Fix the roof when the sun shines.
Many of us tend to take action when things go wrong. After all, when everything’s hunky dory, why bother?
Here’s a familiar scenario.
Let’s say you’re a voice over with a nice client base and a steady stream of projects. You do what you love, and you love what you do. You have nothing to worry about until… your stream of jobs slowly gets down to a trickle. It happens to the best of us.
At this point you start to think: “I better take some action to attract more clients. But how?”
One idea is to redesign your website, but that’s going to take time. Another suggestion is to finally establish a social media presence, but you can’t do that overnight either.
While you’re exploring all these options, the mortgage or rent needs to be paid, and all your other expenses aren’t going to pay for themselves either. You have to generate some income to stay afloat.
What you’re trying to do here, is repair the roof while it is leaking. You’re doing the right thing at the wrong time. You’ve got to fix the roof when the weather is good.
The best artists keep reinventing themselves to stay relevant. Look at Paul McCartney. He could have retired after the Beatles broke up, but that wasn’t his plan. Not only did he repair his roof when needed, he kept on adding new wings to his house. As of 2020, he was one of the wealthiest musicians in the world.
You get my point. Invest in yourself when things go well. Not when you’re in a slump. If you wait until you’re in trouble, it might be too late.
Always ask: “What can I do to make myself more valuable?”
One option is to go to a voice over conference. If you’re in Europe, the next conference is in London. It’s the One Voice Conference (OVC) starting on May 11th. Here’s the good news: even if you cannot come in person, you can still experience the full program online. Participants also get access to ALL presentations from previous conferences. That’s FIVE conferences for the price of ONE!
ONE VOICE CONFERENCE
One of the organizers, Hugh Edwards, told me that there’s a different spin on the UK conference this year. It’s called Hybrid + and it’s not something that any other conference has done yet. This is what it means.
You have in-person, and online. The two go to form hybrid. But One Voice is changing it to keep things affordable, so the first two days are online – for everyone – and then days three and four are in-person OR online. The idea being that people get the best of both worlds. People get the content without having to pay a hotel, and they get the in-person event (boat party etc.) and only have to pay two nights hotel rather than four – and not have to leave their families for that period also.
Edwards: “When you add up the hotel costs, food, drinks, as well as the ticket, conferences can be expensive, so we are trialling that this year. So far people are responding really well to it. This is UK only by the way, not USA.”
The USA conference Hugh is referring to, is the One Voice Conference in Dallas, Texas, from August 4 – 7.
WORTH THE MONEY?
In spite of all the efforts to keep the costs down, there are still people who are wondering whether or not they should go. Rather than having one of the organizers address the issue, I thought I’d ask four colleagues who all have been to a One Voice Conference about their experiences. These people were selected by me and me only. First up is Liz Drury. She’s on the Voice Over marketing panel, on May 12th. That same day she’s doing a talk entitled The Mid-Career Malaise: Maintaining Motivation & Momentum. Liz:
“I have attended every UK One Voice conference to date and I have always been impressed with the organisation of the event, the quality of the speakers, and the wonderful atmosphere – even in 2020 when everything had to move online.
All the keynote speakers have been brilliant, but for me the one who stands out is Rory Bremner who spoke last year. As well as being a phenomenally talented man, and hilariously funny, Rory Bremner was just the warmest, nicest human being. He turned up to the conference opening on the Thursday night, just to say hi, and then on the Friday after his keynote he didn’t immediately rush off, he stayed around to chat to people. Only at One Voice do you get the opportunity to chat with superstars who also happen to be your colleagues!
The Voice Over industry is the most caring, sharing profession I know and nowhere is this more apparent than at One Voice. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro all are made welcome. Long may this conference continue!”
ONE VOICE AWARD WINNER
At every One Voice Conference, there’s a ceremony where the winners of the One Voice Awards are announced and celebrated. One of the previous winners is Alexia Kombou:
“A main part of the conference for me was meeting my ‘ VO Tribe’. Finding a group for female VO’s who have become my best friends. Spending three days at a conference together, in a little VO bubble. Forming tight friendships and finding people that I can finally call colleagues in this pretty solitary career!
Winning Voice Over Artist of the year, meant A LOT to me. It was 2018. It was the first ever one voice awards and it was a BIG DEAL.
It catapulted me into the industry- in terms of recognition, having that award to show credibility. The award doesn’t just give you VO work easily though. You have to use it as a tool to help leads ‘trust’ you and eventually hire you to voice their script.”
“You may know Samantha Boffin from her ear-opening podcast Talking Creative. On May 12th, Sam will be speaking about voice direction: How to ace your live recording sessions. Here’s what she had to say:
What I love about One Voice (and I’ve done them all – in person and online) is that you get an overview, a snapshot of the industry right now and that in itself is gold. Industries change all the time and conferences enable you to keep up with current trends, the stuff that matters right now. Plus you pretty much get a gem (or more) in every talk or workshop you go to.
The very first year I attended – I went to Anne Ganguzza‘s talk. She said something that has always stayed with me. She opened the talk – I think it was on how to build your voiceover career – by stating she wasn’t always the best voiceover in the room but she was very quick, very reactive, she always – ALWAYS – did her level best to serve her clients 100% and give them what they needed. Now – obviously she was being modest. She’s a hugely talented voice actor but that wasn’t the point. Her opener was realistic and relatable and gave me confidence and hope. And sitting there at the start of my voiceover journey, that’s what I needed.
She was right – no single voiceover is going to be the only person ever who could do that particular job. You can’t control whether you’re THE voice they’re looking for. And moreover, it’s not just about your voice – you get booked and rebooked because of a myriad of other stuff. Anne’s message was – learn your craft and be the best at getting the job done in terms of serving the client and making sure you deliver brilliantly. Because that’s how you build a career. I think that was one of the first talks I went to and it was a brilliant starting point. Gold, right there.”
FEELING AT HOME
Stéphane Cornicard is nominated for male Voice Over of the Year (among other things), a title he won in 2021 as well. What does the One Voice Conference mean to him? Stéphane:
“I started acting to join a family I chose, to replace the loving but rather dysfunctional family I was born into. Last year when I arrived at the One Voice Conference, everywhere I turned, there was someone I knew, valued, admired or just loved. And I remember thinking: even if I win nothing this year, even if I take no classes, attend no talks, I am home, among people who love and value me, and that’s enough for me… and then I won three awards and I thought my heart would burst.”
Stéphane will be giving an animation acting masterclass at the OVC on May 12th, as well as a free workshop entitled “Nailing your Gaming Audition Sides.” Click here for the entire program, and a link to get your ticket(s).
Many thanks to Stéphane, Samantha, Alexia, Liz, and Hugh. I want to stress that this is not a paid promotion for the One Voice Conference. I do know the organizers personally, and I have been a presenter in the past.
If you decide to go in person, know that all the necessary precautions will be taken to keep everybody healthy, safe, and utterly entertained!
So, let me ask you: How’s your roof doing?
PS photos courtesy of the One Voice Conference
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