The Voice Actor’s “Down Time” – Ha!

In a recent discussion among members and executive board members of the international pro voice actors’ organization WOVO wovo(World Voices), we were sharing the virtues of various technologies to record remotely: ISDN, ip DTL, Source Connect etc. This question then emerged:” isn’t the real issue how do I get enough work to use these technologies?” The response, so beautifully and simply put by our esteemed president Dustin Ebaugh, was this:

My secret to getting the WORK has been doing at least 100 auditions or marketing contacts per week, every week. The work seems to come when I do that. ūüôā

So, yes, that’s the answer to the myth of “downtime ” for voice talents, i.e. between bookings: there is none. ¬†Other than vacations and “personal days” we give ourselves ¬†(such nice bosses we have!), the hours other than¬†what an attorney would call “billable” ¬†are really the times we must be building our business and our skills

This will help me explain “loss of work hours” to a lawyer soon – and serve as a reminder that all work hours, whether billable or not, are important hours when you run your own small business.

arm

half of the body language immobilized!

I write this post with one hand – my non-dominant one – due to a car (with distracted driver) vs. pedestrian (me) incident last month. Long story, and not the point here. ¬†I will, eventually and gratefully, be able to use both hands again – at least that’s the plan, and I’m going to work hard until it’s true. But, in the meantime, I find myself musing about what we voice actors do, and how we must spend our “down time” so that our futures contain¬†possibilities.

As I am discovering, there is much that is difficult even within those billable hours with only one usable hand — editing, for one. Effective body language, for two. ¬†Not to mention¬†working through the pain and energy-sap as bones heal. ¬†I’m proud to say that I haven’t disappointed my clients, and have met my deadlines so far. But ¬†still. ¬†I have had to turn down projects due to the need for a little extra time. And while my main priority is to not hurt my body right now, (the leg was injured as well), I can’t help but think about how this may¬†hurt my future business.

Why? Well. that is what the inquiring minds will want to know when I say I have lost work hours due to this injury. “After all, your voice still works, right?” But you and I both know there is so much more to this business than voicing in the booth, or editing the files.

So – what the heck do we do when not technically “earning money” ,¬†as¬†voiceover entrepreneurs? Bearing in mind that some of us have related skills and income streams, your list may be different, but basically we are preparing and growing our businesses. ¬†This is as necessary to our work as recording and editing are.

arm leg rkHere is my partial list. What’s on yours?

  • research and contact (phone, e-mail etc) new potential clients
  • send handwritten thank-you notes and reminders
  • shop for client gifts, and send them
  • invoice clients, do the bookkeeping, send out statements
  • write blogposts and articles (for some of us, books) ¬†to increase visibility and outreach
  • practice new genres
  • respond to inquiries
  • send out demos
  • travel to outside-studio gigs, in-person auditions and networking opportunities
  • enter info into databases
  • practice new genres and studio skills
  • update demos and reload them to rosters/agents

What’s on your down-time to-do list?

(And, hopefully, you have two hands to use while you do it.  Dictated to Siri, with gratitude for technology advances)

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6 Comments

Filed under Business of Voice Over, voiceover, Voiceover, Voice Talent, Voice Acting

6 responses to “The Voice Actor’s “Down Time” – Ha!

  1. Nice article, Randye. Sorry to hear of your close encounter with an automobile. You have a courageous and tenacious attitude which I’m sure will give you the upper hand in healing. God speed in that process

  2. nicredmanvoice

    Good point, Randye. I get guilty if I’m not doing something towards the career but the odd day of rest is ok I think ūüėČ I hope your wrist gets better soon.
    Nic
    http://www.nicolaredman.com

  3. Amir Atme

    Hi Randye,

    Really like your post, and i would love to hear your voice ūüôā

    Amir
    http://www.voiise.com

  4. hello,Randye,
    nice blog….really like your post…

    bhawani
    https://www.facebook.com/nepalivoiceoverartist

  5. Nice information on this article.. Thanks to provide us this great information.its very useful and helpful to me. because I like to be a voice over actor.. Its my passion.. Thanks again

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