The Compassionate Voice
by Leesha on June 14th, 2018

In the voiceover world, they say, "Beware January and June." So, if your June is not what your other colleagues may be experiencing business-wise, you need to come up with ways to regroup. Regrouping should lead to more jobs, better auditions, and more revenue doing what you love. Unconventional methods of regrouping can lead to better creativity and a renewed focus for business success.
 
Regrouping does not have to be boring. The more exceptional your activities, the better. Use this slow time for decisive actions that can keep you going through the slump and emerge as a powerful voiceover talent. Below are some ideas on how to regroup to keep you going and working your daily voiceover business tasks:
 
Consider taking up painting or even finger painting.
 
Try a new hobby.
 
Look up an old friend or make a new one.
 
Volunteer at a summer camp.
 
Visit a church on Sunday instead of sleeping in.
 
Change your hairstyle or change the color.
 
Make something using paper-mâché.
 
Go to the circus.
 
For one day, smile and speak first to everyone you meet.
 
Remind yourself of past victories and great business accomplishments.
 
Take a day trip.
 
Eat breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast.
 
Start your Christmas (what YOU want) list.
 
Let your kids cook for you one day or break your diet for one real meal.
 
Meditate on positive things.
 
Look at good comedies for one weekend and laugh like you mean it.
 
Play in the rain.
 
Think of five things you are thankful for in your life.
 
Stay away from sad or violent movies for one week. 
 
When it comes to renewing, think out of the box. Voiceovers should not be arduous, although sometimes it can feel that way. There is no downer as marketing for work and not getting the results you want and need. So use these times to change your thinking and regroup your world.
 
Need more? Trent Hamm’s "The Frugal Introvert: Fifty Ways to Have Fun By Yourself on the Cheap," gives ideas for having the fun solo.
 
Now go out there and be like other folks for a while. Come out of your vocal booth and use this (unplanned) little break in June for a mini-renew time. It will refresh your spirit more than you can imagine.

Have fun!


by Leesha on June 6th, 2018

To stay on top of the ever-improving voiceover business, you’ve got to keep up with what’s going on.  Doing voiceovers is the best.  But as members of a networking society, reading blogs and reviewing useful Web sites can help keep you on top of trends and changes in the VO industry.  Online voiceover information is freely available to help educate you and increase your understanding of the everchanging voiceover career field.  Interacting with the voiceover community will not only help improve the quality of your vocal delivery but the quality you provide to your clients as well.  Learn from the best through social media and the Web. Below are a few of my favorite sources of information for personal and professional voiceover success.

Nethervoice Blog

Paul Strikwerda is one of my favorite talents and voiceover business persons.  As a wildly successful and grounded voice talent, Paul regularly shares excellent advice on many key topics.  He freely shares from his decades of experience on trends in the VO industry as well as insights personally and professionally.  I recently posted a blog on working from home inspired by Paul.  (See "Voiceovers at Home but Not Alone.")

VoiceOverXtra

Your “One-Stop Resource for Voice-Over Success” is a wealth of non-stop information on the voice-over industry.  The site lives up to its name with daily resources, resource centers, help for new talent, regular advice from seasoned pros, polls, hardware and software information, and access to training and troubleshooting your home recording area.  Also, the site has an easily accessible catalog of “how-to” information that is a must for receiving training resources from industry experts and working pros.  

Gravy for the Brain

Gravy for the Brain has online courses, personal interaction events, and more aimed at raising the “standard of the voiceover industry.”  Voiceover industry webinars and other training are also available. The concept, created in September 2013 by successful voice talent/business persons, is to keep voice acting professionals at the highest benchmark worldwide.  The site is regularly updated to keep visitors fresh on what’s happening in voiceovers. 

SocialMediaToday

Social media is here to stay and must be taken seriously as a venue for voiceover business marketing.  Social Media Today posts updates and trends, as well as digital marketing, content marketing, and influencers’ renews in the social media arena.  This distinctive source keeps businesses across all sectors current on social media trends and trend makers now and into the future. 

Facebook Groups

Facebook has a wealth of voiceover related groups.  There are groups to help with acting skills, marketing a business, studio gear, travel rigs, etc.  There are even groups for honest expressions of business up and downs, how to deal with clients, voice and whole-body health, and sharing your favorite vocal booth tips. Some groups are private, but many are open to anyone seriously seeking to learn and interact with like-minded voice over talents. Access to Facebook group permission sites usually require responding to a few questions confirming the earnestness of the requester, but once in, your voiceover career will never be the same. 

My list is by no means exhaustive.  The Internet is growing every minute, so keep searching platforms for legitimate groups on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc. The offering of information and skills can be overwhelming, but this short list can lead you to reputable sites and instructors who can provide legitimate information via your fingertips for developing a successful voiceover career from just about anywhere in the world. 

(Photo credit: Tom Baugis)




by Leesha on May 30th, 2018

Voice acting success is like other business fields and takes one main ingredient: working a sound plan.  It's is not brain surgery. Guess what? That same advice applies to a banker, baker, investor, or any other self-employed person or company.  As we live our lives, each day brings its own set of unforeseen challenges, so every day we must decide to succeed. For many of us, our goal is to achieve success as a voice actor.  Fortify yourself to keep working your voiceover career plan. 
 
I read some distressing news the other day from author Brian Tracy.  In “No More Excuses!”, Tracy writes, “All routes to success have been discovered. Everything that you need to learn to move to the top of your field has already been learned by hundreds and even thousands of other people.”  Now it’s time to let your voiceover training, advice from coaches, notes, books, home studio, and all the other items you’ve assembled to start driving your voiceover success.  While there will be trends in the voice acting industry, the basics of business success are tried and true.  Auditioning, marketing, producing quality, and the like. Instead of looking for some new fast-track tip or secret, take the proven road to voice acting success and stay the course. 
 
Keep Focused-Narrow your Niche
 
Voice acting can be a niche market. Those entering the voiceover field may want to audition for everything without knowing his or her strengths and best performance skills.  This willingness to do everything makes a person a generalist at best. The problem is most producers are looking for experts and the best voice to perform a particular genre or type of voice.  So, away with the everything mindset, narrow your focus to one or two voice-over performance types.
 
Susan Friedmann writes in her book, Riches in Niches, How to make it BIG in a Small Market, “You absolutely must, and I repeat must strive to be the expert. Expert status presents benefits that truly separate you from the crowd. “ Narrow your skills down and keep it moving.
 
Cherish Your Time
 
Working the proven strategies for voiceover success is not a random path to victory.  Successful voice talents need time to train, market, read blogs and industry information, network, and even have fun.  Make sure you are using each day the best way possible for your voiceover career and life.
 
Each evening list your most important things to accomplish on a coming day (and week).  Rank your items in importance and what tasks must be done first, second, third, etc., for you to have a productive, satisfying day.  This process will help you do first things first and cover all aspects of your business plan per week.
 
Limit Social Media
 
Make sure you limit your social media time.  We all like to read blogs (which I just mentioned), but your critical daily tasks of marketing, emailing clients, etc., probably outrank your social media activities.  While social media should be a part of your overall business plan, don’t let watching videos or news feeds rob you of precious marketing time.  Limit yourself so you can cover your day’s top priorities. 
 
Refocus Often
 
Even if you have an ironclad voiceover business plan, life happens. Unexpected interruptions in our families, business, and health can knock us off track.  Remind yourself each week of your goals and your path to success.  One way to stay on track is to post your primary goals in a visible place in your office or workspace. At the end of each work week, review how well you did during that week.  Also, note what you need to do differently to reach voiceover success in the following week.
 
Don’t Work Alone
 
I’m a big proponent of networking and building relationships.  Robin Jones Gunn said, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” As you follow your voiceover plans, don’t forget to help others in their plans. Give advice when you know the answer, help others when possible, and let others help you in your success.  No one wants to fail. Building a successful voiceover business takes a  lot of time, patience, and courage.  Work with others to reach your success and help others find theirs as well.
 
We know the success path can be challenging, but it is possible.  Continually push yourself toward the voiceover success and it can and will be yours. Follow your plan and don’t stop moving forward. It’s all about you helping others on the proven road to success. 




by Leesha on May 16th, 2018

Voiceovers is a great way to express your creative side.  If you take your acting to the next level, voiceovers as a business can be challenging as well as rewarding.  For any company, adding related services can help meet more client needs.  Let your voice acting business be a launch pad for developing a creative suite of services.  

Audio Services

Those new to the business may start with recording and editing the dry voice.  Custom recordings can include being directed in your home studio through Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) or other remote audio monitoring and recording tools. The next logical step is to add music and sound effects to your voice recordings.  Add-on products to your dry voice can help your client and reduce his or her need to find sperate sources to finalize the products.  

Music can be purchased via the web (including licensing etc.) for adding to your project.  Consider Royalty Free Music.  In his blog, What is Royalty Free Music? What does it mean exactly?, Gilles Arbour explains “In a nutshell Royalty Free Music refers to a type of music licensing that allows the purchaser to pay for the music license only once and to use the music for as long as desired.”  You want to make sure that you have the proper license and permission to use music when incorporating into a client’s production or demo.  

Multiple Voice Actors

If you are partnered with other voice actors, you can contract out a portion of your voiceover work to a talent of another sex or talent who has a different sound for client products.  Develop the partnerships and written agreements before you have that large project.  Establish turnaround times and other specifics within your agreements with others to keep your plans on time and on budget.

Additional Services

Consider adding copywriting, editing or other services. If writing is a skill you can offer, consider that as a part of your business’s for-pay service.  Also, add video development to your suite of services.  Review the web-based programs and apps that allow you to develop a video and add your voice to the final product.  Your client can provide the graphics and data, and you can produce a complete product for your voiceover client’s platforms.  If that’s a service you’re not ready to provide, again partner with those with good video skills and develop a process of working together to build your projects.   

Sharing Knowledge

Teaching is an excellent way of giving back and helping others along their way to voiceover and business success.  Consider volunteering or giving a free seminar in your community on getting into voiceovers.  You can develop blogs or papers on voice acting and related skills and post to your website and social media platforms.  Not all your information has to be only about voiceovers. Companies in different genres share the need for sound business practices and keeping abreast of valuable information.  Share what you know to help improve the relationship between you and your current and potential clients.  

Consider writing an eBook of your business knowledge or even a subject you consider yourself an expert.  For example, if you are a cyclist, you may want to write about the basics, equipment maintenance, physical conditioning, accouterments, or other related topics. Let others know that you have interest and knowledge that link back to the excellence of your voiceover services.  You can even voice the audio portion of your eBook and make your final product for sale or a giveaway to those visiting your website.

Keeping Your Clients Up to Date

As you evolve to more and better services, keep your clients in the loop through newsletters and social media postings.  Your clients may have a project on the horizon, and your new company services will help fill the bill.  

Don’t use consumers as your test case.  Make sure your expanded services are tested and tried.  Your clients should receive a seamless final project in the same manner as when you provided voiceover services alone.  

Be Indispensable

The voice acting business can lead to so many creative services.  Possible talents can include storytelling programs, video blogs, audio newsletters, and more.  Take time and research what skills and services you can add to your business.  Network with other voiceover actors, see what other skills they have, and combine the right skills to expand your suite of amenities.  

Lastly, infrequently poll your existing clients and see if they have new service needs.  Your clients may be looking for the know-how you recently added to your enterprise. Look for ways to expand your business to a full suite of creative tools to become your clients’ one stop shop.  



by Leesha on May 1st, 2018

Voice actors in business provide a service.  The Internet and social media are key places for hanging one’s shingle and open for business signs.  In turn, offers for voice jobs can come from many sources.  But what happens when you must turn down a gig?  We all want to be liked (and get paid), so saying “no” may seem like a business killer.  Sometimes, giving bad news is a part of life, but knowing why, when, and how to turn down business can make all the difference in your future.  Here're my why, when, and how for saying “No” to a voiceover job.  

Why Do It

Since the whole point of a for-profit business is to make a profit, turning down business seems like the last thing a working voice actor wants to do.  Still, circumstances will arise in life when turning down a voice job works best.  In "When to Say No to Work" (posted in Backstage, April 7, 2011), Michael Kostroff notes, “It's often said there are only three reasons to accept an acting job: 1) for artistic satisfaction, 2) for money, or 3) for career benefits—contacts, experience, education, film for your reel, a valuable credit, etc. It's a philosophy well worth adopting. You may want to consider passing up jobs that don't meet any of these criteria, leaving that work to someone for whom it might have greater value.”

When It's Best

There is always a cost in running a business.  Voice acting is a creative pursuit, but that does not remove the need to run an efficient business.  When a project is very costly in time, a low return on investment, or needs more than you can provide for a final quality project, you may want to pass.  Passing on a job should be a stepping stone not a bolder in the road.  Look for ways to keep it moving.  

How to Say It

In “The 8 do's and don'ts of delivering bad news” (CNBC Make It) Wed, 5 April 2017,
Rhett Power’s advises, “Don’t burn your bridge – say it nice:  Even though you won’t be working for the organization, it’s in your interests to be polite and professional. You never know when you might want to work for the employer in future, so it pays not to burn bridges.”

If you know you are not able to fulfill the offer, let the client know as soon as possible.  Write or speak your message in a respectful tone and manner.  Give one or two reasons for your decision.  Shy away from giving reasons like such as there is not enough money in the project, you’re taking your kids on vacation, or you want to watch a movie.  While these may be your legitimate reasons, the client may not agree.  If your goal is money, then you may want to negotiate with the client beforehand to try to reach a better payment for the project.  However, if you have another engagement, conflict or many obligations, a personal emergency, etc., express the truth in your information to your client.  It’s better to be professional and upfront with your situation to help keep good working relationships.  There may be a time when you are available and can perform other voice work.  

End with salutations and a request to keep in touch.  Business relationships start with people relationships.  It’s your job as a professional voice talent to be savvy and helpful even if you have to say "No." 



by Leesha on April 18th, 2018

Many voiceover actors enjoy the convenience of working from the privacy of his or her home studio.  No long commute just the trip from bed to the booth can be the weekly routine. Still, if you’re working at home alone, there can be unforeseen drawbacks.  In the event of an emergency or crisis, the voice talent who is unable to reach out to someone near may be faced with serious or even life-threatening challenges. Here are some steps to meeting the challenges of being home alone as a voice talent.  

Tackle Isolation and Loneliness

“Human beings are inherently social creatures,” says Christopher Bergland in his article, “Loneliness: Perceived Social Isolation Is Public Enemy No. 1. “Research continues to grow that each of us must maintain social connectivity… .”

Make time to interact with others during the week to help maintain the connection to the outside world.  Bergland further notes, “… research shows that we need face-to-face contact and intimate human connections to engage biological systems that have evolved for millennia to preserve our mental and physical well-being.”  

You don’t have to leave home to reach out to others.  In “7 Ways to Overcome Social Isolation When You Work From Home,” Ali Wenzke says, “Even a quick phone call with a friend can lift your spirits.”

Get an Accountability Buddy

If you live alone consider partnering with another voice talent or at home worker and commit to a daily check-in.  This is a way of letting someone know you’re okay.  If an emergency occurred and you could not contact help, your daily check-in could save your life.

Last March, a voice talent that I have admired for many years suffered a stroke in his home studio.  Had it not been for his neighbors noticing the talent’s “SOS” taps for help, he may have lost his life.  “Always get to know your neighbors,” says Sarah Brown, a security expert at Safewise. “The more people invested in your lives, the more likely they are to report an incident they see, to call the police if you need help, to watch your house while you are on vacation, or even to let you back into your home if you ever get locked out.”

Take the edge off Emergencies 

Life happens no matter what so work to lessen some of the negative side effects.  Let your family or a trusted neighbor know where to find your lists of medications, allergies, and personal information.  If you cannot speak, others will need to know this information.  You may want to keep such information in your wallet or purse.

If you have a specific condition, wear a medical ID bracelet. OneCallAlert notes in 10 Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone indicates, “This information can be invaluable to emergency medical personnel when they come to your home, especially if you’re unconscious or unable to communicate.”  

Lastly, even if you are usually surrounded by others, consider sharing with trusted individuals your insurance, bank accounts, and medical directives.  If you must be hospitalized, your bills will still need to be paid.  If you need extended care, others will need to know about any Long-Term Care or Disability Insurance policies.  Let others know about your medical directive.  The only way your wishes can be honored is that they are known by others.  

This is just a short list of possible things you can do to be better prepared for a lifestyle as a voice talent working from home. Taking some precautions now can give you peace of mind as you voice your best all day long.


by Leesha on April 10th, 2018







 
A voiceover talent has a unique responsibility in establishing a reputation for excellence.  In such a competitive field, excellence has a way of narrowing down the number of talents who rise to the top and are constantly working.  The best way to stand out from other voiceover talents is to establish and maintain excellence always.  

It’s All In the Details

You must prepare for success.  A voiceover’s proper business preparation includes demos, a website presence, and active social media. Operating a voiceover business on the side is not the same as running a successful voiceover business.  A part-time business can be run successfully if the proper emphasis is placed on maintaining its parts so that they function for the activity around the clock.  

Excellence also means good overall communication.  For instance, make sure the texts on your website and other social media sites are as error-free as possible.  In her book “The Brand Mapping Strategy,” Karen Leland says, “The words on your website need to be clear, concise and accurate when describing your business and brand.” Consider hiring an editor or using sources like Grammarly to help you edit your writing and other information representing you. Take time to carefully set up and review your online presence to make sure your site communicates the best about you.   

Focus your Time and Talent

When speaking with promising voice talent, I hear a lot of “I want to do audiobooks, commercials, eLearning, …I think I can do it all.”  While that sounds great, failing to focus on one’s best skill can lead to a lot of running around and getting nowhere.  Focus on what you want to perform in your voice over business.  There is no shame in just doing one or two genres.  

Find and build on what you’re good at as a voice actor.  For example, are you a compassionate person, who can quickly feel empathy for others?  Perhaps you project an anthem style in your vocal delivery and may be good at fictional reads or eLearning projects. Find your style and what you do best. As your business grows, you can branch out into other genres.  Start small and build.

Follow Your Plan

Developing and sticking to a business operation plan takes time and discipline.  This is also the foundation of excellence.  Such habits like delivering on time plus keeping good records and up with the trends related to your voiceover business solidify your position as one of the best.  

Hard Work Required

Voiceover excellence means keeping your business strong by developing and maintaining good practices.  This may be the hardest part of excellence.  The daily work of reaching out to clients, managing your web presence, posting to social media, and delivering quality products to your clients on time is a must.  

Remember, procrastination and excuses can kill the tender roots of your excellence. Work hard to build and keep your good name and brand foremost with your voiceover clients.  Excellence can only be achieved by practice.  But, that’s what voiceover talent do anyway!

by Leesha on April 3rd, 2018

You're published! Your book, or “baby,” is for sale to the multitudes. You know from your fellow authors that the next step is an audiobook version. You begin to look for a narrator to produce your book, but, when you look at the costs, most good narrators are quoting rates upward of $350 per finished hour (PFH). Do you look for a cheaper voiceover narrator? Should you offer a lower PFH? You may think it’s time to panic but don’t. With a few creative steps, you can finance your book project for that quality voiceover narration.
 
Before discussing funding, let’s examine the logic behind that near $400. PFH rate. What does it cost to produce your book? While you have a deep connection with your project, your voiceover narrator and producer are in business with supporting expenses. I'm not saying that your book is less than excellent. A good production team will make a substantial investment of time and talents to make sure your book become a marketable audio product.  
 
Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) notes that it takes the average voice talent at least two hours to narrate one hour of printed text. But that's just the beginning. It takes two to three additional hours to proofread, edit, mix, and master one complete hour of audiobook recording. So, while rates ranging from $250-$400 PFH may seem high, with all the work involved in developing your “baby” into an audiobook, the average PFH voice production rates make fiscal sense.
 
Now that we've examined the rationale behind audiobook recording rates, let’s look at a few ways to fund your book project.
 
Online Grants. Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, a service of the Foundation Center, is a subscription-based program that allows you to search for funding sources based upon a topic, interest, and other criteria. Subscriptions are available for a variety of time periods depending upon your need.
 
Crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing, as defined by Merriam-Webster.com, is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, especially from the online community. Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.com are two favorite personal online fundraising websites. IndieGoGo is a live crowdfunding campaign platform. The Kickstarter funding platform is specifically for artistic and creative projects through direct external support. Crowdsourcing is a great way to reach out to those who have read or know of your work and would support efforts toward your audiobook production.

Deferred Payments. Consider negating a deal with your audiobook producer to take partial payments. You can develop a contract and set up regularly scheduled payments through PayPal or other sources that allow you to pay your vendor in increments. Be sure to pay the audiobook producer timely to maintain a good relationship.
 
Charge Cards. While not my first suggestion, if you have cash advance capability or can pay your audiobook producer directly by credit card, this could be an excellent way to cover the PFH rate.
 
Royalty Shares. Most producers like to have royalty shares in their recording deals. This method gives you the option to pay for a portion of your project over time and negotiate a smaller budget for the initial PFH rate.

Friends and Family Funding. You've got to ask. Friends and family may give or loan you the money. Your close supporters may provide all the funds you need.
 
Local Support. Ask for support from your civic group, organizations, clubs, and church especially if the subject of your book is relevant to your group’s purpose and goals.
 
In “5 Clever Ways to Raise Money for Your Startup Without Making an Investor Pitch,” CEO and author Tom Walker writes, “Sign up strategic partners early on. There's nothing sweeter than finding a supplier, distributor, or especially a customer who stands to gain so much from your solution that they are willing and able to help foot the bill.”       

Investor Money: Backstage offers “6 Ways to Fund Your Independent Projects” by KC Wright and notes “investors provide funding with the expectation of returns—their initial investment plus a cut of the project’s earnings.” Once your project's revenues and royalties start coming in, you can return the invested money.

Once you’ve secured your funding, reach out to the most qualified voice actor/producer to develop your audiobook. You’ve put too much time into your project, so it’s no time for bargain shopping. A quality voice narrator will give you excellent service at a fair price. Remember, the voice talent and producer have a business reputation and want to do a good job. It’s better to budget for the best narrator you can afford than to end up with a disappointing final project. This is your baby (or one of your babies). Treat your little one with the best care so it will be a finely produced audiobook that you can be proud.

by Leesha on March 28th, 2018

Life springs from our human soul.  From that soul, we as voiceover talent bring the written word to life. But when we find that compassion has emptied and seeped away from us, our creativity weans.  No matter how talented you are or how long you have been in the voiceover business, creativity is not guaranteed nor is it nurtured by the world surrounding most of us.  Here are some approaches to recharging your creativity. 
 
It’s not New, but the Change Starts with You
 
Creativity is in short supply.  The findings in a major study using the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, led by Dr. Kyung-Hee Kim, Associate Professor of Creativity and Innovation at The College of William and Mary, found that since 1990, while IQ scores have increased, creativity scores have been in a significant decline.
 
Prior to Dr. Kim’s study, a 1968 government-sponsored study by George Land and Beth Jarman (educators) had similar results.  Some 1,600 children were tested and retested on creativity over a period of years. The study revealed that the children’s creativity decreased over time with the most creativity expressed at age 5 of 98 percent to a decreased creativity at age15 of only 12 percent.  When only adults were tested for creativity, the result was at 2 percent.
 
The time is now to reclaim your inventiveness. Barnet Bain writes in "Reclaiming Your Creative Self, The key to finding resilience, courage, and wonder in a changing world,” that “The tension we feel—the chronic stress and weariness experienced individually and collectively—comes from attempting to meet life’s challenges with limited resources.” 
 
Find a Creative Outlet or Inlet

In the infographic, “40 Little Things You Can Do to Break Your Creative Block” by Kate England, creative inspiration can include daydreaming, journaling, and even doodling.  England writes, “Take up doodling as a daily practice. Brilliant ideas often start as a scribble on a cocktail napkin or envelope.”
 
Take a Recess

Never underestimate the power of play. Let your mind run free while you walk, exercise, or watch a funny movie.  Give your mind a break from your voiceover routine. You can meditate, sing a song, take a voiceover sick day. The point is to find what feeds your creative spirit to rekindle itself, so you feel fresh and able to put a new spin on all your VO projects. 
 
Touch Base with a Friend

Having friends in voiceovers is not a marketing ploy.  I highly encourage friendships in the industry. Friends can help you think out loud and sort out your feelings. You, in turn, can help another and give advice or listen. Take time to listen and give a friend time to speak and express how he or she feels.  Connecting with others will also allow you to explore empathy and compassion for others, which can fuel the spirit.
 
There are many more ways to recharge your voice acting creativity, but most center around getting out of your drying creativity well by pouring yourself into life and the world around you outside of your booth.
 
Don’t be a statistic.  Creativity is how voice talents effectively serve clients, so always strive to be the most creative you can always be. 


by Leesha on March 21st, 2018

My voiceover career has been one of the most exciting times of my life. For talents like me, voice acting is an expression of the innermost creative self. But, no matter how much we love our chosen profession, a day will come when we'll have to move on.  As a voiceover professional, you don’t want to suddenly fall off the radar screen. No matter the state of your career, give consideration and plan your voiceover endgame.
 
Build a network of succession.  Many seasoned talents become coaches and mentors to novice voiceover talents.  If you are a coach, note your students who have similar vocal styles and temperament, then consider including them in your succession plan. Let your clients know you are connected to other talented voice actors that you have nurtured.  As you get to know a person you have coached and or worked with, you come to know his or her work ethic and what your clients can expect from the talent.  This is a great way of passing along your business to other skilled persons. Even in your end game, credibility is still important.
 
Publicize your other skills.  Before becoming a full-time voice talent, I worked as a communication manager for a scientific agency.  The essence of my position was to break down complicated subject matters into everyday language for internal and external customers.  Such “translation skills” (as I call writing, designing, project managing, etc.) are skills I acquired aside from voice acting.
 
Think about what skills you have that may come in handy during your post voiceover period.  Let others know now about your skills in areas such as writing, designing, public speaking, etc. By letting your clients know about your other talents, you’re opening the door for options you may want to pursue after you have passed on the voiceover mantle.
 
Plan for financial changes.  Start managing your finances and save for your future. If you haven't already, consider an individual retirement account (IRA), Money Market Fund, Certificate of Deposit (CD) or other saving vehicles to prepare for changes to your regular income.  The reality of money is our needs change with time. Your VO endgame should include some sound methods to keep your lights on and a roof over your head.  Benjamin Franklin said, “There are three faithful friends - an old wife (or husband), an old dog, and ready money."
 
Maintain good health.  It's important that you maintain good vocal and personal health throughout your life (See suggestions in my blog, “Voiceover Success: Your Mouth Matters”). No matter how long you choose to pursue voice acting or other pursuits, you’ll need good health to keep going. Take time to rest and address any changes in your voice or personal health. I recommend getting regular yearly check-ups from head to toe.
 
To the best of your ability, be ready for whatever "new game" is beyond your voice over career.  The time is now to prepare for your voiceover endgame.