The word "community" calls to mind community centres, people who see each other most days in the local shops, neighbours and altogether an old fashioned form of extended family who look out for one another.
As you well know by now, I spend a lot of time working on my own, from my own studio at home so I'm conscious I don't have the "workmates" community of the 9-5 office life.
So who watches out for me? Who do I go to to run ideas by that are very specific to the VO industry? How can I feel part of something bigger and creative?
So many questions..!
My thoughts fall into two key areas...
I live in a thriving and exciting seaside town that every year grows in interest and interesting people. When I was on my business course, The School for Creative Startups, a couple of years ago, I met people from my town who have superb skills and creativity in worlds both distant from and related to my own.. visual artists, film makers, a model maker, fashion designers and many more. I felt part of a creative hub that was thriving and growing. A little while on from the course, I still regularly see and talk to a lot of these people. I'm hugely proud to call these folks my friends and have been delighted by Diane and Denice Dever's superb Harbour Arm opening in Folkestone last week. At the opening I bumped into Barney (who was also on my course!) who is an acrobat and performer with his act Acojou. How inspiring it was to see him perform at an event organised by the Devers. Super proud of everyone! That's them in the photo above..
I meet up with my friends usually every week and we talk, knit, (that's Debs teaching Carrie to knit in the other photo btw) drink wine (or whatever is going) and share stories (Deborah's Dad works at Buckingham Palace apparently!) and Anna came to record one of her songs in my studio recently, Joy makes superb collages.. And as for Astrid and her incredible model squirrels - well that's a whole other "tale / tail"...
Apart from friendship, this community provides a superb backdrop for my own creative thinking.. hearing tales of current projects and thinking - I feel inspired and part of an artistic collective. It's a good group of people to be plugged into and keeps me on the edge of what trends there are in other art forms that I can use in my own work. My love of the seaside in all it's layers, runs deep within me (I grew up on the South Devon coast) and feeling SO part of this town and it's creativity, I am embarking on an exciting new creative journey.. watch this space!
You need a friend or two in the office, to share the highs and lows of the days with, to sense check your thinking and to be honest with you and keep your feet on the ground.
This is where my VO chums come in. Over the last couple of years I've built up a smashing group of VO friends. We chat, share and encourage each other. Although we're all VOs, we aren't in competition - firstly, we DO all sound pretty different - but in the main we have very different backgrounds and bring different skills to the party. I value the straight talking and the encouragement of this community and the strength we give each other. That said, these are also PHENOMENALLY talented performers! So, big shout outs to the following, wonderful Voiceover Artists I'm honoured to call friends; Nic Redman, Kirsty Gilmore, Leah Marks and Steve Reed All stars in real life and in the online community!
I feel that these two communities of mine go beyond the social network platforms that it's pretty easy to get lost in these days and are almost TOO easy to join and be part of. Friendships require a bit more work - and as a result, they're far more rewarding.
Clare is a well connected and totally on trend, seaside based Voiceover Artist!
You can hear her Commercial and Narration Reels here and book her today to bring your words to life..