It’s September, kids are back to school, the Jewish Holidays remind us that we are beginning a new year, and I am lovingly putting the pain and sorrow of the past year up on a shelf. Instead of living in that cloud, I’ve chosen to live in the silver lining, and it’s exciting to feel the change in the air. Loss creates space — for new people, new ideas, new approaches and new horizons.
‘Networking’ is such an overused word, like the term ‘professional.’
(Do you remember the old curmudgeon on 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney, and his commentary on the labels found inside clothing? The instructions tell us to “Professionally Dry Clean Only.” In his incomparable voice, he said, “What am I going to do… take it to an amateur?!”)
And yet the value of connecting with people in our personal and work lives is immeasurable. Thesaurus offers “stick” and “adhere” as synonyms to the word connect. And when you make a sticky connection, it has a lasting effect on both parties.
Recently I attended Faffcon 8, a voiceover industry un-conference with some of the smartest, funniest, most generous people in the biz.
I left that conference high on the real thing and energized beyond belief.
Through the years, my relationships with many of these colleagues have grown stronger and richer. By using our strengths to help others and drawing on others’ skill sets to overcome our weaknesses, we create a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship, which helps us grow all while in a supportive environment.
Padded Cells and Coffins
For any creative or solo-preneur who works on their own every day, having a collection of colleagues to call on can be lifesaving.
In the world of VO, many of us affectionately rename our studios with terms of endearment: My Padded Cell, The Coffin, The Box,
The Closet, Intergalactic Global Headquarters, Shangri-La, My Cage...Despite all my Rage, Solitary Confinement, The Imagination Station, Boothie, and more. See what a creative bunch of talent we are?! Being in New York City, I’m fortunate to have face time in real life with producers, directors, clients, agents, casting directors and other talent.
Aside from a monthly mastermind group of 10 colleagues, and a weekly standup group of 9 folks, I’ve just begun a new accountability partnership with a dynamic younger voice actor, Tracy Lindley. We are “accountabilibuddies” — try saying that fast three times! We review each other’s writing, ideas, make suggestions, share our list of to-do’s and what’s done via Workflowy, and are prepared to give one another a kick in the ‘arse’ if need be.
Asking for help is hard for some. Yet many of us are eager to give it. Let’s stick together as we approach a new year and pay it back, pay it forward, pay it again, and again Sam, and do it with style. :) Just Sayin'