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I've decided to make a blog today to express some concerns I've been hearing around various websites, namely that I am "arrogant", "rude/bitchy", or "only work on big projects these days."
First off, I want you to know that I do listen to feedback and take it to heart. Trolls will be trolls and aren't worth the time of day, but some of the people who made comments were not necessarily trolls but apparently "former fans of mine". I usually ignore rude comments made about me, but these made me think about how my words may come across online and the messages I am conveying in my correspondence with fans and producers who request voices.
I understand that it's difficult to tell what tone someone is taking in an email or private message. I respond to many messages from my phone when I'm out doing something, as I don't have a lot of time at home anymore to sit and check my inboxes on the various sites I'm affiliated with. As a result, my response may read more like a "text message" and seem kind of abrupt or cold. Now that I realize how this comes across, I'm going to take a little extra time to read through what I'm sending out and see that it is more personable.
If you've been offended by anything I've written to you, I assure you that it wasn't my intent. I know it's no excuse, but just to give you some background...I am going to university again now and I have a particular class which is extremely demanding (I generally spend 2-3 hrs a day studying for it) and on top of that I work 4-5 days a week. I am also the Gaming Director for my local convention meaning I spend a lot of time recruiting staff and setting up tournaments. I also have family commitments and other things I volunteer for. I'm saving up to move back to Los Angeles in fall 2011 in the hopes of having another go at a professional voiceover career, and to do so, I've had to sacrifice a lot of my free time and some of the work I do online. Being that I don't have any "days off" during a week, it can be a little stressful to receive 10-15 messages asking me for tips on voice acting, etc. when I've written extensive guides for this on my website/forum (www.voiceactingclub.com). But like I said, I'm definitely going to work on being more polite about these things and also respond to emails and PMs in a more timely manner. I know it's frustrating to feel that someone isn't reading what you have to say, so today I spent a couple of hours trying to clear out my PM box and make sure that any voice requests were directed to my email as necessary.
In regards to "only accepting big/popular roles": I will admit, I have had to be more selective lately as my schedule got busier. It really, really is nothing personal. I had to start turning down a few things that looked like they'd be a huge time commitment, because I realize that I haven't been entirely fair or reliable to some of the producers I'd already made a commitment to work for---sometimes making them wait a month or two for lines, and it wasn't fair to them for me to continue taking on more work than I can handle. Sure, it's for free and something I kinda do in my spare time, but that's no excuse to do a half-assed job especially when I realized how many people actually follow what I do intently. I still urge you to ask if you've got a role you'd like me to do---I always make exceptions for projects I'm really interested in---and if I have to turn it down because I don't think I can get it to you in a timely manner, I really hope there are no hard feelings, but I still do record for quite a few things and I'm going to make an effort to prioritize my time better so I can accept more work.
The one thing that's more or likely not going to change is the issue of chatting on messenger services. I love reading all of the encouraging emails I get and I appreciate each one (& like I said above, will try to do better about replying!) but given all the crazy things I have to do each day I feel that getting AIM etc. would just suck too much time out of my day that I could be using for... well, recording lines for you. I hope you understand that it's not out of "arrogance" that I don't do online chat---it's seriously just a time thing. I'm sure if you talk to, say, a well-known animator here on NG he will tell you he doesn't have a lot of time for IMs either. But like I said, just send me an e-mail if you have a message or a script for me and it will be fine.
There was an instance with one particular person where I'll admit I was a bit rude, and I have a feeling he was behind a lot of these rumors, so I'll do my best to explain the circumstances: He continually spammed my inbox with all sorts of disorganized messages, changing the script and what he wanted over and over, and harrassing me for lines after only a couple of days. I finally had to tell him I couldn't deal with it and gave him a link to my forum to find a new voice actress. Well, people didn't want to voice act for him there either given the unprofessionalism of his attitude and postings, so he ragequit the forums. =\ Over the nearly six years I've been voice acting for Newgrounds, I will note that incidents like this are few and far between and usually the result of a particularly young and inexperienced producer who has not yet learned the concept of professionalism and courtesy with people he wants to work for him.
Some people have stated things like "Rina-chan thinks she's God's gift to voice acting/smash bros/cosplay even though she's mediocre at all those things." I actually don't consider myself terribly gifted or talented at anything. I think I'm reasonably good at voice acting, but that's a result of hard work and determination and I know I still have a long way to go, so I do make sure to read critiques and take them into consideration whenever possible. Cosplaying and competing in smash tournaments are just things I do for fun and I guess to help get my name out there somehow. Oddly enough, if you were to meet my friends in real life, they'd probably tell you I have terribly low self esteem. XD;;
Anyway, I just wanted to issue a public apology for anyone who I've unintentionally offended or upset, and I will do my best to make sure it does not happen in the future. If you have anything you'd like to contact me about, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Newgrounds means a lot to me and I hope not to do anything that goes against my loyalty to this site and its users.