Remember being in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic? Wow, what a weird time that was. It sort of feels a bit surreal thinking back, doesn’t it? Well, I wrote this article during the pandemic at a time when hundreds of countries globally locked down and entertainment production got put on the shelf. I found a lot of opportunity was birthed this time from a self-investment perspective. More people than ever who hold a significant presence in the industry were free to share what they know in the avenues of workshops, webinars, and interviews. That accompanied by talent saving money from not going outside meant they were able to branch out into new avenues enjoying workshops in genres they have not experienced before. As evolving voiceover artists they also spent time sharpening their skills in familiar areas.
Proactive Actors Artists
I certainly took a few more workshops but another phenomenal opportunity was to think outside the box and ask the question “how do I network when locked down?”. The world quickly adapted, and we saw socials appearing online, more social media chats and groups than ever before and finally a real dedication to connect. It was lonely at times, right? We had never experienced this before and we delt with it however we could. The networking point is an interesting one, the truth was that people were freer to have a chat and a lot of people including myself used this as an opportunity to connect and make some new friends and contacts.
Evolving Voiceover Artists Coming Together
I wanted to help people as much as possible utilise their time and energy in a productive manner. The pandemic saw a rise in mental health challenges, divorces, and suicides. The change in routine, the intensity of relationships with untapped issues and the feeling of isolation and loneliness presented a challenge to millions of people. The key was to channel this productively, not just as a distraction but as a means of building something fresh and new that paves the foundation to a better tomorrow. With that said I decided to write this piece bringing in a few of my voice actor friends.
A Global Community
The article had four contributors aside from myself and most of them I had not met in person before. We were strictly connected via the internet and began developing relationships, sharing tips, and working together during the pandemic. Two of them reside on the other side of the world in fact – how crazy is that? What I did notice though from chatting with these four wonderful artists is that they all brought something wonderfully unique when it came to marketing and networking during the pandemic. They all had their own bit to share which I will share now because ultimately, these tips are tips for life not just during a pandemic, these marketing skills are things we should have been doing anyway and are simple! Most importantly they are transferable to everyday life.
The Busy Voiceover Artist
Jeffrey shared that when the lockdown hit, he endeavoured to create more content than ever before alongside investing into training. He made parodies which he shared online and in networking groups and they were seen by hundreds. He brought a great deal of entertainment to all involved which showcased him in a hyper professional way. He wasn’t scared to try something new and to begin developing something new. The time was available so why not? I think this is a phenomenal approach and the idea that we can do things in these situations that we wouldn’t otherwise prioritise time for I think is genius. So, the top tip is, what can you be doing to invest into yourself and what skills can you be getting out there? Dedicate a bit of time to do this and you will see it soon mount up.
Making the Situation Your Own
Karis who worked a great deal on screen recognised that this was stopping and instead she ensured her voiceover setup and home recording abilities where top-notch. She invested more into her voiceover business than ever before and facilitated imaginative means of collaborating with her on-screen clients too. iPhone cameras used at home became common pieces of technology used when filming upcoming productions. Savvy companies also used the online meeting style to advertise their products during the lockdown. We were all used to the multiple faces on the screen in their own rectangular shapes, so that’s what a lot of companies displayed with their advertisements too. Top tip for this one, always make sure your home set up for both voice and on-screen are top notch!
Finding the Balance in Evolving Voiceover
Ian had two massive projects on the go which all the sudden did not need to drag on but instead could be managed quicker and more efficiently. Fortunately, this was a catalyst to a greater display of work-life balance in his life. Work-life balance is massively important and without it, exhaustion will display itself through your work. Things will seem rushed, small mistakes will be made, or your exhaustion will be picked up by peers and clients. Top tip, make sure you make time for yourself to rest. Plan your working schedule and commit to it.
Lorraine lost a big job due to the pandemic, the hope of it being sat there waiting for her on the other end was attractive but there was no guarantee. So, what did Lorraine do? She made sure to look after her health, she invested into herself with training, and she got proactive! Lorraine began booking work through other avenues like connections she had made on social media and via friends who were recommending her for known projects that she was a match for. Had the pandemic not hit and the original job not been lost she may not have discovered all these wonderful opportunities. The mindset behind taking a breath and focusing on what you can do and not what you can’t do I think is vital. Top tip, always look for the opportunities, take a deep breath, let go of what’s outside of your control and look after your health.