Voice-over can be a very solitary career. Sometimes, we’re in the booth and collaborating with a director, engineer, or client; but oftentimes, especially in a home studio, we’re alone in the booth, self-directing and then editing our files to be sent off to the client.
Personally, I thrive by being social and I feed off the energy of community. I am an extrovert by nature (and majored in musical theatre!) and I really love the art of collaboration. I’m New York City-based, which is a very large market and one can easily get lost in the shuffle.
When I discovered a “Mastermind Group” this really fulfilled my need for connection and community, while also helping me source new ideas to achieve my goals. A mastermind group is an amplified version of an accountability partner and with multiple members. I really love the idea of sharing my goals with a group of trusting individuals and hearing about resources and ideas that I may not have thought of for myself. Here are some ways to go about forming a successful mastermind group:
This can be difficult since everyone has varying schedules, but picking a consistent date and time which is agreed upon by all members will set you up for success. My NYC Mastermind group tries to meet once a month and since we all live in various neighborhoods of NY, we rotate the meeting place. There’s also no reason you can’t meet digitally with platforms like Zoom, Google hangouts, and other apps!
Pick A Goal to Share
I find that it helps to streamline a meeting if each person has a particular goal they want to present or an obstacle they’ve been facing. One group I was a part of elected to use the first 5-10 minutes to allow everyone to write a few pages of stream of conscience (like a “mental clearing” or journaling moment) which often gives clarity to what you may want to focus on for that meeting. If you want accountability with something specific on your career path, you can also ask the group to check in with you on a particular goal.
I’ve found it helps to have each person present to the group for an allotted amount of time and literally set an alarm. That way, the group is equitable while also being mindful of everyone’s schedule. You can build in or add on time for the group to throw out resources or ideas to help this person achieve their goal. The beauty of a mastermind group is that old adage “two heads are better than one” and with the varying perspectives, you can see your goal through a new lens.
When I am in my mastermind group, I try to listen more than I speak. Maybe set some “community agreements” in your mastermind group so it feels like a safe, open and non-judgemental space. Sharing goals and obstacles can be vulnerable and you want everyone to be on the same page so you leave the meeting feeling energized, inspired and each member has an action plan to reach their goals.
Even outside of the mastermind meetings, it’s great to have some form of communication to stay connected and check in on each other. There are apps like Slack, where you can group specific conversations and many people can weigh in on different ideas. You can also keep it simple with an email chain as well. If you meet less frequently, like quarterly or once a month, finding another mode of communication to check in can be helpful.
Find what works for you as a group and keep it consistent! You’ll want to find a group of committed people who are passionate about achieving their goals while also helping others. The right mastermind group can be an amazing opportunity for growth, collaboration, community and expanding your resources and network as a voice-over artist and human.