Monday, July 28, 2008

Thoughts From the Week

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!

10 comments:

Peter O'Connell said...

Hi Kara:

The challenge with the blog is creating content that starts and always maintains a conversation. There is no perfect answer for this as it’s based on tastes, moods (do I feel like commenting today or just reading?) and how the "receiver" interprets the "transmission".

Case in point, many of my blog posts get 2-4 comments on them and that's fine (I appreciate it) but it’s hardly a deluge. Sometimes I get nothing. Crickets...kinda like when I tell a joke.

It was on one occasion recently when I got nothing or next to nothing in my comments on a post that I later saw a whole bunch of other blogs either referencing the post or writing it up on my behalf. What an honor but one I had no way of knowing was coming.

Sometimes, even with RSS, you don't know the impact you’re having.

Best always,
- Peter

Kara Edwards said...

Yay Peter!

Thank you for your comment :) I think you have made some great points here, and considering I love reading your blog- you are someone I will listen to!

And let me add...most of your jokes are really quite funny! Mostly :) heh!

Kara

AVATC said...

Hi, Kara! I agree with your viewpoint about karma. I truly think that what you put out in the world comes back to you....usually in a way that you don't expect and potentially better than you could have thought possible, as illustrated perfectly in your story.

The same is true for the positive energy that you or any of us expends in the form of blog posts and comments to others. I don't read a lot of blogs, but I do read yours consistently. And yes, I read it through my reader.

While I don't always have time to comment or even a thought that could add to your discussion, I like to read your blog because you don't just ramble about your bookings and equipment just to post an entry. You write entries with a point of view and a reason that your audience would WANT to read your words.

So, keep doing what you're doing -- both inside the booth and beyond! :)


Karen Commins
www.KarenVoices.com
www.KarenBlogs.com

Kara Edwards said...

Karen-

You are so, so sweet- thank you for your comment! I also love reading your blog, so we'll both have to keep it up, won't we? :)

Speaking of Karma, I had my first run in with a VO scam today- I hope to have the time to write about it soon. I mentioned Karma to the scammer, and reminded him that taking advantage of people can't be good for the soul! Hah!

Thanks again for stopping by!
Kara

Voiceover Thespian said...

Kara,

Just so you know, I read and enjoy everything you write via my RSS subscription so I don't visit your site often but rest assured, there are people eagerly awaiting your insights and wisdom. People like me for example, so whatever you do, don't stop blogging!

VoiceOverForYou said...

So THAT'S what RSS feeds are......I was clueless on that one. I just might subscribe, it certainly seems an efficient way of staying in touch with you blog! I always feel you have things worthy of reading!

Brian in Charlotte

rowell gormon said...

don't despair, lovely lady.

i'm thinking many of the people who check in to read your blog are in the same catagory as myself: hard to comment with much more than an "amen" when you cover the subject at hand so thoroughly.

charlie chan quotation: "when have nothing to say...is best to say nothing." my friends sometimes tell me i don't use that enough myself. maybe in your blog's case, i over-compensated.

be assured you are being read...and treasured.

Kara Edwards said...

Joe-

Thank you for your kind comments, and for reading the blog!

Brian-

Thanks for stopping by, I'm glad I could 'show' you something new!

Rowell-

One thing in this life is certain...I will ALWAYS want to hear what you have to say!!

-Kara

Bob Souer said...

Kara,

I don't get to your blog as often nor comment as often as I would like, but I do check just about every post (eventually) with my RSS feed reader.

And on that subject, maybe think about subscribing to Feedburner (it's free) and putting their little widget on your sidebar. While I don't always get a lot of comments on my blog posts, it's wonderful to see the number of feed subscribers climbing from time to time.

Regardless, keep up the excellent work.

Be well,
Bob

Kitzie said...

Hi Kara,
I found you through a link at Karen's blog, and will be subscribing through RSS. It seems we are on similar paths.

I enjoy reading your updates on Twitter also, although I don't always have time to answer.
Keep on keepin' on.
Kitzie