5 Ways to Minimize VO Isolation, Introspection, and Introversion

by | Jan 22, 2019 | VO Business | 5 comments

It’s not your fault…

You work a lot by yourself…in your booth.  Maybe along with that you’re (what they used to call) “shy”…and to top it all off, you spend WA-A-A-AY too much time second-guessing or doubting your actions.

Any one of those behaviors can give rise to an unhealthy aloneness that only detracts from voiceover success.

Not that being an introvert is bad.  Quite the opposite.  We are thoughtful, creative, careful, and deep/imaginative thinkers.

Neither extrovert of introvert is better…just unique in their strengths and weaknesses. But since I’ve had first-hand experience in being in an extroverted career, while comfortable isolation + introversion, and since many of you reacted to my last blog about this  – Hypothesis: More Than Half of All Voice Actors are Introverts (and that’s a good thing), I thought maybe some suggestions might be helpful.

Five Ways

Do what you do best as a pro VO:  Tell Stories.  Think of conversations as a way to emerge from aloneness AND hone your craft.  Since you’re an introvert, practice what you’re going to say compellingly in your mind, then go for it!  Soon, you’ll start to look forward to relational associations because of the great story you have to tell.

 

Start on the phone.  This totally works for me.  While I (wrongly) think a face-to-face energy.encounter is beyond me, a phone call is sort of a half-way point that gets me to come out of myself, but doesn’t require ALL my energy.  Take the positives from a successful phone call with you when you engage in person.

make sure you get the VO battery charger going when you need it Click To Tweet

Have/be an accountability partner who knows your love/hate relationship with being solitary as much as you do.  Call her/him on it…or literally call them on the phone to check on them.  Both of you agree on what you can/should do each day or week, and then hold them to their promise, and they will hold you to yours.

 

Don’t be a proud introvert. Sure, you may TEND toward the shy side, but in/ex -troversion is a spectrum.  You have it in you to be exuberant, fun, outgoing, and gregarious when the moment is right.  So find the moment. Find your sweet spot.  Find the passion that brings you out of yourself.  Do that.

 

Take acting in the booth, outside the booth. You know all about finding your emotive spot so you can book the job in that all-important audition, right? That works in the real world too.  If you can bring it to your performance, you can take it to the streets.  OK, maybe sometimes it’s a pose.  But if it brings you out of yourself, so what?

Honorable mention:   Recharge, then go forth!  It’s been said that the extrovert starts out her/his day empty, and fills their emotional bank through personal interactions all day.  Introverts – on the other hand – begin their day full, and each encounter drains them a little.  So make sure you get the battery charger going when you need to i.e. alone time that will let you be interactive when you have to be.

Let’s face it, no freelancer is going to be successful crawling into the booth all day.  To find clients, you have to be outgoing, personable, and assertive.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to let my introverted nature get in the way of my VO success. 

Like anything else that breeds success, this takes discipline too.

CourVO

 

Comments

comments

5 Comments

  1. Howard Ellison

    Yay! Say it for the introvert: happy to be quiet, but can be outgoing with the best of them when the vibe’s right. Some of us might be what Elaine Aron in her excellent bestseller calls The Highly Sensitive Person. Sounds appropriate to a voice performer!
    By the way, rather than extravert and introvert I favour outer-directed and inner-directed. The latter describes someone who is naturally resourceful, does not need people around to function and make decisions. Would that be a good fit with booth life?
    As you say, Courvo, these things fit on a spectrum. Whether it’s ‘better’ to be near one end or the other or around the middle, maybe others can enlighten?

    Reply
    • CourVO

      Howard,

      Your responses are always spot-on. Thanks for the distinction between introvert and “inner-directed”. I use that label too, sometimes.

      Hope all is well there in the UK!

      Dave Courvoisier

      Reply
  2. Michael Howard

    I found this post quite helpful, Dave, because I do consider myself an Introvert, but I’m not shy.

    I’m much more of a Loner than anything else, yet, when I am around others, I can thoroughly enjoy engaging with others.

    My background is Teaching, where your Audience is already set by how many you will have in your classroom. To be an effective instructor, I feel you still need to perform and fill the needs of those you’re teaching. Being new to Voice Over, I’m able to apply some of my Teaching Skills, but I know that I must go to my Clients, as opposed to having them brought to me.

    I am learning so much from VO Pros, like you, and the most important recommendation I take from this blog post is this one you made: “To find clients, you have to be outgoing, personable, and assertive.”

    No matter what kind of personality you have, as I continuously tell myself and others, you must Take The Action To Make It Happen!

    Reply
    • CourVO

      Thank for commenting, Michael… nice to know there are others who bear the same burden I do!

      Dave C

      Reply
  3. dave p courvoisier

    OTHERS who commented here today on this blog (incl. Ed Helvey), somehow your comments got deleted (probably through operator error — oops!)…but I saw your replies, and I so appreciate your comments…nice to know I’m in such good company!

    —dave c

    Reply

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