turn it into a full-time career, my sister made the comment, "the two most competitive industries in the world are voice over and run-way modeling...that's why I wouldn't want to be a part of it." Recently, I was reading the blog of a nice man that decided to give up his six-figure salary in pursuit of his voice acting passion (Bravo!). What made me sad was his comment of, 'I know it's a competitive industry' (or something similar).

My understanding of competition is much like a race...there is a clear-cut winner and a clear-cut loser. Then there are those that fall in-between.

I disagree that voice over is a competition. If it was, then who would be the winner? Me? You? I know I'm not the loser!! Plus, in a competition- you aren't going to aid your competitor along the way if you want to win. I've discovered quite the opposite in voice over. I've never seen so many people willing to offer (free!) advice on demos, auditions, etc. Just look at all the blogs out there with thoughts on how to quote for work, how to market yourself, how to improve your craft...and it's FREE! All it takes a bit of time surfing the net and you can learn more about voice acting than you ever wanted to know!

When I say 'actors helping actors', I'm not referring to those who help someone who isn't their 'competition' (a special thanks here to Bob Souer and Brian Haymond for all of your help!). I'm referring to those women who have given me advice and encouragement...the ones going for the same jobs I am. How wonderful! Any chance I get, I always offer advice, websites, thoughts...it doesn't matter if the person sounds just like me or not! In my opinion, this isn't a competition...we are ALL making a living, and there is enough work for us ALL to do so!

Please, don't let the thousands of new (and veteran!) voice actors scare you. We are all in this together, helping, advising...

Welcome to a non-competitive industry...I promise I won't stick my foot out as you journey down your voice-over runway.

4 comments:

Rich Gates said...

Very well said Kara. I am the "nice man" you were referring to. :) I think what you read may have been interpreted wrong. I was merely stating that Voice Over is a competitive industry, but honestly most careers are.

I do wholeheartedly agree that a lot of people doing Voice Over are incredibly helpful to people just starting out, or in my case getting back into the business.

I have received a lot of good advice from people who are actually very successful in the business who have nothing to gain by helping me.

I don't know that I've seen a more supportive bunch to be honest. This is certainly unconventional when you are competing for work. Because regardless of how it is worded, ultimately it is a competition. I just don't think it has to be cutthroat. :)

Thanks for the great post!

Kara Edwards said...

Rich,

Thank you for your wonderful comments! I wish you much success in your new career- bravo for living your dreams and following your passion. If I've learned anything in the last few months- happiness is measured by more than income! (Good thing I've had so much happiness...eh??)

You will find many friendly 'voices' these days, it wasn't so when I started 10 years ago. The internet helps, I'm sure.

I think this post may have been more directed to someone close to me...I am saddened when opportunity is missed for fear of failure. However, you have already prospered by stepping up to your talents! If there is ever anything I can do to help, please let me know.

Kara

Bob Souer said...

Kara,

You've made some very good points in this post. Along with the helpful atmosphere we often find today among voiceover people, there's also the fact that there is so much more work today than once was the case.

A significant portion of my income has been earned each of the last 4 years in jobs that didn't exist 15 years ago. Online training sites. Interactive DVDs. All kinds of interesting corners where professional voices are needed. It's a great time to work as a voiceover talent.

Be well,
Bob

Kara Edwards said...

Bob,

What a great time to be a voice actor- you are absolutely correct! The internet has opened up a world of jobs that are so fun and exciting. From podcasts to e-learning...the list goes on and on. Thank you for your comments!

Kara