Y'know who gets it right? Voiceover artists.
Specifically, audiobook people.
Here's what I mean: Say you're thinking about getting into voiceover. You'd like to give audiobooks a try. You've been told you have the voice for it and, "What the hell?" you think.
You mention to someone who works all the time in audiobooks that it's something you've thought about.
BAM! You are immediately given a list of resources, suggestions for training, tips on how not to get scammed, info about what's standard when you're starting out, and of course a nice big, "If you have ANY questions, let me know!"
Why don't we see so much of this in on-camera acting?
Ah… I have a theory.
While voice actors have their most castable brand, they know their voiceprint, and there are certainly parallels to an on-camera career, it's as though voice actors know, "It's either my job or it isn't. There's no direct competition and there's no benefit to hoarding my resources."
Because — unlike most on-camera or stage auditions — voiceover auditions are done in private, from a booth. The actor, the mic, the script, the project notes, the audition instructions… and then the upload. That's it!
(Before you leap in to tell me all that's wrong with voiceover, audiobook, and any nuances I'm leaving out, I know I'm generalizing and I want you to go with me on this.)
Because NON-voiceover auditions — at least before self-taping became so much a part of on-camera auditions — have always involved sitting in a waiting room with your "competition," it's a little more real that you're being measured *against* someone else.
And while you know when you didn't get a voiceover job that someone else DID get the gig, there's something about the ability to *see* exactly who got the role for which you were being considered that may feed so much of the resource-hoarding that goes on outside of the VO world.
Except in our community.
Y'all, I'm gonna brag on you for a sec. Ninjas are special people! There's none of this, "Ooh, I found an edge that helps me; I'd better keep it to myself or someone else will take my roles!" in our world. For every few questions posted at the SMFA Facebook group, there's always someone mentioning, "Wow. I've asked questions like this in other groups and I've never SEEN so much selfless giving! I've never been a part of so much SUPPORT for what I'm going through."
Because we know it's either our gig or it's not and there's no benefit to being stingy about information that makes the journey more joy-filled for everyone involved.
Our roles are our roles. And our edge comes from our talent, focus, and patience — not from any squirreled-away secret. Not ever.
The next time you feel tempted to size someone up and you find competitive juices flowing through you, picture yourself in your very own soundproof booth, blinders on, 100% just you and the work you need to do to be considered for the role.
Because no one else's journey has a damn thing to do with yours beyond how you decide to entwine them.
When you do decide to get all up in anyone else's journey, do everyone a favor (yes, this does a favor for you as well) and GIVE a little bit. Someone out there could benefit from the advice, info, or support you have available to share.
So share it.
Leave this business better than you found it.
All my ninja love,