I think most of us can safely say that 2020 has been a unique experience. The way we live, work and play has been changed, probably forever, by the virus that shall not be named (The Voldevirus?).
Many members of my family have had difficult health issues to face (including that one) and I lost my dad (Alzheimers) and one of my longest friends (Cancer). I continue to be so relieved that I visited this past January and saw them both.
Nevertheless, I do feel it’s always instructive to look back to where you have come from and see how one’s grown. Reflecting on what should be brought forwards into the New Year and whether there are some habits that need to be thrown out.
It’s also an opportunity to recognize some people who have helped or changed what one does.
So, let's look at what’s been positive and what’s been challenging, specifically for my VO career.
I often say that VO is not a lonely profession (because of all the voices in my head) but that it is solitary.
Meetups and Conferences are important for my sanity and this year has certainly been a challenge from that perspective. So I’m thankful for my VO friends at Upstate Voice Actors ,US Based British Voices, Gravy For the Brain and Voice Over Network for providing some light relief on zoom, during this most solitary of years.
I’ve been wonderfully surprised by One Voice Awards and Society of Voice Arts and Science (SOVAS) – Seven nominations for awards and 2 wins (Animation Performance and Voice of the Year 2020 – One Voice) – They help to support the idea that I am doing something right and to do more of it. The key people involved, Hugh Edwards and Peter Dixon at One Voice and Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins at SOVAS truly do care about the people working in our industry and work tirelessly to promote good practices. In their own ways, both organisations pulled off remarkable events. I’m a bit sad we didn’t really get to celebrate with the glitziness of a live event… but hopefully will be something to look forward to next year!
As a result of this recognition, I was forced to review how I face the world via social media and my website. The wonderful, Sara Waters, has revolutionized my web content and my social media practices and in only the first couple of months, I’ve had direct enquiries and business from these efforts.
And while I am on the subject, I also need to express my love and thanks to my wife, Sandra. Her work on my promotional materials has been outstanding and she has enabled an enormous amount of forward momentum to be gained.
I’ve spent some time reviewing where I spend my time and what is most productive (with some surprising results that I might share another time) and, consequently, 2021 will see me auditioning less and marketing more. It will see me focusing on some very specific areas of our business and honing my marketing towards a more targeted demographic.
Thank you 2020. Happy to see the back of you but also grateful that the increased isolation has forced me to reflect, slow down, plan and given me a renewed vigor for 2021.