“So, what do you do?” is most often the first question asked at a networking event or business conference. Meeting with new people can be challenging, even frightening. Now I am in the entertainment industry, I feel it's now easier on my end. I became involved in this wonderful industry providing audio content to visual creators and storytellers because I discovered a career that suits my talents and as an added bonus, it’s often engaging to other people which makes networking more productive.
In my previous career, “I’m a financial adviser” was a sure-fire route to watch eyes glaze over and often made in person marketing short lived.
It’s much more refreshing and confidence building now when I enthusiastically say: “I’m a Voice Actor”.
The person I have met tends to be much more curious, often exclaiming things like “Wow” and “that’s fascinating!” Then a crease will appear on their forehead when they realize that they don’t quite know what that means, or they overlay the obvious and follow up with “Where will I have heard your voice"? Or "what have I heard you do on the radio?”
Now is a danger time though because as an entertainer and performer, I love chatting and must be careful about rattling on too much about explainers, E-Learning, Corporate films, Videogames …....
I’ll keep my reply simple with something along the lines of “It’s unlikely you’ve heard me unless you play videogames or you heard me in an internal training course, in which case I’m the guy telling you all about slip and trip hazards and password security". That will usually elicit a slight chuckle and away we go, the ice is broken, and a two-way conversation is now underway to discuss trends in business and the best way to get the word out to potential clients.
No matter what business they are involved in there usually are opportunities for both parties. I’ve met realtors who have hired me for their videos and interested parties who attended some of my coaching sessions this way. Emails go out the next day and most often than not, working connections are made.
A VO Poem
“What do you do?” was the dreaded question
When I had a career I didn’t want to mention
But now, even though I’ve not won a BAFTA
I’m happy to say that I’m a Voice Actor
And when mingling in the business tent
I’m delighted to say I’m a Voice Talent
I really am rolling in Clover
To confirm to you I’m a Voiceover
I’ve reached a satisfying catharsis
To announce to the world that I’m a Voice Artist
No longer a networking pessimist
I love being a Voiceoverist