Another year on the Gregorian Calendar begins. It’s a time for reflection and restarting dreams or getting a fresh jump of juice on current goals.
Well, this blog is mine and what’s going on in my life… so where do I begin? Last year was what could be called a ‘dogs breakfast’ of a year. I left my job of several years in March for the main reason that myself and one other individual were being targeted at work to the point of mental illness and ongoing exacerbation.
Short Summary: it’s not a bs claim when the ‘team’ is overworked but only you and one other coworker (out of 10+ people) are getting asked to ‘help other people out’ – aka: do their overdue tasks for them, get heaped on blame for past-due deadlines (of which are in entirety another department’s doing) and yet another member of that same team gets approval for 6 months off to travel abroad ‘just because’. We both had to quit before we were ruined for anywhere else.
Why didn’t you fight it?
It would fall under workplace harassment and bullying, right? Wrongful dismissal if you were fired?
Right, because they paid me *that* much money to be able to take on the corporation’s lawyers. Unless I can prove that particular manager/director straight up murdered someone then did indecent things with the corpse, I would only end up losing the case AND up to my eyeballs in legal fees… and then branded as 100% undesirable for hiring in any job ever.
Anyhow, the New Year! What do I hope for and want for this Year…
Hopefully more Voice-Acting jobs… yes, I know.. I know… I clearly stated that VO wouldn’t be brought into this blog (because it’s not about that)… but I’m thinking of it more in a “What’s what in your career” sense rather than focusing on the ins ‘n’ outs of VO.
So… what do I know about VO so far? I know that… it’s a long haul (knew that already, but doesn’t hurt to restate it) and that it means ongoing work forever. What I *didn’t* know is that part of that long haul would be delays and stumbling blocks due to people in the industry telling you they’ll do something and then just ignoring you and not keeping their word – so I’ve learned I have to set a serious boundary on things… no matter how busy, how famous or how awesome a person is.. if they don’t get back to you within 1 week (as in 7 days), follow up. Follow up twice to give the person a fair chance to keep their word… and after that, just assume they don’t consider you important enough to bother with, and move on. Oh, and during those weeks you’re following up… KEEP WORKING.
Why don’t you have a fully produced Demo with accompanying sounds yet?
Due to the above noted paragraph. The professional, sane and valuable advice was… to get a pro to review what you’ve done so far and give a good long critique of whether you’re ready to do a demo. If not, go get some private tutoring or mentoring sessions. No one tells you what to do if the pro you’re depending on decides they don’t have time for you nor gives you any direction about who/where to go to if they don’t have time for you… so that was several months wasted (yeah, you read that right… several months, because I am an idiot who just naively thought that they’d ‘get back to me at some point’ – after all, they gave their word they’d review and critique and guide, right?).
What I’m saying is… the road to career fulfillment in this industry would be a whole lot more straightforward if factors outside my control didn’t drop the ball. I mean… what happens in a normal job search?
- You send in resume
- You hear back yes/no within 2 weeks (if no response, can safely assume that it’s a no)
- During that time, you send out more resumes
- Eventually you get interview and get job (of some sort as long as you showered and dressed nice)
In the VO profession… it’s like this
- You need a demo and you need critique… so you send out samples to people you trust and who have *told you they will help you*
- You hear back fr-…. No you don’t. Wait… what? You follow up and then you hear back – no…. no… wait not yet… huh? Okay… ONE more time… aaaand you’ve been ghosted for no reason. But now can you really assume you’ve been ghosted and move on or are you now offending someone who’s going to totally block you from moving forward?
- You keep doing auditions on websites and forum boards… please note the rejection rate is close to 99.9%... and then you hear the person who got hired instead of you and wonder “holy crap… am I actually WORSE than that person who got hired? Well, Sh*t… I need an outside voice/mentor NOW”
- You’re already in debt several thousand $$$ from all the courses you took before… but all you’re hearing is “Well, take more courses… no we have no end in sight”
- You keep doing auditions on the hope … the PRAYER that you get hired…
And you’re left now in this limbo.
In short – I do not think I would be having steady work in VO by this point… but I really did believe that by January 1, 2018 I’d at least have an honest-to-goodness demo and a mentor with which to continue working and improving… but due to essentially a whole lot of “yeah, good idea, now let me lead you on and then ignore you forever so that you waste your time” – I don’t.
What can I say? I feel lost. What do you do when you do everything right… when you have tried every avenue, and you honestly just cannot reasonably spend more money without a clear and direct path set out (ie: the only ‘advice’ I keep getting is to mindlessly pour more money into ‘courses’ and no clear route to graduating to the next level)… yet you’re no further than when you started out?
Did you reach out to your teachers? Yes, and they all said ‘sure we’ll help’ then didn’t.
Did you ask about resources? Yes... and the answer I got was "Well, they're all right here" - and then no further information on how to access nor use the resources.
- It's like saying "Can I please have something to eat?" and the person responding "Kitchen's full of food" then walks away and doesn't let you in the kitchen or even tell you where the entrance to the kitchen is.
Did you reach out to your fellow students? Yes, and most of them are already established, busy and honestly don’t have time for me.
Did you try ongoing persistence with the studio at which you trained? Yes, but my ideas weren’t deemed necessary or appropriate.
So what now?