WoVO: an affectionate acronym for World-Voices Organization. WoVO is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) with the altruistic motive of being the Industry Trade Association for voice-actors everywhere. http://worldvo.org = info and sign-up.
http://worldvo.com = online WoVO community.
Do you know what an Industry Trade Association is? For the dictionary-like definition, I like Wikipedia’s description as well as any:
“…A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association or sector association, is an organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. An industry trade association participates in public relations activities such as advertising, education, political donations, lobbying and publishing, but its main focus is collaboration between companies, or standardization. Associations may offer other services, such as producing conferences, networking or charitable events or offering classes or educational materials. Many associations are non-profit organizations governed by bylaws and directed by officers who are also members….”
I’m not trying to bore you… I’m just not sure how many voice-actors know what a trade association is. As it sits now, most of us are not part of an orgainzed whole, we’re all independent freelancers.
…and THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT.
Together, our words, intentions and action have more direction and power than if we are apart and unorganized. You still get to be a freelancer, but joined with others of your kind, in an industry trade association, OUR profession takes on a pride, a community, a cohesiveness that works for the good of your business. SAG-AFTRA doesn’t really fill this need, and by the same token, WoVO isn’t proposing to move into the union’s mandate.
In designing WoVO, we looked at many successful trade associations, and specifically chose the template of the National Speakers Association to model after. Not that they have all the answers, but we think they’re doing a lot of things right.
“I dunno Dave,” you may ask…”it seems a bit esoteric to me”. “What will a membership in WoVO benefit me, my freelance business, and my clients?” Great questions…I’ve seen them posted by several individuals, and it’s the impetus behind this blog.
We’re not saying World-Voices is going to appeal to everyone. We think, though, that it answers the needs (or ultimately will answer the needs) of the majority of working voice actors.
7 Great Reasons to Join WoVO
1) WoVO is you. You and hundreds of other voice actors. People you know. People you respect. People who desire for their business what you desire for your business. Success. The collective will have more leverage than the individual.
2) WoVO has integrity, transparency, credibility. We have legal counsel. We admit our mistakes. We constantly ask for input. You can serve with us. We saw what went wrong with the…er…other…or, previous…aw, let’s not even talk about that. We know how to avoid those pitfalls.
3) WoVO has connections. We know tons of people: your peers, coaches, agents, producers, engineers. 99.9% of them like what we’ve done with the place (and when I say “we”, I mean the core of about 10 of us who formed the organization, and act as its directors). Our connections are your connections. We like putting people in touch with each other.
4) WoVO is right answer to the question. And the question is: how can voice-actors advance their professional goals? In fact, every question that comes up becomes a possible issue for the trade association as a whole to solve. This is where the power of the hive-mind overcomes the resources of the individual or even an individual’s close circle.
5) WoVO is all about community. This is one of our early and enduring commitments to the voice-actors who join. Our WorldVO.com site is an online meet-up for sharing, relationship, conversation, and business. It’s free, and it’s been brilliantly designed by Voice Actor and WoVO director Andy Curtis. Visitations are growing by the day.
6) WoVO is an inexpensive and worthwhile investment. For $49/year, you are becoming part of the first-ever voice acting trade association. I realize that may not be a big deal to some people. But for many of us, getting in on the ground floor, and helping to set an early agenda is fulfilling and exciting. Joining in organized relationship with other professionals in common goals can be incredibly gratifying and productive.
7) WoVO is just getting started. Any of us on the Executive Board would tell you of the philosophical discussions, public relations challenges, and organizational roadblocks of the early months. I would agree that the first year was low-key, and offered little more than hope and promises to those looking in from the outside. But year two is already taking off with enthusiastic sign-ups, a refined vision, renewed vigor, and a better sense of what it will take to succeed.
One of our hopes is that high-profile producers, coaches, and other VO thought-influencers will understand the value of our vision, and join in our endeavour. I’m not at liberty to name names yet, but impressive and respected individuals at the top of our profession are preparing to announce their commitment to WoVO.
That means you too!
Thanks for taking the time to read today’s blog. I hope you will see the upside to joining WoVO. We need your participation to help us achieve our goals. Visit http://www.WorldVO.org to sign-up.