Our Crisis is Brand

Last month, a simple phrase ushered me into major panic mode:

“Hello! My name is Brooke Summerlin, and I’m a professional voiceover actor.”

Now that I’ve completed my training, should I really start introducing myself as a professional voiceover actor…Or is it voiceover talent?  Do I have the moxie to call myself a voiceover artist? And, just how do you spell V-O-I-C-E-O-V-E-R on a business card anyway? (Options I’ve seen include: voice over, voiceover, and voice-over.)

FullSizeRender (7)Some people devote years, decades even, to “finding themselves” and carving out their identity. But as an entrepreneur building a business (as anyone working for themselves must be), time is a luxury I can’t afford. Meeting potential clients and making a solid impression is the number one way I can garner new business. I certainly don’t want to neglect a vital networking opportunity simply because I don’t have a business card or professional looking demo package on hand to offer.

So, that brings me to the most unexpected existential, identity crisis I have ever faced: Who am I and what is my BRAND? We are talking identity crisis level: Johnny Depp.
Am I smart? Sleek? Technologically adept? Creative? Feminine? All business? And most importantly: Which font-type and color palette most accurately portray those characteristics? And keep in mind, everything has to be cross-branded, or uniform across multiple platforms such as website, social media, and printed marketing materials. (Still working on that…)

I spent hours playing with different fonts. When my favorite font turned my name to Brooke Dummerlin (no!), I briefly considered using my maiden name, Brooke Moon, as a stage name. But as that only adds another layer of complexity to my brand/identity crisis (and worse, more paperwork), I decided my second favorite would be fine. A bit overeager to get my cards and letterhead in hand, I hastily ordered as much as my budget would allow. (Thanks for the free shipping, Vistaprint!)

Immediately, the regret and doubt set in. Are the materials too girlie-girl? Is my tagline too schmaltzy? Every Dream Deserves A Voice. Sheesh! I mean, I’m not trying to get you to buy a diamond ring or anything. But the payment has gone through, and though it’s imperfect and a shade too sentimental, at least it’s better than writing “HIRE ME! I’M AWESOME! 🙂 🙂 🙂 ” on a blank CD in Sharpie.

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Up next…”Pipe Dreams Coming Down the Pipeline” an update on projects slated for Fall 2016.


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