...or were you preparing for the next round of activity in your career?

Did you give up and "get a job" because you couldn't pay rent?

...or did you find a way to take care of business and stay on your career path?

Not all of "us" were on network TV, getting big calls or just plain getting the gig...
For whatever reason... we were struggling... for many it wasn't pretty at all... BUT...

You start looking around and wondering what can you do that's "different"...

You also look at who IS making it and you see...they are in a crowd of believers!

What do the "Believers" BELIEVE?
Well come on now... they believe the talent is good because the talent believes they're good and now all parties are believing they is good.

So what's the matter wichoo? NOTHING You're good too!!!

The problems start when you think you need to be in the same place, on the same mic, on the same stage and in the same gig as "the talent" we just mentioned...

HO HUM Cut it Out!!!
start thinking about the stages you CAN be on and getting yer butt up to the folks that book it and show 'em how good you are. IMPORTANT POINT: The only way you can show 'em how good ya are is to quit worryin about who gots what and start focusing on your stuff!

Cause GUESS WHAT baby? you ain't gettin none of theirs!!!

Now a lot of you ask "them" to show you how it's done and you even pay 'em to see how it's done and when you finished payin and payin... you still gotta work on who you are...what you are... and all that mess...

But hey you learned something for all that money now didn't ya?

But I thought you didn't have no money to pay rent?

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Comment by Roy P. Cunningham on February 4, 2010 at 11:20am
Hi David and Andy... sounds like we would all enjoy coffee together!

Portland is perhaps one of the coffee capitols in the U.S. !
Now I guess I REALLY am startin some mess....

Living our lives as "talent" is very much like combat.... most will shun the inference.
Our lives depend so much on each action...

One of the things I am finally doing is "cutting expenses".
I'm not downgrading my lifestyle...
I'm simply adapting to a new matrix.

In my case, it's more a personal thing while still a necessity...
i want to be closer to downtown
I want to walk to new clients
I want to be with friends who WON'T drive the 12 miles because of "traffic"...
(yes...Portland is a lovable small city after all)
...and let's not bring up the San Diego to L.A. thing... :-)

Just as Andy stated... in September of '08, everything...and I mean EVERYTHING just STOPPED coming.

Me too... although it was actually a great storm in 2007 that knocked out my client base to the tune of 100k or more... I never recovered from that as the business of 2008 swooped in for a left hook.

It was the scales... "Do - Re - Mi - Fa... and so on...
That's what kept me alive.

Always adapting... in my case I came up with a different billing system.
Made perfect sense in a "different time"...
Plus all that practice gave me a better sound

Better sound = Better Gigs

So many of our peers were doing it for less... they were starving.

I maintained rate... NOW
...there's another story!!!
Comment by Andy Bowyer on February 4, 2010 at 10:55am
Years ago I made an conscious effort to stop thinking "Man, that sounded AWFUL," when hearing ads on TV and radio (though with local radio that's sometimes VERY hard to do...) What I have tried to do instead is to listen with a more "critical ear" and find things that are both good and bad about another person's read. Then I try to compare what they did that I both liked and disliked with what I do (or might have done with the same script.) Sometimes I learn nothing, but sometimes I hear my own bad habits coming back to me out of the speaker. Sometimes I think "Wow, I wouldn't have done it that way, but it really worked!"

Regardless, being upset as to why "Announcer X" got the National Nissan ad isn't going to get you anywhere. Figuring out what they're doing and you're NOT, however, will. And that's why I like your closing statement, David: "Persistence is key." Because more than likely, a person's persistence landed them a job in as much as their talent. Or in some cases, the persistence of their agent...but that's a whole other thing... ;)
Comment by David Cameron Griffith on February 4, 2010 at 10:07am
I like you response....hope my message is clear.. it not, I can explain more, but due to the amount of time I have here at work, I am going to have to be brief..

"HO HUM Cut it Out!!!
start thinking about the stages you CAN be on and getting yer butt up to the folks that book it and show 'em how good you are. IMPORTANT POINT: The only way you can show 'em how good ya are is to quit worryin about who gots what and start focusing on your stuff!"

I wasn't among the few who struggled during this past year, but I wish I paid more attention and focused more on some of my personal and professional goals.... well. what do I mean by that?.. well, I am not afraid to say this.. I was a little jealous on how some of the these guys scored these big gigs... I would say.. how in the heck did he land that spot? He sounds awful!!! I wouldn't doubt that some of these guys got off their butts and landed these gigs themselves as oppossed to sitting back waiting for a response after tapping the "enter" button. The work is out there.... one has to ... just "look" for it. That means get off your @ss and get it. Every Tuesday when I meet up with my Voice-over coach.. I ask him.. How in the heck did he land that spot? Well, when people zig, he "zagged!" He anticipated that everyone is going to do the same read, so instead, he made it stand out.. even if it sounded different from the other auditions. So how does this apply to finding voice over work.. well, actually, I use this for everything. might just have to go back to the old traditional way... "look" for it! Instead of placing calls or sending emails saying.. hey, check out my demo!!! You'll love it.. what do you think? (because that's what you're going to anticipate what everyone else is going to do) .. start knocking on their doors. Just a small amount of initiative will come a long way! who knows what will happen! You may get rejected, but don't let it kill ya! Stay focused! Persistence is the KEY!!
Comment by Andy Bowyer on February 4, 2010 at 9:51am
Interesting thoughts...I fall into the "had to get a part-time gig to pay bills" category. Because in September of '08, everything...and I mean EVERYTHING just STOPPED coming. This was, by and large, to do with the economy. After all, turning on TV or Radio news every day and hearing the words "The SKY IS FALLING OVER WALL STREET" did NOTHING for corporate morale. And most of my better paying clients are *gasp* corporate types. Consequently, they circled the wagons and stopped using outsourced talent...

...for a while. Most of those clients are back now, and I'm breathing easier. But, during the "dark time," I took a solid week (WRECKED my cell phone battery in the process) and cold called a TON of companies and picked up a couple of new clients. The lesson I learned is that sometimes *more* is more. More clients means more opportunities to fill up the slow times, even if those clients pay what we'll call "modest" fees. The good news is that (in my case) those "modest paying" clients do a LOT of volume, so that was a huge help. Even at greatly reduced prices, being able to work was a HUGE boost to my confidence, and kept me going.

I also learned that the bottom can drop out when you least expect it. So I've kept the part-time job "just in case." (It also gets me out of the house a couple of times a week, which is good.)

I've never tried to compare myself to other talents, or be jealous of their successes. As tight as things are, and as hard as it can be to make new contacts and get consistent work, I know that there *is* a place for me out there. My job, outside of being able to put someone else's money where my mouth is, is to FIND the work and then do it well. Getting clients is only half the battle: KEEPING them is the most important thing.

I now have a very dear friend that is making new contacts on my behalf every day while I focus on keeping the old and thankfully NEW clients happy.

Because, after all, sometimes more *is* more.


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