During a recent teleseminar with Nancy Wolfson and Anna Vocino (Acting For Advertising Part 8), Nancy made a comment that really hit home for me. Nancy and Anna were taking questions, and several people were very curious about ISDN, which Anna had recently added to her studio. Someone mentioned that they heard ISDN was on the way 'out' and asked if it made sense to go through the effort of hooking it up. Nancy made the comment (and forgive me for not having exact quotes, as I'm trying to write this from memory- scary!), "When your kitchen cabinets are fully stocked, you feel more confident about the future."
Nancy really touched on something so valuable here! Those that truly know me best know that I have a fear of not having food in the pantry. For me, food is security. As long as my family can eat- I know we will be ok. To be honest, I've always been a 'be prepared for anything and everything' kind of girl. Which is why I think Nancy's comment made such an impact on me.
Of course, Nancy wasn't talking about food, she was talking about our preparedness as voice actors to be able to handle anything that comes our way. The more prepared we are to meet any challenge, the higher our confidence will be, and ultimately the better job we will do for our clients.
So, how can we prepare? First, by making sure we are up to date on current voice over trends through extensive training with top notch coaches (Nancy is one of my coaches, and I highly recommend her!). Regular practice with a coach and on our own can help develop good habits to be called upon at a moment's notice.
Second, we can prepare by making sure we have the best sounding studio possible. Everyone is different, so the equipment that gives me the best sound isn't what will give you the best sound. Research and explore all the possibilities. I love having ISDN. It's not only helped me maintain the clients I had prior to relocating to FL, it's opened new doors for me as well! It's just one more 'can of food' to add to my 'pantry'. Are you an audio producer? That's something great to add to your resume! Do you have a wide selection of royalty music and sound fx? If not, it may be something for you to look in to!
Next, we can prepare by making sure we are marketing to the right buyers. Is your current marketing campaign working for you? If so- yay! If not- change it! Voice over is often 90% working to get work, and 10% actually doing the work- so make sure your 90% is well spent!
Finally, we can fully stock our 'kitchen' by surrounding ourselves with positive, like-minded people that want us to achieve our goals. These are the folks you turn to after a bad day that pick you up and dust you off. They might be fellow voice actors that send you job leads, or point you in directions that might help your business. As long as you are careful to give as much as you receive, your voice over kitchen will be bursting!
When I e-mailed Nancy to ask her permission to use her wise words, she told me about a great book relating to this very topic. You can find it in her online store...it's called "Talent Is Overrated" by Geoff Colvin. I plan to read it soon!