The Compassionate Voice
by Leesha on November 7th, 2018

No matter the business genre, verbal communication needs to flow smoothly.  As a voiceover artist, clear communication is a must.  Slurred words and incomprehensible sentences will not only lose auditions but severely stunt the growth of his or her voiceover business.  Voice talents must be aware of articulation to make sure words are impactful and transforming.  With a little practice and preparation, one’s verbal articulation can be a no-brainer.  

Why Articulate defines articulation as, “an act or the process of articulating: the articulation of a new thought. While the adjective is defined as “uttered clearly in distinct syllables, capable of speech; not speechless, using language easily and fluently… .”

Proper pronunciation starts with having a good grasp of one’s message. In "Readers Digest, How to Be More Articulate: 8 Must-Follow Secrets to Improve Your Speech,” Tatiana Ayazo writes, “Know what you’re talking about. Having a clear idea of what you want to say will allow you to organize your thoughts into a coherent structure. It’s that simple.”   

Prepare your Chops

The next step is to prepare your vocal instrument. Just like a musician tunes up his or her instrument before a performance, a voice talent must warm up the voice. Warming up the voice makes it possible to perform well in one’s range and vocal tone.  Voiceovers can prepare the chops with "tongue twisters."  Tongue twisters and vocal warmups are words or groupings of words designed to improve pronunciation and to gain fluency in performing voiceovers or in daily communication.  

Rodney Saulsberry, a major voice-over artist, based in the United States has authored "Rodney Saulsberry’s Tongue Twisters and Vocal Warm-Ups." His book includes a wide assortment of handy tongue twisters to help get your voiceover work day off to the right start.  There are also other tongue twisters available on the Internet and can be easily found via a Web search.  

Prepare your Body

Of course, voice actors rely heavily on their voice, so time for vocal and body rest are essential.  Moreover, tension and stress from life often hide within the human body.  Since voice acting is a full body experience, exercise and stretch can help reduce anxiety in the mouth and body and allow for needed rest. The well-rested and limber voice talent will find it easy to articulate with a more natural flow without having to overstress the mouth muscles.   

Time Out at the Start

Taking a moment of awareness before voicing a project will also help with articulation.  Focusing on the meaning of the script, one’s body placement, and position will help center one’s whole being on performance.  The brief meditation allows the mind and mouth to prepare for speaking.  Focusing the mind on what is about to be said and its overall meaning gives clarity to the mouth; articulation is almost automatic.  This time out can be moments or minutes depending upon how long it will take to ponder the script and how the words will flow from the body.  The short timeout is a crucial step and should not be missed.  

Applying these tips will not only make for better articulation during voiceover performances, but better overall connection by the voice actor to effectively convey passion and purpose.

Break a lip.

by Leesha on October 23rd, 2018

As changing temperatures make their way across the North American landscape, many residents are experiencing fluctuating personal lives.  Voice actors can be sensitive to environmental changes as well, mainly since heath and surroundings can affect an actor’s performance.  Make sure you’re anchored in good habits to keep your voiceover business adaptive in all seasons.
During the fall, many voice actors must take extra precautions to maintain good health. A seemingly small cough can lead to a sore throat or even loss of one’s voice. No voice means no voiceover revenue.  Moreover, an unexpected financial challenge can drastically interrupt the flow for a working talent or eat away at efforts to end the current year in the black.  A prudent voice talent must accept the fact that life will have its challenges.  No one is living a problem-free life.  The best way to address inevitable changes are to prepare for them.
Wear a Hat
Sometimes, the most obvious things can slip right by us. I once met a singer/songwriter who believed that a serious artist should always wear a hat when outside temperatures fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 12 Celsius).  His thought was that we must cover and protect the entrance ways into the body.  Go ahead and treat yourself to that Fedora, Deerstalker, Gatsby, or Sunbonnet; it’s your first line to defend against the outside elements.
Maintain Your Health
Practicing good health is not a guarantee of staying healthy.  However, good health will help make a recovery from sicknesses a lot faster and better overall.  Practicing habits like getting yearly checkups, staying current with health shots, eating balanced meals, and exercising regularly can help keep you at your best.  My suggestions are not new information, but over the long run, the tips could mean the difference between being ready or not for that long voiceover project requiring your best stamina and health.
Be Voiceover Business Current
Make sure your billing and communication are updated each week.  If you’re unable to communicate with potential and current voice clients for a week or two, you will wish you were up to date before the unexpected happened.  If you remain current in your regular business practices, your voiceover business should be there or not far away when you’re able to return where you left off.
Be Ready for Change
With the seasons of life, some changes are permanent.  Maintain associated voiceover and other skills that can help fill the gap if you cannot perform vocally for some period.  Many good seasoned voice talents become coaches, marketing advisors, or perform business-related services that help fill-in revenue during times when the voice is healing for whatever reason.
Consider swapping services with other talents to keep afloat during challenging times.  As a successful business owner, a little forward thinking and preparation for keeping your voiceover business running during changes times can lead to longevity and keep you in the minds of your current and potential clients. 
The time is always right to plan for your seasons as a voiceover pro.  You’re the best, so break that lip. 

by Leesha on October 10th, 2018

As a small business owner, I share a lot of the same concerns of those in and outside of the voiceover industry.  For that reason, I’m passing along business tips I believe can be useful in almost any business with an Online presence.  Look for my Business Practice Friday tips for information that may be just what you need for your business. 
While being in business is not the same for all, those using the Web for all things commerce related have similar essential needs. From voice producers to those listening to final audio, we all need to know how to balance our social media campaigns, web presence plus the tone and timber of our communication. To me, the Web is like a vast ocean, so navigating cyber water is not for those who are prone to seasickness. 
The information I’ll share will include social media campaign strategies, statistics on effective social media platforms, trends in voiceover and other industries.  Also, I’ll share some “softs skills” tips like online etiquette, interpersonal exchanges, making clients into friends (or keeping clients as clients), etc. 
If you come across some useful business information you’d like to share, feel free to send me a note or comment on my webpage.  There is an African proverb that says, "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
Break a lip.

by Leesha on October 3rd, 2018

Selling and voiceovers?  Of course!  There’s no way around it. As a voice talent, you must sell yourself.  To the point, no matter your profession, unless you’re living off a pile of tax-free money, you must sell yourself to receive compensation for what you’re worth.  But as a voice talent, poor selling or no selling skills can put your voiceover career permanently in the hobby category with you footing all the bills!  Rekindle your marketing efforts to keeping your voiceover (VO) business in business.

Get Over Rejection (and Procrastination)

Rejection is one of the top fears most people face and those who sell are no different.  As a voiceover talent, you cannot only focus on performance, script interpretation, and saving up for that state-of-the-art whisper room and microphone.  Jawing to your colleagues about what you haven’t done or conversely about all the great equipment you’ve purchased (using your own money) doesn’t impress anyone or lead you to fulfill your voiceover career success.   

Brian’s blog Time Management-How to Stop Procrastinating…, says, “The best way for you to learn (how not to procrastinate) is to plan each day in advance, set priorities on your activities, and then make your first sales call as early as you possibly can. Get up, get going, and get started.”

Realize rejection is not the worst thing that can happen to your business. Putting off your marketing effort is the worst thing. You will hear “no” and “yes” from potential clients.  You will also listen to clients change their mind after giving a verbal commitment that you counted on for your VO business.  The world is FULL of potential clients; get over feeling sorry for yourself and get out there and start selling your excellent voiceover skills.

Learn How to Sell

Selling tools are universal across almost all lines of business.  The competitive field of voice acting does not mean we market less, but perhaps, we market more.  Before you send an email or pick up the phone, get to know who you are selling your business to and how you fit into that company’s return on investments.  

The Business Insider’s online article, How To Be Great At Selling Even If You Hate It, notes the following:

       Successful people learn how to sell one way or the other. If they do not learn a
       formal process as outlined in this post, they may make costly mistakes and develop
       bad habits. If you want to increase your chances of success in business and in life,
       it will significantly help you to learn the sales process and practice it so it becomes
       part of your marketing DNA.  

Research Your Potential Clients

Do you know who needs a voiceover talent, today, tomorrow, or next year? What new venues are opening for voice talent and which ones are closing?  There is no substitute for doing homework before legwork.’s How to Sell Anything to Anybody, says, “Know your customer, stakeholder, audience, whoever you're selling to. Know their roles, responsibilities, and objectives. Understand as much as you can about what's in it for them. Know your competition and all the possible objections and hurdles you might face.”

Qualify Your Potentials

The next part of the research is to qualify your candidates.  Your potential voice clients' categories are primary, secondary, or tertiary. Make sure you place your voice casters in the right category.  Ranking clients help prioritize your marking.  Based on their potential, prioritize contacting voice casters by related projects, budget, timeline, and long-term mission.’s Common Sales Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, instructs “Every opportunity isn’t equal. Through qualifying, you’ll get a better understanding of what each customer wants, when he or she wants it by and what his or her budget is. Most importantly, you’ll be able to figure out if you are talking to the person who can actually make the decision."

Start or restart today using the above tips for your voiceover business to find and meet those needing your voiceover services.  Find those who need what you have to offer (or at least leave a trail of cybernetic breadcrumbs for them to find you). For the sake of your customers, get marketing and…

break a lip! 

by Leesha on September 18th, 2018

Today’s voiceover business professional knows the importance of a strong Web and Social Media presence.  Since success our goal, we want to post our demos and information on as many sites as necessary to reach voice casters. In the same way, there can be an increased need for voiceover professionals to practice proper online safety.  Practicing smart online safety is vital for your business and personal information’s security.
Whether posting, surfing, or viewing, online safety is an individual responsibility. The Star On-line’s article, Identity Theft Poses A Threat to Every Internet User, notes the most common forms of internet theft occur when a fraudster uses someone’s date of birth and username for online purchases.  But for social media networks, it’s "nicknapping." Using a portion of the words “nickname” and “kidnapping,” nicknapping is the “...classic identity theft, especially since Facebook access is often the master key for other portals connected to the social network," says Michael Littger, an Internet safety campaigner.
Here are a few suggestions on how to stay safe online (The following section are suggestions and NOT guaranteed or legal advice):
Make online purchases as a “guest.” When shopping, make your purchases as a guest and don’t use your social media logins for buying online.  Less is more.
Beware of Phishing. As an online business, be careful of Phishers, those methods that try to obtain financial or confidential information from you through emails or messages that look as if it’s from a legitimate source. 
Research unrecognized voice casters or contact sites. Confirm the identity and authenticity of unknown voiceover sources.  Type the name in several search engines and on LinkedIn to make sure the site and person are legitimate.  Also, review the social media profiles and websites of new contacts. Notice how much information is posted.  If a company or person claims to be a significant voice-acting site or manager, there should be some available information or a good summary.  If not, you may want to steer clear.
Beware of sites that ask for personally identifiable information. Reputable sources will never ask for your SSN, birthday, or other personal information via email for a voice-acting site or job. For tax purposes, sometimes you must provide some information. Obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to represent you and your voiceover business.  For more information, see the U.S. Internal Revenue Service website.  
Read the Privacy Policy (anyway). We all have an aversion to long-form yadda yadda, but it's a good idea to read the privacy policy of each site before you create an account. The policy will outline what you're giving up in return for your membership. Your membership could include giving up a lot more than you expect. 
The Small Business Administration’s Top Ten Cybersecurity Tips will help secure your small business:
  1. Protect against viruses, spyware, and other malicious code.
    Make sure each of your business computers is equipped with antivirus software and antispyware and update regularly. Such software is readily available online from a variety of vendors. All software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and improve functionality. Configure all software to install updates automatically.

  2. Secure your network.
    Safeguard your Internet connection by using a firewall and encrypting information.  If you have a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is secure and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Password protect access to the router.

  3. Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information.
    Establish policies on how employees should handle and protect personally identifiable information and other sensitive data.  Clearly outline the consequences of violating your business’s cybersecurity policies.

  4. Educate employees about cyberthreats and hold them accountable
    Educate your employees about online threats and how to protect your business’s data, including safe use of social networking sites.  Depending on the nature of your business, employees might be introducing competitors to sensitive details about your firm’s internal business. Employees should be informed about how to post online in a way that does not reveal any trade secrets to the public or competing businesses.  Hold employees accountable to the business’s Internet security policies and procedures.

  5. Require employees to use strong passwords and to change them often.
    Consider implementing multifactor authentication that requires additional information beyond a password to gain entry. Check with your vendors that handle sensitive data, especially financial institutions, to see if they offer multifactor authentication for your account.

  6. Employ best practices on payment cards.
    Work with your banks or card processors to ensure the most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud services are being used. You may also have additional security obligations related to agreements with your bank or processor. Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and do not use the same computer to process payments and surf the Internet. 

  7. Make backup copies of important business data and information.
    Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly, and store the copies either offsite or on the cloud.

  8. Control physical access to computers and network components.
    Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft or can be lost, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee and require strong passwords. Administrative privileges should only be given to trusted IT staff and key personnel.

  9. Create a mobile device action plan.
    Mobile devices can create significant security and management challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access the corporate network. Require users to password protect their devices, encrypt their data, and install security apps to prevent criminals from stealing information while the phone is on public networks. Be sure to set reporting procedures for lost or stolen equipment.

  10. Protect all pages on your public-facing websites, not just the checkout and sign-up pages.
Make your voiceover business as profitable, safe, and secure as possible by making your cyber presence a better place.

After you change those passwords… go ahead and break a lip! 😊

by Leesha on September 4th, 2018

Social media is a great way to communicate what you want the World to see and know about you.  We have the luxury of being whoever we want and as perfect as we want others to believe. But we all know no one is perfect, so don’t let human failure be the end of your strive and desire for success.  Learn to keep moving after a failure; it’s just a sign that you’re human.

As a member of several professional communities on the Web, I love to read about my colleagues' new jobs, big clients, and other great voiceover successes.  However, I rarely see postings about the lost jobs, voiceover communication that didn't go well, or the missed goals. Life happens, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, but we need to keep failure in the proper perspective. I don’t recommend you note every loss on your voiceover website, but you can appropriately share how you dealt with your loss and how you keep moving toward your success.

Pick up from Failures

No matter how hard we try, mistakes, missteps, and failures will happen.  Voiceover has its own unique set of challenges. The business is very competitive and can feel like jumping off a diving board into 12 feet of water after only a hand full of swimming classes.  When we are on the other side of what we know was a failed voiceover audition or the loss of a big job, we may feel the loss personally. Moreover, if the event is the result of our mistake or wrong business decision, there’s no way to feel right about it.  After a debacle, new talent often question the purpose of their business efforts. A seasoned talent may also think that years of experience can insulate him or her from flops. A major loss may cause them to question their ability as a voiceover performer.

Failure is not usually fatal.  The best thing to do is to remind yourself that you are doing your best and sometimes you will miss the mark. Examine your efforts and see what you can learn from the experience.  Be a little nice to yourself and keep the loss in perspective. In life, we make many mistakes from the time we first learn to walk through our Social Security years. It’s a part of life not a determiner of life.

Reboot Failure – Success Groundwork

Okay, now that I’ve covered the low point, let’s look at the power of your comeback. A voice actor is like a traveling salesman. We spend time and effort training and getting to know the craft (our voice product), but we can still experience many closed doors (lost auditions or opportunities). Many letdowns may lead to procrastination. We may not fully focus our marketing and auditioning efforts.

But you must continue. Reboot failure by examining the failure and learning lessons from it.  Moreover, by sharing your failures and lessons learned with others, you make the failure a part of your success journey.  Once again, I don’t believe posting all your faults on social media is wise, but you can tactfully phrase your learned lessons to others as you share your experiences in the voiceover business.

Make your voiceover business fiascos into stepping stone and not brick walls. Remember your most admired voiceover talent and other mentors have made many, many mistakes. Failure can help with the climb to eventual success.  Keep moving toward your voiceover goals, especially after unexpected glitches. It’s a good sign that you’re learning, growing, and moving toward your personal development and potential long-term success.

You know...break a lip!

by Leesha on August 28th, 2018

A few weeks ago, I blogged my thoughts related to age and voiceovers. We know that you are as young or as old as you sound.  You can use marketing to locate the clients that need your voiceover tone and skills. But what about if you’ve retired from a career and want a voice acting career with time for other activities? What if you want time to travel, write a book, volunteer, or other activities?  I don’t believe you have to hang up your microphone and dream of becoming a voice talent. It’s all in the time and commitment. Practically plan your voiceover business for enjoying your retirement life.  

Time Well Spent.   As a retiree, you may have a regular income and not need your voiceover business to pay for all your basic needs. But that doesn’t mean that your business should be regarded as a hobby.  Your company should provide a valuable service in exchange for fitting compensation.

To keep the big picture in mind, develop a list of goals for your voiceover income. For example, do you want to travel to a faraway country, or would you like a professional booth for your home studio? What about saving to purchasing the car of your dreams or a camper to see the sights? Develop a list of voiceover profit goals to help you remain focused on your activities.  If possible, note your time frame to recall as you work toward your goals daily.

In an article from on the 5 Pitfalls of Starting A Business in Retirement, retires are cautioned of “Misaligning your goals with your lifestyle.”  Forbes continues, “Often, retirement entrepreneurs decide to start a business out of boredom and only later realize there are other things they’d rather do with their time.” Make sure you are ready to commit for the long haul.

Days of Our Lives.  Let’s say you prefer not to work a 40-hour week as a retiree.  I can understand that. So, decide your work days.  For example, you may want work 3 to 4 days during the week and leave 1 to 2 days for enjoying other activities.  Plan to work your voiceover business 5-6 hours on your work days exclusively performing your voiceover business and no other actions.  Also, give yourself the flexibility to move your off-day or days to accommodate any short-notice voiceover projects.  The point to make sure you’re actively working your business no less than on a part-time basis.  

Wise Learning. The fast pace of technology has not left the voiceover industry on the sidelines.  Keep up with the changes in the sectors, trends, styles, and marketing techniques. Make sure you have a good grasp of social media and a strong web presence to remain viable as a business. You want to make sure that although you're making time for family and perhaps a fishing date, you are still a working voice talent with office hours, products, web postings, and a business plan.  

Likewise, use any free or downtime to learn more about the business. Take a couple of voiceover books, podcasts, or videos with you when you travel. You may have downtime at an airport, or while waiting for dinner, etc., to catch up on voiceover tips and skills that you can utilize the next time you’re in your office (so to speak).  

As a side note, another essential item to address is mouth clicks.  As we age, eliminating mouth clicks can be an uphill battle. Learn how to deal with those pesky clicks and breaths by applying software plugins. The iZotope RX 6 is an excellent tool to address these vocal issues and can significantly reduce your editing time, which saves you time overall.  

The Road to Sundown.   Remember your business’s timeline. There’s no shame in working your business for just a few years.  But remember, it can take five years or more to build up your business and reputation to achieve the voiceover success you desire.  So, decide how long is long enough for your voiceover career.  See my blog on the Endgame for tips on how to tactfully and professionally close your voiceover career.  It’s better to have worked consistently for a few years than to run your voiceover career more as a hobby haphazardly.  

Be about your business and make it as fun and rewarding as you've imaged.  You’ve worked hard to reach your retirement time, so you deserve the recognition.  Moreover, make sure you’re operating your new voiceover business like a business. Don’t let your voiceover career fall into your retirement hobbies.  

Use proper time management skills and goals for a prosperous voiceover career and favorable time in retirement.  

Break a lip!

by Leesha on August 22nd, 2018

We’ve all started on pursuits that looked fun and assumed that’s for us. But as a voice talent involved in managing and operating a business, it’s important to know what works and what doesn’t. Voice acting is a competitive and exciting business, so talents need to be aware as to what works and respond correctly to the signs of required career changes. Be mindful of what is working and what is not working in your voiceover business through learning, leaving, and growing
I first learned to ski in my 30’s.  The sport seems fun, and although for years I saw the commercial clip of the skier falling down a ski run, I was determined that was not going to be me.  After years of hit or miss skiing, today, I spend my ski resort time more on the small slops or the tubing runs.  While I took many lessons over the years, I did not take time to hone my craft through regular practice.  Over time, I realized that skiing might look fun, but it was not fun falling or poorly navigating the slopes.  Skiing is a hazardous sport and not a casual activity. So, when I realized that I was not going to put in the time and effort to be proficient, I learned from my experience and hung up my skis. 
Learning - As a voiceover talent, it's important to know what is working and what is not.  Voiceover learning means asking yourself essential business questions truthfully and honestly.  Have you been working toward a particular skill set for years and it's just not working?  Are you putting in the hours needed to make your voiceover business successful?  Are you effectively marketing to reach those in need of your services?  Your response to these questions helps you learn from your efforts and determine what is and is not working. 
Leaving – Leave behind the areas of your business that are not working for you.  Major manufactures sometimes discontinue specific products that are not selling to concentrate on the products that are making money.  In your voiceover business, do you have any areas that are not working well?  Is it because the area you are pursuing is not your skill set or because you are not putting enough effort into that area?  If it’s effort, you know what to do next. Likewise, if a voiceover genre is not working for you, perhaps it’s time to discontinue in that business area.
Growing – We as humans evolve in our life’s journey. As such, you may have had the "killer instinct" in some area of sport, but as you aged, you may have found that the same inclination for that goal waned over time.  As a voice talent, note if it’s time to refocus your business attempts.  Look for ways to incorporate sharing your voiceover expertise through your business. 
Volunteering your voice talent is an excellent way to grow or help others learn from your experiences.  You don’t need to be a seasoned talent to share with others what you have learned in your voiceover journey.  It’s amazing how when you open your life and time to giving to others, your mind is opened to new ideas and creativity for growing your business. 
Learning, leaving, and growing in your voiceover business helps your stay with what works, set aside what doesn't, and grow into your future.  Keep fine-tuning your voiceover career, and you’ll find yourself heading toward your harbor of success.  

Break that lip!

by Leesha on August 7th, 2018

Business professionals know the importance of maintaining good relationships.  Voiceover pros also understand that building and retaining contacts can lead to good client relationships.  In this current environment of constant social and political reporting, it’s important to stay focused on your business goals and use communication wisely to maintain good interpersonal relationships.  As a voice talent, maintaining good bonds with your clients and associates keeps your business growing.
Find Neutrality: Never Take Sides.  Now, this may seem like a coward’s way out, but keep reading.  If you are out socially or professionally, there’s a high potential for social issues to work their way into conversations.  If you’re in earshot of or in a discussion that turns political, or even ugly, maintain your focus.  No matter your personal views, it’s better to stay neutral.  Feel free to listen with an open mind as views are expressed, but don’t feel that you must agree or disagree.  Even if you’re asked to give your point of view, be very tactful in your response. Your reply can work for or against you, so it’s best to be an opinionated listener.  
Always Be Pleasant.  Not all interactions are pleasant ones.  As a professional (self-employed) voice talent, you are still available to be seen by or reached by potential clients.  As such, there’s usually no need to share your political, social, or religious views with all clients; you’re engaged to provide high-quality voiceover and or audio services.  When interacting with potential or current clients, maintain a positive attitude mentally, and that attitude will come through in your communication.  As a voice talent, you are looking to provide a service and to meet client needs.  Your business is where you shine the best. Be professional and pleasant.  If you find yourself in an interaction that is inappropriate, excuse yourself and move on.  It’s just business. 
Build Positive Relationships. In relationships, give and take can help maintain a good rapport.  As a voice talent, you don’t have to limit yourself to just providing voice over services.  Look for opportunities to share information and assistance to others.  For example, if you know of innovations that could be of interest to your clients, share the information with a friendly note.  Likewise, if you have clients who celebrate certain holidays and events that you don’t observe, feel free to send well wishes on those particular days.  A simple acknowledgment of clients’ special days is not an agreement or disagreement, and it’s a sign of respect and courtesy. You don’t need to go overboard on your acknowledgment.  Stick to a simple greeting or acknowledgment respectfully.  Such kindness can go a long way to help maintain relationships with others, even if you don’t agree on all personal and professional topics.
A voiceover actor is like an ambassador. See yourself as a provider of excellent services no matter the political and social climate.  Maintaining good client contacts through wise communication can position you as a great person to work with and a stable business professional.

Break a lip!

by Leesha on July 24th, 2018

 We all have areas of curiosity in our search for the career that fits our personality and will give back to our pocket.  The voice acting business is a creative way of self-expression and to help clients connect with their audiences.  Running any business involves keeping a watchful eye on its structure and progress. If you find you’re not getting the results you’d hoped for as a voiceover artist, it may be time to move on and seek another creative pursuit. 
Recently, I did a little moving on from Golf when I tried it over a year ago. As a former tennis player, I thought it would be a good fit (maybe I wanted to be like Althea Gibson).  The concepts seem similar, and I felt I had a good eye for focused contact with a ball (or any other object hurried at me).  So, I took a few group lessons and semi-private classes then spent time at the range practicing my swing.  Well, a couple of months into new pursuit, I realized my assumed natural bent to hitting the ball at least most of the time, may have been a little off. Not willing to give in too soon, I kept at it for a few more months.
Then one day while leaving the golf course, I asked myself an honest question, “Is golf something that I have the time, the willingness, and the finances to continue until I reach my perceived success?” Although my intentions were good, I realized that learning to play golf would take years and substantial finances to achieve a good handicap. Not only that, but I didn't really enjoy my new pursuit, it wasn't my passion. The activity was just something I picked up because it looked fun, and I thought it might be an excellent way to expand my friendships.  It was time for me to move on.
Cost of the Learning Curve ( Don't make your clients pay for your learning) -  In a new pursuit, there’s always a learning curve.  A professional voice talent must make the time to learn the business, which includes recording, editing, marketing, and other skills. This time usually involves long hours of study and reading.  Costs can consist of hundreds and even thousands of dollars spent before reaching a comfort level as a proficient voice actor.  So, it’s not a good idea to venture out for clients until you’re well equipped to provide your best.  Producers expect the very best from professional voice talents, so determine the amount of time you will spent practicing and learning new voiceover skills and then double it.  Determine if you can financially operate your business and pay for your training with no incoming revenue for (sometimes) long periods of time.
Think About Your Passion - When I think back on my golf experience, the pursuit was not wrong, I just was not committed and passionate about spending the money and time to become proficient in the game.  While I liked and was fascinated by the skill, I was not willing to pay the fees, dues, and other costs long-term. The sport was not my passion, just an interest.  

Voice acting must be your passion.  Know why and what you want from the career field.  Again, there will be more long hours learning, marketing, and running the business than you can imagine.  Only a passionate pursuit and purpose can fuel a voiceover business in the making.  If you’re not excited about voiceovers, you may want to consider a different career field. 
Know When it’s Time to Go or Stay -  A new voice actor can take years to solidify himself or herself in the industry.  There are no shortcuts to voiceover success (read my earlier blog).  Know when you are on the right path to reaching your business goals or if it’s it not working out for you.  Don't spend all that you have physically and financially on a passing curiosity.
I meet a lot of folks who are fascinated with the idea of voice acting. However, when I explain to someone what it takes to become a successful working talent, he or she usually losses their zeal.  But, I think that’s a good thing.  It’s better to understand the costs of time and resources needed now or within the first year or two of a voice acting business, than after spending thousands of dollars on equipment and coaches to realize voice acting is not one's passion.
There’s no shame in deciding to move on with your shirt (financially speaking). So, you may not see me on the golf course, but I plan to be in my vocal booth for as long as I can.  Is voiceover your fun pursuit (my golf) or your real passion?  Only you have the answer and the way to the best commitment in your life. 
Break a lip.