Disclaimer: I’m an officer and a founder of World-Voices Organization, and an unabashed advocate for its acceptance.
Neither union, nor guild, nor agent; World-Voices (WoVO) is the subject of many blogs here. I believe in the need for an industry trade organization for voice-actors…even though I hate the word “industry” (it makes me think of steel mills and railroads).
But that’s what we are: an Industry Trade Association…and that brings me to the first most-asked question about World-Voices.
#1 What is it we do?
Wikipedia’s def: 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.
My pat answer:
- WoVO educates about the profession of voice-acting
- WoVO promotes voice-acting
- WoVO advocates for voice-actors
- WoVO mentors peer-to-peer
- WoVO sets “best practices” for talent, coaches, producers
Our mission statement: “Our mission is to strengthen, improve and promote the artistic, professional and economic success of freelance professional voice actors world wide.” We are committed to integrity, creativity, and the pursuit of excellence and we advocate for the highest ideals and practices within all aspects of the voice over marketplace.
All the above verbiage is – yes – a bit lofty…but you have no idea how many discussions, debates, and hours we’ve spent searching out hearts for these words. All of us on the executive board, and dare I say all of our members, believe in this manifesto.
#2 What’s in it for me?
I hate hearing this question, but I totally understand why people ask it. I’ve asked it myself. We’re all so conscious of Return-On-Invesment. We’re equally wary of come-ons, pitches, and promises. But this is where you kinda need to put on your hat of altruism. If you don’t understand what’s in it for you, then you probably aren’t ready to belong to an industry trade association.
What WoVO signifies to the business of voice-acting is that we’ve arrived on the cultural/professional scene to claim our place. We’re not creative misfits or hard-to-peg freelancers. We belong in the pantheon of performers, actors, business-people, and respected contributors. We’re seasoned enough to want to set our own standards, place our flag, help others, be in community, and see to our kind.
Again, lofty words. There ARE tangible benefits to belonging to WoVO.
- Access to top professionals for advice.
- Connections to industry partners
- A Free-to-Play site just for members (soon-to-be-announced)
- Technical certification standards
- A sense of belonging to like-minded pros
With the benefit of exposure to two of the industry’s top gatherings this Summer (VOICE2014 & FaffCon7), WoVO has gained new acceptance, and almost 30 new members.
See the list of latest recruits, and some pics from FaffCon, as well as some comments from our President, and our VP of membership in our latest newsletter…now viewable on the web: http://goo.gl/kjC4Bp.
If you’d like to join World-Voices Organization, please visit the website, and click on the link to register.