It seems a pretty likely assumption to say that we’ve all been on our own more than usual lately. Which, for a voice-over artist, is saying a lot! We’re used to being alone most days. Creating offers, submitting auditions, narrating audiobooks and recording commercials are all things we’re accustomed to doing all on our lonesome from our recording booths before uploading superb finished products to our clients all over the world. When it comes to this pandemic, we were more prepared than most to hunker down and work remotely for an extended period of time.
But what about those other times, you know, when you used to get out of your house and see people in the flesh, hug their necks, and clink glasses together after a long work week? It’s another likely assumption to say you’re not getting to do much of that these days. And also, likely that we won’t get to for quite a while to come. However, that doesn’t mean you should drop off the face of the earth and stop connecting to others just because we can’t do it in person or like we used to.
Today I dedicate this post to community – a few different categories of wonderful folks who are keeping me afloat these days. I invite you to reflect this week on these categories in your own life and how they may be positively impacting your current situation, wherever you are.
If you’re looking for more practical tips on how and where to start creating a community for yourself, pop on over to this post from December where I give lots of pointers and ideas for places to start.
While most of us continue to be separated physically, there is still so much strength found within your local community, even if you’re connecting through a screen.
My local arts community in Dallas has been amazingly supportive and creative throughout these past few months. It’s been incredible and inspiring to see how people have shifted gears to offer all types of connected artistic experiences now we’re temporarily not gathering publicly to perform.
Second, our online community plays a huge part in not feeling alone and in keeping businesses afloat. Staying in touch with other voice over artists — and for me, copywriters too — has been a huge boost to my positivity and productivity.
These people are the light in my Instagram, the bright spot on my Twitter. Their advice, vulnerability, kindness, and generosity have been invaluable to me this spring. It’s so inspiring to see others who aren’t content to succeed alone during this global pandemic but insist on reaching out a helping hand to guide others as well.
To my online professional creative community, I say, “Keep saying yes to that second cup of coffee because the hustle never sleeps. But also, thanks for helping me put in boundaries to create a healthy work/life balance. You’re the best!”
And of course, we can’t forget the folks who keep the lights on. Last but not least: client-love. These are the amazing people who bring creatives to the table to complete their projects. They respect your work as a professional AND as an artist, and are willing to pay you fairly for your talent and time. Without them, we’re not able to continue to do what we love.
Here’s to all our clients, but in particular to the clients who haven’t had to cancel their retainer agreements or put projects on hold during uncertain times. The ones who have fought to keep us on payroll and keep projects in production. They continue to provide us with financial stability and a paycheck in a creative field.
Thank you for your generosity, your patience when I haven’t responded as quickly as I would have normally, and for your kind feedback that allows us to continue to partner together and collaborate on some pretty interesting projects. I am so grateful to get to work as a creative entrepreneur because of people like you.
Let me wrap up this unconventional “ode” with a few closing thoughts. I’m learning in this extended alone time to not take anything for granted and I invite you to do the same.
So over the next few days, ask yourself these questions:
- Who’s keeping your spirits up during this pandemic?
- Who is providing you with work that you didn’t expect and keeping your bank account full?
- Who’s supporting you locally even though you may be connected mostly through technology?
- What online groups or creative entrepreneurs do you follow that boost your mood and give you motivation to soldier on during the tough days?
Once you’ve created your list, write some of these folks a short note this week and send a little love. Let them know how much you appreciate them in your life. The people who encourage us and hustle us along deserve to know their influence, it may be the bright spark their day needs too. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Caroline Cole is a voice-over actor, copywriter and coach based in Dallas, TX. Learn more at carolinecolestories.com or join in by following @carolinecolestories on Instagram and @ccolestories on Twitter.