How To Start A Local Voice Over Group
And Keep It Going And Growing - Today!
September 13, 2016
By Evan Schmitt
Have you ever wanted to sit and talk with other like-minded voice over people in person?
Guess what? Itís still possible! Yes, we live in a world of instantaneous, online communication, but remember meeting friends for coffee?
Iím a millennial, and Iím telling you, face-to-face is more valuable than ever before. Itís very easy to become isolated in voice over and I believe that meeting others in person is good for you.
"But, Evan, I donít have anything like that around me.ĒNo problem: start your own group!
Stop waiting for something to fall into your lap. Itís not going to happen. Create the group you want to be a part of, and start today.
Here are three easy steps to get you going.
1. Find everyone you know in voice over within 25 miles of you and invite them to meet somewhere (coffee shops are great) at a predetermined time. These are people you may know from a voice over class, or others you find through location-targeted Google search - or just friends you know who share an interest. Set a goal of meeting five people, and send them an email.STAY CONNECTED
Most importantly, once you start this, you must keep it going. This fun get-together lives and dies with you. Youíll know when it can run without you.
Iíve been doing mine for nine months now, and it keeps me connected to all of my nearby voice over friends. Youíll meet someone new almost every time.
Our group also keeps newcomers inspired to pursue this "voice over thing.Ē I started my group, Voice Actors in Pittsburgh Getting Together as a way to give back to others entering voice over.
VO proís like Amy Hartman, Bob Souer, Jim Conlan and Ryan Mill have graciously shared their wisdom with me, so I felt compelled to give back the favor and create a space for mentoring to occur.
There were so many things I wish I knew when I started. This group gives me the opportunity to steer someone new in the right direction from the beginning.
For meeting topics, I pull ideas from various places: challenges Iíve had in my voice over journey, blog posts and articles I find on voiceoverxtra.com and other places, and input from others in the group.
Everyone has experiences and lessons that theyíve learned. The more experienced actors in our group have great advice and they are very eager to share it.
INCENTIVES TO 'SHOW UP'
As with anything, there are challenges you have to overcome. The first is getting people to show up.
For the first few meetings, I offered a free coffee to the first person to show up. Think of little incentives that will draw the crowd in.
Also, set a location and time (think about rush hour!) thatís convenient for most people.
As your group grows, you could think of having guest speakers. There are no limits to where your group can go. It could even evolve into a conference some day, but itís going to take a lot of hard work on your part, as well as the help of others.
Write to me if you need any ideas on how to get going.
Also make sure attendance stays as close to free as possible. Ideally, the only cost for attendees would be getting themselves to the meeting.
So if you want a voice over group in your town, start today!
Evan Schmitt is a voice over talent who got his first start narrating his documentary films at the age of 16. Since then, he's honed his voice on public radio, live event announcing and corporate narrations. He's also an on-camera actor.
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