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Get out of your Bubble!

Voice acting is by its very nature, an isolated business and experience. We work in isolation booths for goodness sake! But sometimes that isolation can extend beyond our own work environment, beyond our booths, and encompass our entire work ethos. Our paradigm can become incestuous to the point where we seek to gather armies for our subconscious confirmation bias. This can be regarding, rates, gear, training, P2P, AI, and even fellow actors. We can become so unknowingly trapped in our own voiceover bubbles, that we can’t see the forest through the trees. We limit ourselves and our VO business to our safe space and rarely step outside our comfort zones. Today, I would like to encourage you to take a step back, observe your voice-over beliefs, and challenge you to pop your bubble. (and I'm not talking about pandemic isolation here!)

How did we get here?

Often, when new talent begins their journey into the world of voiceover, they ask for advice, look for groups to join, and generally go into sponge mode soaking up all things related to the industry. That’s a great thing, new talent should immerse themselves in as much information they can find. There are podcasts, social media groups, conventions, watercooler chats, workout groups, and coaches that can help guide you and train you to be an ethical, and talented voice actor. This community of voice talent is so welcoming and willing to share information that it can become a very comfortable and safe place to spend all of your time and energy. I see it happening all the time. It’s very tempting to feel warm and cozy in the loving embrace of the VO community. But there comes a point where you need to leave the nest. Staying in your comfort zone isn’t serving you any longer. You need to take the red pill and wake up to the possibilities around you.

That first step is quite a doozy.

According to Newton’s first law, a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Not only is this true in the world of physics, but it’s also true for our businesses as well. Taking that first step outside your bubble can seem risky, scary, and vulnerable. As difficult as it may be to believe that it’s the right thing to do, it’s absolutely the right step for you as a voice artist and entrepreneur. When you get trapped in your safe daily routines, you can be busy, but not necessarily productive or growing. If it seems like you’re doing all the things that everyone has told you that you should be doing, but not seeing results in business growth, maybe it’s time to push outside that comfort zone. If you seem to be caught up in a carousel of comparing yourself to others or spending an inordinate amount of time with other voice actors, maybe it’s time to push outside that comfort zone. If you’re not just a little bit scared, anxious, or excited every day, maybe it’s time to push outside of your comfort zone. It’s easy to get caught up in the feedback loop of all VO all the time because it seems like there is always something in the industry to work on or learn or talk about. Take some time to really go out and research industries in which you want to work and have a voice. (Pun intended!) Really TALK to your clients and find out what their day is like! Get a company tour, or extend that call with the production manager and ask them about their day. Start a podcast and interview your potential clients about their business - You will be amazed at what you learn!

Sidewalk Dandelion

Once you make the decision to leave the nest and try to fly, don’t be surprised if you fall flat on your face. You’ll probably make some mistakes. And that’s great! When you make mistakes you’re learning, you’re growing. The important thing is to keep going, use the momentum of your effort to help drive you forward. You have to find what doesn’t work in order to figure out what does. It’s part of the process, trust it. If you’re pushing yourself creatively, expect to stumble as you find your unique voice. If you’re pushing yourself with marketing, it may take time until you see the rewards from the seeds you’ve sown. If you’re pushing yourself as a business owner, expect to feel awkward and confused until you understand the small print. This is where true learning begins, and that is so refreshingly exciting! The point here is to take risks, because when the reward comes, you’ll find yourself standing apart from the crowd, and that’s when the magic happens. That’s when you’ll get noticed.

It’s the company you keep

One last thing about popping the bubble. Sometimes we can be caught in the bubble of our own limited belief structure. Creative entrepreneurs by their very nature typically operate outside the standard 9-5 job and the anonymity that comes with it. We tend to seek approval for our work, we tend to have thinner skin, and are affected by negative or “constructive” feedback. STOP THAT. This can create a cascade of different rationales or excuses as to why we play small or feel like we can’t do certain things. I’m here to tell you right now, let that go. Pop that bubble. Don’t fall back on the excuses of the past. Have you been told you’re bad at math and therefore you seem to struggle with invoicing? Let it go. Do you believe you’re shy and can’t be creative? Let it go. Were you called the class clown, struggled with paying attention, and think you can’t relate to people in the business world? Let it go. I would encourage you to be bigger than your circumstances. Hold yourself accountable. Be responsible. Play to win!

Find your sea legs.

Change is coming, it always is. The danger of insulating yourself within the confirmation bubble of the VO industry is that when the opportunity comes it will take you longer to adapt and evolve, or worse, it may never happen. You should become comfortable being uncomfortable. Keep your eyes open, push yourself, stay light on your feet, and you’ll find yourself at the front of the pack because you were ready to take advantage of an opportunity that others may have missed. Put yourself where your customers live, join their social networks, go to their conferences. Find out what the needs of your customers are, and you’ll find it easier to understand how you can help them. If you become a part of their conversations and involved in their communities, you are better positioned to grow your own business. I believe that every voice actor and business owner has the potential to succeed.

Much love and Keep on rockin' your health and your biz!



About the Author: Anne Ganguzza is a full-time voice talent and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voice over and business skills - including VO demo training and production. She specializes in Conversational Commercial and Narration styles, including Corporate, E-Learning, Technology, Healthcare - Medical, Telephony, and On-Hold.  Located in Orange County, CA, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students in person and via Skype, ipDTL or Zoom.  



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