Is voiceover a dream job?
I love doing voiceover. It’s my dream come true, my career match made in Heaven, the thing I would choose to do if I could do anything in the world. And at the very moment that I book an exciting new gig, or when I’m in the middle of a session and unleashing all of my creativity, I feel that.
But do you know what I don’t love? Invoicing. Negotiating rates. Editing audio. And if I’m honest, I don’t always love auditioning. I love voice acting, but in order to get to continue doing what I love, I have to do a lot of things that I would rather just never do.
It’s voice over work
It’s a package deal. I had a conversation with an aspiring voice actor about a year ago, and she was asking for my advice on building her business. She proceeded to tell me everything that she loved about voice acting. And as I was about to give her some next steps regarding developing a business plan, she unloaded an even longer list of all of the things that she decided she was not going to do: learn any new software, learn how to operate any equipment, edit anything, do any kind of paperwork or bookkeeping, network, or promote herself in any way.
Well… I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out. There was literally nothing left for me to suggest to her. By refusing to do anything that it takes to establish a successful voiceover business, she had decreased her chances of making money as a voice actor to zero. Or less, if that’s possible.
I’ll admit, it would be nice to wake up every day, sashay into my vocal booth after my morning coffee, and spend an hour reading scripts for only my favorite brands, while an engineer and administrative assistant make sure the audio sounds great and gets where it needs to go. Maybe afterwards, I would ride my bike to the farmer’s market, get a massage, and come home around 3 to see if any new scripts magically found their way to my recording space.
But the reality is that the term “voice actor” means something different today than it did years ago. And I don’t mean just because the internet has changed the process of booking work so much (although it has changed things a lot). Some people prefer to be called voice artists because it is more accurate. We do more than just act. Much more.
And that’s not a bad thing. I would much rather have a profession that I can say is my dream job, even though there are aspects of it that I don’t love, than have a job that I am simply tolerating to make ends meet. My job energizes me. And it makes all of the other tasks that don’t involve recording worth it.
Are my days exactly how I would design them if I was the architect of the world? Well, no. I would make it so that I could have all the benefits of exercising without ever having to do it, and so that I never had to sleep, but never got tired, but I could sleep if I wanted to. (Yes, I’ve put too much thought into this.)
But the difference between every successful voice actor and the “aspiring” one I mentioned in this post is that when the successful voice actors recognized all of the “other stuff” that must be done to enable them to do the thing they love, they rose to the challenges.
We all could come up with a million excuses as to why we will not pursue our passion(s). And whatever excuse we come up with will be enough to destroy our chances of success. So instead of finding all of the reasons why we can’t (or won’t) do what it takes to be a success, let’s get real about everything it takes, and then commit to get them done. Get creative with it. Your business doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. And because your interests and talents are different from mine, we will come up with different ways of getting the same things done. And that’s fine and good. That’s the beauty of entrepreneurship.
Obstacles are only obstacles if you allow them to be.[clickToTweet tweet=”Obstacles are only obstacles if you allow them to be. #VO #voiceover” quote=”Obstacles are only obstacles if you allow them to be.”]
Side note: If we were to start a movement, usher in a new era of the voice actor, and come up with a new term to describe everything that this profession involves today, what should the new term be?
Voice scientist? Too much?
Voice worker? Too sketchy?