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Networking: 10 Golden Rules
To Build Your Voice Over Business
By Elaine Clark
Owner and Founder, Voice One
While once a very social and interactive business, voice acting has progressively become more home-based.
That means a lot of solitude with you and your microphone.
Some actors will never work in a professional recording studio. Others may never have talent agency representation.
When a gathering of voice actors occurs, it‘s a treat to connect and share stories. But it‘s even better when actors have an opportunity to mingle with directors and producers.
When this occurs, the actor should remember these Networking Golden Rules:
1. Thou shall not brag or be a talking resume. They are often referred to as (expletive).
2. Thou shall not descend on directors, agents, and producers and talk shop or ask for a job unless they initiate the topic.
3. Thou shall get to know people in the business as human beings and not as a prey to be trapped and cornered.
4. Thou shall remember that people like to work with friends and colleagues whom they trust and enjoy being around.
5. Thou shall remember that human qualities that connect one person with another make for a lasting relationship.
6. Thou shall remember that you are not your job - but what you do when you are not recording.
7. Thou shall not write about auditions and jobs on social networking sites until the job has aired or permission to print or air the information has been granted.
8. Thou shall refer colleagues to jobs, and they are obligated to repay the favor.
9. Thou shall not write long emails. The longer the email, the slower the response.
10. Thou shall always leave a positive impression and follow up in an appropriate manner during business hours.
Follow these Golden Rules and you will build your business and make every experience a good one for all concerned.
It will serve you well in the long run!
Elaine Clark is an award-winning actor, director, producer, certified teacher and author of the book, There's Money Where Your Mouth Is. She is also the founder and owner of the Voice One in San Francisco, a major voice over training company. Voice One recently celebrated its 25th anniversary in style at Club 330 Ritch in San Francisco. Many of Elaine's current and former students, instructors, producers, agents and casting directors were in attendance. A good festive time was had by all. Here's to the next 25 for Voice One.
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Comments (7)
Bill Smith
12/21/2010 at 11:01 AM
I'm one who likes to think about New Year's Resolutions. (You know, the
ones we break a few weeks into the new year.) :-)

I think I've found one. It's nothing more than the Golden Rule ... you
know, treat others as you would want them to treat you? Not just your
friends and family and neighbors. ALSO the people one does business with.

That's why I liked Elaine Clark's article, "Networking: 10 Golden Rules
To Build Your Voice Over Business."

I've broken a few of those "tips" in my career ... we all have. And
usually I have regretted my unthoughtful moments of rudeness, impatience
and lack of respect to others.

I resolve in 2011 to be kinder and respectful to all my colleagues in
the biz. Including when chatting on this group. In the immortal words
of what's-his-name, "Can't we all just get along?" :-)

PS. Elaine's tips, while difficult to stick to, are also good karma.
As I age (and oh, do I feel it in my bones), I've learned how great it
feels to get back to a client I "dissed" ... you know ... to apologize,
to make amends, to heal old wounds. No, not that it always works out
and adversaries become bosom buddies. But at least you've made an
effort to correct a wrong. And your conscience is a bit cleaner.

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Break a leg,
Bill Smith
The Acting Studio
David Sigmon
12/20/2010 at 2:54 PM
A terrific list of New Years resolutions. Thank you, Elaine.
Bettye Zoller
12/20/2010 at 2:29 PM
And to Jim Conlan, my esteemed colleague in Houston, a leading coach and voice himself, absolutely right on comment, Jim. Take that to heart everyone. Don't whine. And remember, you have to look and act successful, not bemoan your biz or lack of it, to be successful. Success breeds success. Be positive and upbeat and talk about your achievements, and success grows.
Bettye Zoller
12/20/2010 at 2:27 PM
Elaine Clark is a pioneer in our business and my esteemed colleague and friend. Great article, Elaine. I have long told voice performers that while it's "fun" to mingle with other actors, are you spending wisely to travel to social events? Producers and advertising creatives and agents ... those are the people who give you jobs, not other actors. Be sure you network with people who can hire you and then, if there is extra money and time left over, of course, do social gatherings with other actors just for fun. It concerns me when voice performers confuse "social" with "job potential." Who can hire you? They are the people you need!
Jim Conlan
12/20/2010 at 11:09 AM
I'm sure you'll be getting plenty of "eleventh" commandments. Here's one: If you've worked with a director before, but not for a while, don't squander a face-to-face opportunity by saying, "How come you haven't hired me lately?"
Paul Strikwerda
12/20/2010 at 8:52 AM
Rule 11: Thou shall take Elaine's words to heart and thank her for her wisdom.
Paul J. Warwick
12/20/2010 at 6:52 AM
Youi make it sound so simple! I guess it actually is!
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