Friday, October 4, 2013

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

or Wizards, Experts and Readers of Tea Leaves

45 RPM record sleeve - Cher - Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves
The recent announcement that Cher was to embark on a grand tour has her fans scrambling for tickets to be there in the front row on what could be her final go 'round. That's yet to be determined. One of her classic hits from the early 70s, Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,
made me think about all the negative discussion I've seen in the past year or two about what some in the voiceover industry might label as
charlatans, shysters and snake oil salesmen (and women).

I grew up with a dad that didn't trust anyone. He was always looking on the bad side of people believing that everyone had thieving ulterior motives. He was not a trusting man. It was difficult for me growing up not to absorb some of the philosophy and I thought it was true most of my younger life. But, as I age, it can't help observe that most of the people I've come across in my career are pretty genuine. Most of them really want to do good things, but that addictive, dirty, physical thing called money too often clouds their “do good” vision.

Each day my email box and the social media sites fill up with offers of voice actor expertise, classes and events for a fee. Here are some actual headlines, subject text and event titles that I've seen recently:

Are You Ready To Make Money With Your Voice?
Break into V-O! Industry Secrets Revealed
How to become a voice over "A.C.E."
V-O Secrets Revealed: Get The Big Picture
Step Up To the Mic!
Voiceover Master Immersion Class
Voiceover for Gaming Course
Increase your chances of booking that really important audition
Are you serious about breaking into voiceover?
You're on the Air! (Make it in Voice-Overs)
Beginning Voiceover for Improvisors
Are your getting the best voice over rates possible?

Some in our industry question the motives of the people making these offers. But, I think they are all, for the most part, genuine and they all have something to offer. I know many professionals in our industry that offer to help struggling voice actors as mentors and yes there are many that charge for sharing their expertise. That's just the nature of the beast. Some are givers and some are profiteers. That doesn't make them bad. It just makes puts a dollar or many dollars between you and that info or training. But, that's a decision you should make and not let the “nay sayers” dissuade you. Everyone entering this line of work needs to establish a budget for training and pick the training that will benefit you the most. It's like being in a candy shop. “I want one of these, and one of these and two of those and a whole bunch of that one.” To which mom says: “But jerry, you only have a dollar. You'll have to pick the one you want most and can afford.”

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