What do you do when your best efforts yield no fruit?
This article was inspired by the story of one voice talent who hasn’t found work online through the marketplace in over a year.
Want to read his story?
Water, Water Everywhere But Not A Drop To Drink
Some of you may relate to this paraphrased quote from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Each time you login to the site you see jobs upon jobs just waiting to be auditioned for, and you audition for them, but somehow, those jobs end up in the hands of other voice talent instead.
This may not be limited to auditions, but may also translate to private job offers that you wish would appear but for whatever reason never come.
Jerry James has auditioned over 1100 times over the past year and a bit at Voices.com and has been wondering why he isn’t seeing results.
I first took note of Jerry’s plight when he would comment on Who Got the Gig postings, sharing that although he had auditioned X times, he still hadn’t received one bite from a client.
This occurred 4 times, and throughout, the Voices.com team did our best to help Jerry by directing him to resources, reviewing his auditions, listening to demos, examining his profile and finally when we had exhausted our resources, directed him to seek counsel from a voice over instructor or career coach who could help him professionally.
Along the way, Julie Williams, the angel that she is, also donated her Proven Voice-Over Techniques CD to see if she could help him through her workshop.
Some time passed following the 4th comment and I hadn’t heard from Jerry on the blog for quite a while. However during the summer, he commented on another Who Got the Gig quite distressed acknowledging that after 1100+ auditions he still hadn’t gotten any work.
I realized then that the purpose of this comment was more than to simply participate on the blog, it was a cry for help. The comments were becoming more and more distraught and had reached a climax, bordering on desperate and potentially, offensive to others.
At this point, I had approved many milder comments of this nature but felt that the comment submitted right then at that moment was potentially more harmful to him than it was helpful.
I took into consideration:
1. What would people think if this gentleman has auditioned over 1100 times with no work gained, even direct contacts?
2. Would this new tally of numbers put him in a bad position if it were made public?
3. Would people question his professionalism? Suggest he leaves VO for a different line of work?
4. Would he potentially lose future work because of the comments posted?
5. Is this the kind of information that should be available for all to see? If people respond negatively, how would this affect his self-esteem?
After evaluating the above questions this past June, I prudently decided to address his comment myself off the blog and not publish it for all to see.
I thought by doing this in private that I was preserving his dignity and professionalism while also being available to him on a different, more personal level than if I were to simply approve the comment and be done with it.
I explained that there are very few reasons that a blog comment may be moderated or addressed off the blog (moderation of comments on VOX Daily is extremely rare, 1 in 1000 perhaps) and his comment lined up with some of the criteria that I use to distinguish if a comment meets our community guidelines to be posted, or in this case, not posted.
There are only 3 reasons why I would choose to moderate a comment:
1. If the comment is not relevant to the article
2. If the comment is malicious or singles someone out inappropriately for the purpose of injury
3. If the comment is of a sensitive nature or could be an embarrassment for someone should it be approved for all to see (i.e. a person comments assuming I’m the only person who will see it without thinking that their comment will be posted to the public)
This particular comment was left on our new products post, which meant that two of the three guidelines would be compromised if approved, those being #1 and #3. The comment was placed on an article that didn’t talk about getting jobs through auditions and it was also, at least in my opinion, of a sensitive nature.
My response, though sincere and professional, was rejected and instead of gratitude was met with criticism to which I replied politely and that was that.
This brings us to the second comment Jerry left just a few days ago on the Premium membership giveaway.
Again, the comment was accompanied by a staggering number of unsuccessful auditions, and although I could have just approved it as it was, I chose to edit the comment which still enabled him to remain in the draw. I did this in efforts to preserve his professionalism, something that I am now sorry to have done as it was obviously not what he desired.
What Jerry really wanted through all of these comments was to feel connected to his community and share his concerns with people who could identify with him.
Do any of you feel as Jerry does? Perhaps you have some tips to share instead.
If you’d like to leave a comment with your thoughts, you’re invited to do so below.