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Are You Paying it Forward?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

June 10, 2008

Comments (6)

Boy Scouts of America Stamp

If you've seen the movie "Pay It Forward" you know what it means to give back to your community and help build other people up.

Are you paying it forward?


Everyday there are people around the world investing their gifts selflessly to benefit others.


Paying It Forward in a Group

One example in the voice acting community is how generous people are with their time and knowledge when participating in community fora, such as the VO-BB forum (Voice Over Bulletin Board) and the Voice-Overs.com forum.

Every little bit that you give back, even something as simple as a heartfelt compliment, is worth its weight in gold to the person who receives and makes you feel really good, too.

Something else I'd like to talk about is mentorship.


Mentoring

Paying it forward doesn't have to mean that you are engaging a large group. It can also be reaching out to people on an individual basis to guide and shape lives and or careers.

Last year, Bob Bergen, a voice acting instructor and one of Warner Bros. voices for Porky Pig and Tweety Bird, surprised a great number of us in attendance at a conference by offering to mentor someone for life! The lucky recipient of that mentorship was Canadian voice actor Tom Edwards.


Paying It Forward to Our Industry's Future Leaders

From time to time, our company is presented with opportunities to share our knowledge, talents and expertise to help others in the industry.

Yesterday, David gave a lecture at his alma mater the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART) that gave the students a unique perspective on how to start their own audio recording businesses. He speaks annually to OIART classes and gets a real kick out it as do the students.

I try to get out to the schools too, and if you remember, I had the privilege of speaking and observing the broadcasting communications class at Clark Road Secondary School and see the future develop before my eyes. It is an experience unlike any other and being there among those high schoolers made my week.


What Have You Been Doing to Pay it Forward?

Share your stories by adding a comment!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Denise Roup

Related Topics: Bob Bergen, broadcasting, Clarke Road Secondary School, David Ciccarelli, High School, how to, industry, OIART, pay it forward, paying it forward, Stephanie Ciccarelli, Tom Edwards, VO-BB, Voice-overs.com Forum


Comments


    Thanks for this article with such great (and timely) advice. I love contributing, and being part of the Voice-Overs.com forums, as well as the forums at VoiceOverUniverse.com. I've received valuable advice, and try to give some input as well. In the second half of 2008, I plan to get more involved in the voice-over communities, and to think of other ways to give back.

    Posted by:

      Stephanie!

      Thanks so much for this post!

      I think it's such an important part of any worthwhile community to be there for each other. Although I, at this point in my career, have been HELPED by so many amazing people, so much more that I have returned, I want to give a shout-out to just two of the many people in my life who I think personify what you are talking about:
      Bob Souer & Peter O'Connell.

      Bob is one of the most generous people with his time & knowledge, and Peter is amazing at rallying people behind a cause.

      I just follow their lead & try & keep up! :-)

      Peace!

      Liz

      Posted by:

        Hi Stephanie. What a great topic. :)

        I've personally been HUGELY lucky to make some great contacts with people who have very generously donated their time to help me improve in this business. Lee Kanne is one. He's a fellow from Chicago who originally critiqued (quite brutally - though with good reason!) my initial commercial demo - and then followed through with that critique and actually *helped me improve*. He didn't ask for money. We just got to talking in email, he'd send me scripts and I'd do them over and over again until I got them good enough that it gave him shivers. ;) Though we've never met in person, he's someone who's talent I admire greatly and who was instrumental in helping me have that epiphany of "Oh! So *this* is how it works!". I owe him a LOT.

        Dave DeAndrea is another kind soul who has been very encouraging and helpful from the start. I met him on the voice-overs.com message boards originally and we got to talking - both in email and on the phone. I've done a few projects with him now and have a radio imaging demo and a new commercial demo due to his help and guidance. We're on to a voice mail demo now. :)

        Recently, I was contacted by a woman who was a gospel singer who wanted to get into voice over work. (She just found me on the web by searching for "voice overs" in Google. Go figure.) Since my background is also as a singer getting into this, I spoke with her in detail about what I've been doing to get into this and what she could do to get started. I don't think she even had a website. But I remembered the generosity of the folks I've been in contact with who have helped me along the way, and I did the best I could to be encouraging and helpful - even though I'm only in the beginning stages of this myself. I intend to *always* be like that. This is one heck of a wonderful business and I can honestly say that everyone I've met - even the curmudgeonly ones - have been and continue to be - a wonderful source of insight, encouragement and friendship. This is a really *wonderful* community. (sorry for the novel here. ;))

        Just as a note, one of the spots in my new commercial demo (the KIA Bumblebee spot) was written by Tom Edwards. He's a great guy and I can certainly see why Bob would want to mentor him. :)

        Thanks again for the great post!

        All the best,

        --Jodi

        Posted by:
        • Jodi
        • June 11, 2008 1:29 PM

          Stephanie,

          As a Boy Scout Leader and long-time scouter (38 years), it tickled my heart to see the stamp graphic you included with this great post.

          There are skill areas where I can pay it forward to others (scouting, knot tying, camping skills and such) and areas where I need to benefit from others willing to pay it forward (VO equipment, studio setup, auditions and such).

          I am so glad to see that many of the people you would think wouldn't take the time to "stoop" to help folks new to the VO industry are right up there leading the pack and sharing their wealth of knowledge.

          I posted elsewhere about using OPE and OPK whenever possible. OPE is Other People's Experience and OPK is Other People's Knowledge. When you find others willing to share these, drink them up. But remember that you should also be willing to share them when possible.

          Thanks again for a great post.

          Posted by:

            Hi Stephanie,

            I frequent the vo-bb and voiceovers.com forums and try to be helpful there when I can, sit on the board of the local Chamber of Commerce, and serve as Chair for the mixer committee and act as emcee (on the mic) at the monthly events. I was drafted to serve on the advance team for Voice 2008 in LA this August. And my blog primarily focuses on education about all things voice-over.

            Thanks for listening!
            Bobbin Beam

            Posted by:

              This is a good post. What would the world be like if this is the way we all were on a daily basis, instead of something to "remember to do"?

              I try to do things for other people, whether other v.o. folks or people in other parts of my life, but for me, I'd rather just do them and not talk about them :)

              Posted by:

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