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Thursday, January 13, 2011

When In Doubt, Change Strategy

So I go and complain that I'm not getting any love from the several agents I've sent my demo to when I read something that changed everything.

As I was futzing around the internet, I came across the Voice Over Extra site.  Now, at first, I figured it was just a bunch of advertisements from people who hold themselves out as "coaches," looking to separate me from my hard earned money.  I have to admit, living in Southern California has jaded me a bit in this respect.  I start from a position that if I live in the entertainment capital, those from outside the capital must be a "nobody."  I am quickly discovering the opposite; looks like the "nobody" is writing this blog.  Heh.  Back to the point.  As I am perusing the site, I discover a series of articles for newcomers including this one.  Mind you, I went to the one-day training seminar at the Marc Graue Recording Studio, so I knew everything I needed to know about how to break in to the voiceover biz (note use of hip insider lingo!).  Of course, my notes and recollection of what to do are a bit fuzzy, but I do remember the advice of sending out my demo to as many people as possible (although I seemed to focus on agents only). What could this guy possibly have to say to one so close to voiceover stardom?

Plenty.

The author, Robert Sciglimpaglia, lays out the steps to building your career with brutal honesty. His directions get right to the heart of the matter.  For me, this meant what I was doing was all wrong.  His approach does not involve agents and the endless search for one.  Instead, he advocates a direct marketing approach to getting your foot in the door.  I won't bore you with restating the article here; you really should read it for yourself.  Instead, I'll tell you what I've done since reading it.

First, I went against my better nature and signed up for a premium membership with Voice 123.  I don't plop down $300 without thinking and doing a little research (unless I'm playing video poker, that is).  I looked at other "pay to play" sites, and I think this one fits my needs the best.  If I'm wrong, I won't renew. 

Now, why did I do this?  Easy.  It provides me access to auditions that I would never know about; gives me an excellent resource of hundreds of contacts in the VO world that Google can't help me with; allows me to hone my skills through auditions, and; provides valuable feedback for my efforts.  So far, I have had one audition, but I've only been signed up for one day.  Good record so far.

Next, I'm getting over my fear of putting my name and face out there.  If I want to make money at this, I'm going to have to tell people what I do.  That means sending e-mails to different sources, whether or not I think it's the right place to send it.  Getting on social networking sites and telling them what I do.  Giving feedback to others when asked.  Participating in on-line forums and linking back to my site and blog.  These are just some of the ways I'm changing my strategy and upping the aggression.  If an agent calls, I'll listen. But I'm not just going to keep sending CD's out to people who could give two shits about what I do.

If becoming successful is a "numbers game," then I'm upping the numbers.  So, when my enthusiasm was flagging, one article has given me hope.  I'm reading with the appetite of lion coming off a power fast.  Absorbing what is useful and throwing away that which is not (thanks, Bruce Lee!).

Well see how this goes from here.

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