On Saturday 14th May I travelled to London to attend the prestigious One Voice Awards 2022, where I was lucky to be nominated for best female performance in an audio drama. Though it didn't go my way this time, I can honestly say I was just as happy as if I had won. There comes a point where everyone nominated is already really really good at what they do, so the judges must have a difficult job on their hands.
It was great to meet people in real life for the first time and see so many of my friends nominated and coming away with awards as well. And I know some of them have been through a lot of trials and tribulations, as many of us have over the few years, and there was a sense of gratitude and humility in every acceptance speech.
The theme that kept coming up all evening was how kind and supportive the voice over community actually is. Yes, some of us are technically competitors, but there isn't the bitchiness or fake nicety that I have noticed in other creative arenas. We can all find our niche and we all have something unique to bring to the table. And because we know how tough the industry can be, it's not hard to be happy for someone when they do achieve success.
The cliché is true, "success" in voice overs is a marathon not a sprint. What you want is career longevity and consistency. I have to remind myself that sometimes as I am rather impatient! I only really started treating voice over as a proper business just before the pandemic hit in 2020. I timed that well didn't I? I'd lost my job as a kitchen designer September 2019 and decided that would be my 'make it or break it' moment. I was going to try and earn a living following my passion for voice acting, which prior to this was more like a hobby I would occasionally earn some money from. A few months later I was up for my first ever One Voice Award for best IVR/telephony performance. 2 years later, another nomination in a different category and I am now running a profitable business full time.
I don't say this to brag as I have had some very difficult times. Not just financially but also physically and mentally. Moments where I thought I'd have to quit and go back to working retail because I couldn't pay my bills. Moments of self doubt and the dreaded imposter syndrome. Moments of self sabotage where I have put stupid conditions on my own progress, talked myself out of doing things that would have been good for me out of fear or lack of confidence. And whilst many entrepreneurs go through these emotions, I can't help but think we 'creatives' get it a little worse. Because part of our job is being in touch with and channelling our emotions and being good at introspection.
This is why I now realize how important our support network really is. Nobody else can understand what it's like quite like your peers and colleagues. We can either view each other as enemies and competitors, or work together to make out industry better. Striving for better standards, better communication so we avoid scams and exploitation, better understanding of rates so there is no race to the bottom and better support for those who are struggling.
I choose to believe the rising tide lifts all ships. One voice is the embodiment of this. And at the risk of getting too metaphysical, I had that rare and wonderful feeling all evening,
that I was exactly where I needed to be at that point in time.
GALLERY (I wish I had taken more photos! Might add more later)
Photos left to right.
Me getting ready in my hotel room (Hilton Docklands)
A table of new friends!
With friend and presenter Katie Flamman (we both went with Navy blue sequins!)
Obligatory mirror selfie. Dress by Morgan, jewellery, vintage.
Another selfie of me grinning like a Cheshire cat.
With friend and fellow nominee Rachel Farago