I've always been a big believer in Karma and the Golden Rule (do unto others...). Therefore I made my own rule when I first went full-time with voice over: I would always be willing to help out my friends should they need a voice for a project, period. I don't believe money should always be the motivation for doing something I love. Sure, we should be fairly compensated for our talents, but sometimes it's ok to do this job just because we love it, and because we are needed.
Case in point...a couple of weeks ago I got a call from an old friend. He needed a short voice over for a government project he was working on for a local college. They didn't have much of a budget for voice over, and he was looking for someone willing to work pro bono. Since we've known each other for quite some time, I jumped at the chance to see an old pal.
I drove uptown to record the piece, and worked with them on a few script changes during the session. A few days later, I received a call that some of the dates had been incorrect and could I return to record a short pick-up? Of course!
Here's where I believe Karma kicked in...when I was finished with the project, they took me on a walk around the studio. It turns out this studio was getting ready to hold a casting for an animation they were doing. Since I was already in the building, they threw a script my way and invited me to audition!
Perhaps I would have received a call to come in and audition anyway, but perhaps not. I was in the right place at the right time on this particular day. Since I was the only one auditioning, I was able to provide multiple takes, really having fun with the characters. I'm not sure if in the end I will be cast in a part or not, but I'm a believer that just being given the opportunity is 95% of the battle!
Of course, I would have been more than happy helping out regardless of any 'payback' that came my way, but it is always nice when there are unexpected rewards!
On a different note, I've been thinking quite a bit about this blog lately. I do my best to write something every week, while not always succeeding with the frequency. Lately I've noticed less and less visits to the blog, and much fewer comments. I'm fine with this, as the blog is really just an outlet for my thoughts. However, I am curious...are more readers subscribing to the RSS feed, having blog posts delivered to their e-mail, thereby making it so they don't have to visit individual blogs? Could this be why fewer comments are made on this and many other blogs? Or, is it possible that with so many voice actors creating new blogs, that there are simply too many to check on a weekly basis?
An advantage I find to having readers subscribe to the RSS feed is that there is less pressure on me to deliver something new on a daily/weekly basis. I feel like I can post a new blog when I have time, and when I have something relevant to share. The drawback is that I miss the conversation that happens when people leave comments on blogs. I'm curious how others in the blog-o-sphere feel about it?
Finally, one last thought from this past week. As a voice actor, I often find it hard to tear myself away from my studio. I always have a script waiting to be recorded, an e-mail needing to be addressed, or a client needing to be called. It's difficult in this business of last minute jobs to walk away and leave the mic behind. Fortunately, I made the decision last week to do just that. After a job I did in Texas, my sister, nephew, and I took a few days to drive to west Texas to visit my grandpa (I wrote about it in a previous blog). Yes, I'm paying for it this week with a pile of work...but it was worth every minute to spend time with my family. I find it is important to remember to always be there for my clients...but to also be there for myself.
Hope you have a wonderful week!