Monday, July 6, 2009

The Importance of Being Likable

Last week an 'anonymous' LA Agent put a comment on Twitter that actors should always remember the importance of being likable. I couldn't agree more! We've all worked with someone that came across not so likable, and it can really leave a lasting impression.

Now, imagine being the client with a job on the line! It makes everyone's lives easier when we act professional, reliable, and yes...likable.

However, you don't want to ONLY be likable when you are behind the mic. As I always like to say, you never know where your next job is coming from.

Case in point- a couple of weeks ago I was in an airport in NC waiting on a delayed flight. I struck up a conversation with the woman next to me after I had helped her plug in her computer charger (the outlet was behind me). We chatted for a bit before she asked me what I do for a living. I'm a voice actor, I explained. I was expecting to have to offer more of an explanation (as I usually do), but she surprised me when she knew exactly what that meant! As it turns out, she works for a company that creates online tutorials, and regularly hires voice actors as part of her job. She asked if I had a card, and well- I gave her two :).

A different example happened just yesterday. I stopped into the local Pier 1 to see what things they might have on sale for the holiday weekend. I was contemplating a set of patio pillows when the sales girl asked if she could help me. We chatted a bit before she asked if we had ever met before. According to her, she 100% knew my face. I didn't recognize her at all. She asked if I had ever lived in South Carolina. I told her I had recently moved to Tampa from North Carolina. No, that wasn't it. I asked where in South Carolina she had lived. She said Florence, SC. Well, I knew instantly why I looked familiar to her. I've been the on-camera spokesperson for a car dealer in Florence for a couple of years now. That was definitely it, and we had a good laugh about what a small world it really is!

Now, imagine if I had been rude to her. She could have called her family and told them that the infomercial girl was not very likable. And believe me, I'm from a small town and I know how word can spread!

So, should we all be likable in the hopes of scoring a gig, or impressing someone that knows our work? No. We should all be likable because it's the right thing to do- and it makes the world a better, brighter place. Everything else is just icing on the cake!

Kara Edwards Voice Over


Adam Fox said...

Absolutely.. :) once again.. a great lesson in how if you just practice good karma for the sake of practicing good karma.. it's good ALL AROUND.. :)

Good stuff Kara! :)


Justin said...

Great point and great examples, Kara! It's interesting -- and somewhat sad -- how some people try to put on different fronts for different situations. It's so much easier to just be one person all the time, and to make that person the best person possible.

Deelsu said...

it's all about networking! thanks for the congrats! we're excited!

AVATC said...

Hi, Kara! I LOVE this entry! I strongly believe that what you put out in the world comes back to you. If you're putting out a friendly, approachable vibe, the Universe will respond in kind -- and what a great world that is to live in!

Thanks for another wonderful, thought-provoking post!

Karen Commins

Craig Crumpton said...

Good advice, Kara. And I wish the reverse were true for agents and clients. Far too many in my experience don't seem to care whether they're likable or not.

VoiceOverForYou said...

So very and Bob Souer are great examples of people that do this the best!

Kara Edwards said...

Adam- I've always been a big believer in Karma- and I certainly know you must have some great Karma coming your way with how friendly and helpful you always are!!

Justin- I spent many years on the radio with people trying to convince me to be something I wasn't. It's the #1 reason I left the biz to focus on VO full time. I haven't regretted it for a minute! Not everyone will like me, but as long as I know I'm being myself- that's ok! Thanks for the great comment!

Dee- My soon-to-be married friend :) You are the perfect example of being likable and having people like you exactly for who you are!

Karen- I can honestly say I've never run across anyone in the media/entertainment/vo biz as truly generous, friendly, and giving as you. It's a pleasure to know you!

Craig- interesting point! I've been very fortunate to always have great clients, and hardworking agents. However- I know that, like in all businesses, not everyone will be 100% likable. I believe if you continue to put out positive vibes and energy- you will attract the same back to you. If not, I've always loved the power of, "No thanks" :)

Brian- please add yourself to that list! I am thankful every day that you and Bob were two of the first contacts I made after going full time in VO. 2 of the most likable people I know!

Thanks to everyone for the comments! I like you all :)


TrevorJonesVO said...

Amen Kara!

Trevor Jones