Contrary to what some of my friends think, I do not live, breathe and think Voice-overs 24 hours a day. In fact, one of my favorite things about this business (and I’ve been making a living at it for over 2 decades…yeah, I’m that old…) is that it has given me the flexibility to work in other aspects of my life, as things unfold. And – those things contribute to making me a better, more well-rounded, voice talent.
Don’t get me wrong – as with any successful small business, I value my VO clients and serve them well. That’s why over 90% of the jobs I do are for repeat clients. But all VO talents know that to grow your business, the rest of the time must be spent- um, making new friends. Aka marketing. Keep that other 10% flowing in, and keep your best customers happy.
I began in Voice-Overs when my kids were babies. So – part-time was fine, and it supplemented my work as a singer and stage actress – and happy Mom. Later on, when my life was about single parenthood and school-age kids, I could turn on those front burners and ramp up the VO business (mortgage payments are very motivating).
When I became a full-time radio on-air talent, back to the back burners for VO (though my agents in NY got lost in the switch; I just couldn’t be where the Big Apple needed me to be at that time, so kept my work local most of the time) – a great supplement to my radio work.
Then, six years ago, radio and I had a parting of the ways and voice-over stepped in once again to take center stage.
What did that mean? More time marketing, learning home studio skills (we wear so many hats now in voice-over), renewing my demos, looking for new agents and clients. And I got them.
This year has brought some surprises though- and with book to promote, and increased bookings as MC/Speaker/live event host, there are a heck of a lot of burners going all at once. Somehow, Voice Acting Work manages to fit itself in around the rest – for now. I am grateful. It’s still my full-time job – I just have to be creative, and know what areas of VO are right for the present. Audiobooks? Not practical right now – but I may re-evaluate in 2013. Still – I recently landed one and somehow made it work.
Sure, it takes careful planning. An 18-hour workdays sometimes. And a very understanding husband, on those nights when I come home from a live event and head straight to my VO studio to finish a gig. (Yes, I kiss him hello first!)
But I wouldn’t trade being a Voice Talent for the world. This is the best business ever. If you can handle all those burners at once – and stay aware that it will take some extra effort to re-ignite some flames again when things change – and color code your datebook – it all, somehow, works out.
And well-rounded is a good thing for voice talents, right? At least that’s what I’ll tell my agents when I’m ready to hit the Big Apple pavements again next year. Maybe even L.A. You never know. Meanwhile – happy to keep voicing. Thanks, VO.