In the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen an exponential number of new requests to be in my FaceBook Group “Voice-Over Friends“. As far as I can tell, there’s no accounting for it. Terry Daniel, who administers “Voice-Over Pros” is seeing the same thing. We’ve discussed it, and can’t figure out why the sudden interest.
For instance, I took a bit of a sabbatical from all-things-virtual over a 4-day 4th of July weekend, and in that time 55 new people requested entry into Voice-Over Friends. I’m not going to waste your time or my time in offering theories for this…I’m just trying to keep my mission clear: the only people that should be in this group are those who are serious about voice-overs. There might be some newbies…certainly plenty of working full-time or part-time professionals. I also accept audio engineers, producers, agents, casting agents, booking agents, directors, coaches, audio editors, and audiobook publishers. In short… to get in the group, your FB profile should reflect that “serious” attitude about being in the business of voice-acting, or at least serious about being in an adjacent (supporting or attending) role.
Managing the Group
Terry and I both are diligent in our role as administrator. We want to keep our groups “pure”, so-to-speak. Nothing would be worse than to usurp the basic nature of such a private group by allowing non voice-actors to muddy the waters. I’ve deleted posts, eliminated members, and reprimanded others who I think are not contributing to the heart of the group.
Here’s the thing, though…you’d be surprised how many people requesting entry show nothing….NOTHING…in their FaceBook profile that remotely reflects any association with voice-acting at all.
Sometimes, however, I’ll go digging even deeper, seeing that they have quite a few friends in the group. Sure enough, I’ll find a link to a webpage that shows they are probably a working voice-actor, complete with demos and everything. Don’t you find something intrinsically wrong with that? If you truly are serious about voice-acting, don’t you think those keywords should appear somewhere in your profile? Voice-Actor, voice-overs, voiceovers, etc?
So here’s what I’ve had to resort to doing to manage the sheer number of applicants: I hover my mouse over the name of the person requesting entry. If their pop-up profile description doesn’t mention anything remotely related to voice overs, then my decision about their entry is a big “NO”. The only thing that might make me hesitate is if their profile reflects a high number of friends already in the group. If so, I’ll waste an extra minute or so digging. But the point is…I shouldn’t have to!
If you are hoping to use FaceBook (or social media in general) to raise awareness on the internet of your role as a voice-actor, then every profile you complete in every social network you’re on should mention voice overs. Period. Even if it’s your personal page. Voice over is what you do, and who you are. This is the first place prospective clients will look if they’re using social media to screen new voice actors, and believe me, more and more clients are doing just that.
Do You Qualify?
A side note: much is being written lately about criteria, screening, passing muster, qualifying, accrediting, certifying and making the grade as a voice-actor. It’s come up in World-Voices.org, FaffCon, SAG-AFTRA, talent agencies, and certain pay-to-play sites. This is a HUGE nut to crack, and I’m not going to do it here and now. By comparison, I’m using a relatively lightweight measuring stick on FaceBook. All I’m expecting to see is a mention of a keyword like “voice over” in your FB profile. I’m sorry… but if you can’t express something that simple on your personal FaceBook page, your dedication to voice acting is suspect in my book…you’re just not “serious” about it…even on something as frivolous as FaceBook. ESPECIALLY on something as frivolous as FaceBook!