Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

May 13, 2012

Forum Decorum

Filed under: Announcements, Business, Communication, Marketing, Musings — Tags: , , , — connieterwilliger @ 9:20 am

I belong to a slew of groups on LinkedIn – including a large number of voiceover related groups. Why is it that there seems to be a plethora of unprofessional comments. Social media has been around for years now and it amazes me how people don’t seem to understand that what they post is there for the world to see (when a group is an open group).

I felt compelled to comment today on one of them after a couple of people actually started slamming a legitimate producer for not posting his undying thanks to the group. His post was 6 MONTHS ago and people are still posting comments with links to their demos. And now some are complaining that he hasn’t posted to say thank you!?

It is an International Group with members from all over the world, and perhaps members with little time on social media or little time in the voiceover business, so – as a long time full-time voice talent – with a background as a producer – and an early adopter of technology and social media – may I offer a bit of advice? Thanks…

First of all. When someone posts looking for talent, it is fairly easy to click on their profile link and do some due diligence to see if they are “real” company. Check out their website. Is it professional? Can you check out who some of their clients are?

Then, reply privately! There is no need for two or more pages of voice talent shouting “pick me, pick me!” Really, take a look at any thread where someone has posted that they are looking for talent. It screams desperation.

And understand that producer seek talent in a lot of places. This particular producer posted to a group that specifically includes people that say they do eLearning work, so it was logical that he would post a request for people who do eLearning, but he probably was looking in other places as well. Even if this was the only group he posted to, a lot of people DID contact him privately, so he may not come back here…until the next time he needs talent.

But, if you look at the original post – it was 6 months ago! My goodness! Why are people still posting to the thread? And worse yet, castigating him? Why would he ever come back?

There are groups where introducing yourself when you join is encouraged. If you are joining a group where voiceover is not the main focus – then, certainly introduce yourself to the group and provide links to your demos.

Then watch the other introductions as they come in – and send PRIVATE responses to those people who may (or are) seeking the kinds of skills you possess.

The more professional, helpful, respectful and funny you are in the posts you do make to public forums, the more people will think of you as a professional and someone they would like to do business with.

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2 Comments »

  1. Several years ago, I had office space in a “not so desirable” neighborhood in San Francisco. We had a single door at street level, which opened to a long staircase that came up to the second floor, where there was studio space, classroom space, etc.

    Occasionally, somebody would accidentally leave the front door open, whereupon we may find a wino or panhandler make their way up the stairs. It was disruptive and annoying. We also would rather not alert the neighborhood underbelly to the many thousands of dollars of audio and video equipment we had. We soon learned that shut door, not necessarily locke, but shut was enough deterrence. An open door seemed to signify “welcome, come on in.”

    At this location, we would frequently hold both on-camera and voice-over auditions. In those days, talent would go to a casting director or client’s fairly often for purposes of auditioning. When we held auditions, we would put a sign with the appropriate casting info on the door, It always said in big letters, “Please shut door behind you.” We found this was less than completely effective.

    Eventually, this turned into us placing numerous sides along both walls of the staircase that said “Shut Door Behind You!” and “If You Fail To Shut The Door, You Will Not Be Allowed to Audition” It was a long staircase, and at one point, there were probably no fewer than 20 of these signs up there.

    Still, it never failed to amaze me that at least a few actors failed to follow this initial, simple “direction”. Upon reaching the top of the stairs, as they were to sign in, they would be told that they couldn’t “audition”. Some would sprint down the stairs attempting to rectify their error. But the way we saw it, if you weren’t present enough to figure this one out; let alone realize that you were entering a building where the door was shut to begin with, we certainly didn’t want you getting anywhere near our clients.

    Interestingly enough, this happened among vetted, represented talent. Considering the pedigree of many current online denizens, I’m surprised we have the level of civility we do. The difference here is that those who fail to understand; who fail the simple tests aren’t actually told they can’t participate, they are just ignored, scorned and shunned. An annoyance for the rest of us to have to circumnavigate, and certainly individuals we would prefer not to have refer to themselves as our “peers”.

    You might say that the internet could be considered an “undesirable neighborhood” too. Perhaps we should do a little less welcoming and instead be wary of the “less than desirable” who might venture up the stairs.

    Comment by J S Gilbert — May 13, 2012 @ 10:01 am

  2. I found one of Cashman’s auditions a while back that I decided to do – and I didn’t follow directions. Realized after hitting the send button that I had done two takes and there it was (in CAPS I think) “one take only.” Or words to that effect. Felt like a dolt.

    Sent him another file with one take and apologized for being an idiot. Never heard a peep. Did I whine about not getting a response? Considering the number of people on his mailing list who could potentially have submitted, I wouldn’t expect anything. Anything, except the “you’ve got the job” call or email. That’s the contact I want.

    Comment by connieterwilliger — May 13, 2012 @ 5:41 pm


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