Life Update; no, really!
First off – Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you! Fun fact, I have a bit of Irish in me (hence the green-hazel eyes and fair skin!) Did you know that the “Luck of the Irish” came about during the gold rush? The most successful miners were of Irish descent (1)! Although, around the same time the famine suffering occurred so perhaps it’s all just irony…. I think a good middle ground is to just say that the Luck of the Irish is actually just Positivity!
~*~ As I’ve been exploring in previous post entries, this blog has been evolving away from merely a collection of my thoughts and experiences. I am happy with this because taking the pressure off of me to always have something exciting to share weekly allows me to actually explore interesting topics.
It goes back to the idea of Social Media – it’s a bit like movies: you cut out all the boring stuff and only leave the best bits. But I don’t regularly go to events and I don’t think there’s much worth sharing when I take seminars, so I’m afraid 90% of what I do would be considered ‘boring’!
But I must also acknowledge my desire to catalog my journey and so occasionally, I must indulge in a bit of “story time”.
It has officially been a month since I quit my ‘day job’ to pursue voice acting full-time. There were of course some delays in the full transition as well as taking a few days to travel for personal family reasons but for the most part, I have dedicated myself 40+hrs/wk to the cause.
Most of that was taking courses from Gravy For The Brain, to brush up on my skills and the Industry Etiquette. I also revamped my website, got a professional email, produced an additional Commercial Demo, and adding some upgrades to my studio.
The rest of the time has been me pushing to be active daily on Social Media, Networking on sites like LinkedIn and the Direct Marketing of my services.
Nothing super noteworthy, in all honesty. But here are some highlights:
An agent contacted me and is now sending me auditions; I will not officially be on the roster until I book a gig but it’s nice to be given an opportunity.
I met a representative of a Global eLearning company on LinkedIn and she expedited my on-boarding process to be added to their talent roster, which is cool.
I’ve joined the new voiceovers.com which is now in the beta process and will fully launch in April.
I have not been getting many auditions; my agents send me maybe 3 a week and
I’ve decided not to continue with voice123 (that will be a future post, I’m sure). While I do love VO Planet’s business model, I only see perhaps 1-3 auditions on there a week that I might fit and while I have a free account with Bodalgo, I’m not seeing anything that makes me want to jump on board.
Recent Technical Difficulties….
As I said above, I’ve been adding some upgrades to my studio but I’m facing inconveniences every step of the way. Which isn’t so bad (wires aren’t long enough etc) but most recently, it seems my pre-amp has short circuited.
I’m still working with tech support, so I won’t bother going into theories of what happened but I plugged in my new microphone and suddenly, the recording picks up nothing. I have ruled out everything except the pre-amp, so I sent it off to be fixed. On Thursday, Sweetwater’s Tech Support told me they had to send the pre-amp back to the Manufacturer’s Tech Support which will be an additional two to four week process. Keep in mind that I initially had this issue March 4th, they received my pre-amp on March 11th and told me they had to send it to the Factory to be fixed. So in total, it will be 4 to 6 weeks (not including the return shipping back to me) before I will be able to use my updated studio equipment. Silver lining – at least we know what the issue is!
For the time being, I still have my trusty AT2020USB. Yes, USB mics are looked down on in the industry but I don’t have a backup interface, so I can’t use my other mics. This feels like a setback but I know I can still be productive in other ways and I can still audition; I have booked work using this mic in the past.
To be quite honest, I am closer than ever to obtaining my goal yet I’m more uncertain than I ever have been. It is not the work itself that’s in question. I love voice over and I adore voice acting. But, as I myself have preached, this career is a business. A business that requires constant sales pitches, cold calling, direct messaging – all that jazz. I have worked in sales in the past but the key difference was that I was always “Inside Sales”, meaning the clients already wanted to work with us, I just had to assist them in getting what they want. Essentially, that’s what most Retail (and even Food!) jobs are. Customers walk in, you help them out, they buy stuff. I’ve sold cars (though I was technically only the Office manager), truck parts, theatre curtains and to a lesser extent, enrolling students in a new career, and upselling marketing videos. I was great at what I did – Customer Service is my specialty – but I always had one guideline for myself: no Outside Sales. I did not want to cold call or go door-to-door (metaphorically or literally). I hate it.
And unfortunately, that’s what owning a Freelance business is.
Now, I’m sure if you are selling furniture or jewelry, perhaps you can put money towards advertising, so you’re not directly marketing to clients. But service based companies? That’s exactly what you do.
So, to be truthful, that’s what I’m battling right now. I thought my love and passion for acting could balance out my distaste for the less glamorous side of business. I knew what I was getting into but you never know what it’s truly like until you live it. That’s partly why I chose to just jump right in. I had the means to be able to try for it; I needed to stop dreaming and start living.
No decisions have been made yet, of course. A few weeks can’t really determine much. These things can take time to see any movement. But I am reminded of my childhood dreams and how I had to learn to let go. I was interested in modeling – but am only 5’1″ and do not have the body or the looks for it. I’ve always wanted to act (on camera) – but I don’t have the overt confidence it takes to stand in an audition line for 2+hrs, waiting for my turn. I have always said “in another life”. In another life, I would have moved to California; I actually planned for it several times! But as it is, I require some sort of stability. Knowing where I will physically be from one day to the next and so I gave up on thinking acting would be anything more than a hobby (local theatre, fun YouTube skits etc).
I don’t want to look at my voice over career and say I ‘couldn’t cut it’; I do think I have the skill and talent to be successful in voice over. And I hate to consider myself a quitter; I have pushed through difficult situations and come out on top in the past.
But there is a part of me that is realizing that my dream of voice acting – for cartoons, my real dream – will never happen. I may find some success with eLearning presentations and commercials but my passion has always been acting (and to entertain). While most of voice over has become global, those gigs always want you to be local to the studio and that is not something I can realistically do. I can travel but I cannot relocate. Not for something that is so uncertain; moving for a tv gig is not like moving for an office job.
So that is where I am with it all right now. I’m going to be taking some time to continue honing my skills and playing around with some other creative outlets while still marketing myself and submitting auditions as they come in. Really weigh the reality with the possibilities; what does success look like to me and what do I truly want in this life.
I am no longer in the “waiting” phase of it all, which is good. I now get to play ball and will soon be tallying the score.
(1)IrishCentral Staff @IrishCentral Written Aug 08, 2017; Site visited March 04, 2019 https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/where-does-the-term-the-luck-of-the-irish-come-from