What is it, exactly, that makes one a “professional” Voice Actor?
What is the definition?
Are there certain characteristics required?
Should one posses particular degrees, accreditations or certificates?
Does it have to do with names on a client list? Representation? Or union status?
Could it have to do with whom you list as a coach or mentor?
Would it be related to equipment in ones studio? The dollar value? Brands, makes or models?
Perhaps it’s connected to income? Cross a certain tax bracket and your “arrival” is declared?
Many have attempted to define what constitutes being a professional. People, agencies and organizations much more equipped for such a daunting task than I. Some have claimed success in the mission. Though, I can’t help but wonder who it was that ever gave them such a mission in the first place? Or how they were granted the authority to define.
Next week I’ll be heading off to Vegas for WoVOCon 2.
Can I be honest with you about something? I’m nervous. Really and truly nervous.
I’ve seen the names of many who will be in attendance. Voice Actors with accomplishments, skill, equipment, clients, income and status that no doubt far outweigh my own. Will I fit in, I wonder? Or will I stick out like a sore thumb?
One of these things is not like the other.
Have you ever felt that way?
The more I’ve thought about it these past few days, the more I’ve come to believe that, perhaps, just maybe, being a professional voice actor isn’t as much about a definition as it is about a state of mind.
How Do You Define Professional Voice Actor?
How do you view yourself?
Part-time? Full-time? Amateur? Wannabe? Pro? Fraud?
A profound and important question, don’t you think?
Here’s the thing; when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, I see a professional voice actor.
When I walk into my studio, I step into my domain where I set about doing professional work.
As I speak with each client, I try my very best to do so with the confidence and class of a professional businessman.
In every way, my goal is to conduct my business as a professional voice actor.
When I walk into the conference in next week, I’ll feel a little intimidated. A little outmatched (not to say it’s a competition). No doubt I’ll be a little star struck at some of the talented people I’ll meet.
But when I board the plane to return back to my cozy little studio in my sleepy little town, I’ll be better. Better for what I’ve learned. Better for whom I’m met. Better for stretching and stepping out of my comfort zone.
That’s going to make me more professional. If not by anybody else’s definition, at least by my own.
In the end, isn’t that the one that matters most?
You’re good enough!