"I’m a sloth. I'd rather just sit here and do nothing." Is that you?
The Busy Life of a Busy Voice Talent Bee
“Man if someone had told me what a voice talent ALSO needed to do to succeed…”
Ever said that? Yeah, there’s a lot. You’re a Voice Talent, sure enough, and perhaps you’ve been told that you have a great voice and you should really do that. And in some magical ether, perhaps a parallel universe where everything is full of sunshine and rainbows, where things always work out in your favor 100% of the time, you’d have to do nothing else but voiceovers, and you’d be raking in trillions of dollars per day by just recording and sending.
But this is Planet Earth, and you actually have to do work here. What?!?!? Perish the thought! No one said anything about WORK! I didn’t sign up for this!
activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.
"he was tired after a day's work in the fields"
|synonyms:||labor, toil, exertion, effort, slog, drudgery, the sweat of one's brow; More|
"they made sure the work was progressing smoothly"a task or tasks to be undertaken; something a person or thing has to do.
|synonyms:||tasks, jobs, duties, assignments, commissions, projects;|
"haven't you got any work to do?"
As a voice talent, your work doesn’t really involve a lot of physical effort. But MAN does it require a lot of parallel work!
It’s been said that work stands for Weekly Overload Recreational Killer. Ha! Ain’t that the truth. You have a lot to do if you want to succeed as a voice talent. But is it really work? Is it mental or physical effort? Or is there part pleasure in there too?
Heart-pounding Labor of Love
I don’t know about you, but when Sunday evening rolls around, and I’m lying there in bed with my restless legs flapping around so hard my toes are flicking the ceiling, I cannot wait to get back in the saddle for Monday morning.
I am no sloth. I’m not a beer-drinker, and although I love my Apple TV, I don’t sit around with the remote in my hand. I make things happen. I’m:
- networking and marketing on Facebook
- networking and marketing on Instagram
- networking and marketing on LinkedIn
- networking and marketing on Twitter
- networking and marketing on Vimeo
- networking and marketing on voiceover forums
- writing blogs
- writing articles
- sharing lessons
- attending local Chambers of Commerce meetings
- posting engaging content on LinkedIn and elsewhere
- holding workshops
- providing business insight
- posting on Reddit
- doing free video consults
- running voiceover Meetups, and
- Making inspiring and entertaining marketing Posters, and posting them mainly on Instagram or Pinterest
- auditioning across the P2P’s, Craigslist, UpWork (ick, I know) and direct email.
Yeah! ALL of that! My entire day is spent in front of my computer seeking out the next opportunity, the next client, the next voice talent colleague that needs help, making myself available, auditioning, connecting with, socializing, and generally just making sure that I’m somehow, in some way, always a rolling stone, gathering no moss, and moving, moving, moving. I was not made to sit still.
Is it a lot of upkeep? Yes. Is all of it necessary? In most cases, yes. Could I get by without it? Not a chance. It's not enough to have a website and sit (with beer in hand) in the wild hopes that someone will happen to flit along and land on my page and maybe request a quote or maybe listen to my reels. I must bring them to me. I want to bring them to me. It is my passion to bring them to me.
What about you? Do you feel the same restless urge, the same overwhelming excitement when Sunday night rolls around, knowing that the next week of chances and opportunities is right around the corner, waiting for you to succeed? If not, there’s a fire that needs to be reignited somewhere, and you may have let something steal your thunder and reduce you to a smoldering wick. It’s time to light the fire again, methinks. As Gandalf said once he freed Theoden from captivity to Saruman, "Breathe the free air again, my friend."
I cannot wait for Monday morning because, yes, it’s work (labor)…but it’s a labor of love for me, through and through, inside and out. The only point in the week where I’m bummed out is right about now, or, at least in a few hours from now…on Friday afternoons, where it all comes to a halt and I’m forced to rest. Grrrrrr! Rest and untethering? Who needs it!? Let’s light a fire again I say.
A Born Campaigner
I am a born campaigner. What that means for me is that I have a strong desire to move toward something. Not sure where it ultimately came from, but I’m very goal-oriented, with a massive sense of instilled drive. Sitting still is good for rest, but I can’t do that if it’s between Monday and Friday, between 8am to 5pm. I MUST move.
When I did video production and videography, there was a voting contest that came around every fall and that’s what I looked forward to all year long. I won that contest three years in a row through solid campaigning, through a fierce determination to win. There was very little else I thought about back then except how to get more votes. Does that ring true for you?
George Lucas said It. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Your focus determines your reality. This phrase is SO true. My focus is absolute success in voiceovers, because my heart’s desire has become voiceovers. Over and above any other career I’ve ever tried out or hoped to achieve some measure of success in, voiceovers have far and wide eclipsed anything else that was even remotely satisfying, and nothing will ever touch it.
We’re in campaign season now. All of these candidates are pushing toward a dream of the White House. They’re all singularly-focused, and intent on one goal: being elected. They lie awake at night for the same reason I do: achieving their dream of success in the area of interest that is captivating them, desiring to settle for nothing less until that’s accomplished.
The Dream Chaser
No, not the space-plane. I’m talking about me. I’m talking about you. I’m talking about us. And I'm sure, as a voice talent, you've heard this phrase in at least one of your scripts to date, yes? I see it more and more: "we are the dream chasers."
Does the dream you’re chasing consist of being able to put your feet up with a movie and a beer? Or does it consist of sending out that audition, being chosen, feeling a massive amount of elation, being paid a salary to do what you love to do, and then to be able to repeat that process ad infinitum? Does your dream revolve around desperate, addictive, stomach-churning hopes of achievement? How about passionately and repeatedly reaching out to potential clients all the love long day?
Or does it revolve around being left alone to ponder your navel and snuggle up in your covers again while you drink in those reruns you already saw?
Abdul Salaam El Razzac, aka “Happy Man”, said it best:
“Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin' - this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'.”
LOVE IT! I just LOVE it!!!
You must understand that I am a man of absolute unbridled RELIEF. Why relief? Because for almost 28 years of employment, I did what somebody else wanted. I DID crave that relief, and putting my feet up, because what I was doing wasn’t mine. I yearned for deliverance: for something that would be compelling, delightful, inspiring, satisfying me on so many levels I can’t even begin to express them all, fitting me like a glove. At age 43, I finally found it. After Dairy Queen, telemarketing, paper routes, office manager positions, administrative assistant positions, drywall support, front desk employment, and even self-employment (though providing different services)…I finally found it. I FINALLY found what I had been looking for, and I will never let go, because it means the world to me.
Does your dream mean the world to you? Or does the remote and beer mean more?
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Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Talent for hire
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