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.
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.
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.