The More the Merrier
Several years ago we moved from a lovely 1950s split level to a 1923 Georgian Colonial. To call this home a fixer upper is being kind, money pit seems more accurate. But we fell in love with this house because we knew we would have the space for the big family meals that we so enjoy. We have a really close knit family and on weekends and holidays we are all together, and this house, even with its leaks and floods, gives us the space to be surrounded by the people we love most. This house also had the space for my dream voiceover studio. For many years I had the luxury of taking a break from my teaching job and staying home with my twins as a full time mom. My years at home as a full time stay at home mom provided valuable, real like skills that I use every day in my voiceover business.
As a full-time, professional voiceover actress, nothing could have prepared me better for working with international clients with different customs and expectations than having 35 people in my dining room, an array of food allergies, and some pretty active kids, AKA the Schreiber family! I am a typical Pennsylvania girl who grew up eating meat and potatoes dinners and married a slick New York guy, with a super health conscious family! So for starters, every time I have the entire family over, I have to prepare a blend of food that both sides expect. My side would be shocked to have a meal without green bean casserole, my husband’s side would be shocked not to have simply roasted veggies in nothing but olive oil.
After years of happily meeting the varied expectations of a growing family that was pretty large to begin with, I happily meet the varied demands of voiceover clients. It begins with my voiceover proposals. Some clients love to begin with a friendly phone conversation. Other voiceover clients prefer a proposal with multiple options in an email form. Whether they are a video production company, a casting agent, and advertising agency, or one of the myriad of other possible voiceover clients, I am happy to discuss the terms however they are most comfortable, as being flexible is quite natural to me! From providing invoicing in different formats, to providing delivery of files as they like, to offering all differing kinds of guided sessions including Source Connect, ipDTL, ISDN, and even Skype for those who insist on it, I always try to do what the clients prefer and what is easiest for them. I have learned to accommodate by planning and being organized, skills that serve me well in voiceover and as a working mom!
Ready, Set, GO! Prepping for the RUSH!!
Years ago I realized that I married into a family of folks who plan last minute! My family likes to make reservations and plan meals well in advance, but my husbands rather large family is pretty relaxed. So, I might think it will just be the 4 of us for dinner and suddenly we are going from 4 to 17 with less than an hours notice. This has been great prep for VO rush jobs! Just as I want my family to feel that the door is always open and I always have a seat from them at my table, I want my clients to know that my booth is always open. I understand that they have a client waiting for them on the other side who has a deadline. A client would never ask me for a rush job if they did not actually need the work right away. Just like I would never have my family over and not serve a regular meal, I would not provide rush service and offer any less than I do on a typical job. The terms regarding performance errors, pickups, and delivery would all be the same. I just simply understand that they have a rush job.
Momtrepreneurs Just Get It
I was lucky to learn so much from my Mom and my Mommom (Philly speak for Grandma). Is my house always perfect? No. Do I have dishes in the sink? Some times. Do I iron? Never, or not well! But I have a happy house where we all help each other. We all have chores. We all support each other. We all help take out the recycling and we all take care of the dog. When I have a recording session late in the day and I can’t cook dinner, either someone else cooks or we get take out. But the warmth in my home, the joy that trickles into my booth for every single job, and the spirit with which I have raised my family, I pour that same spirit into my voiceover career. It’s the only way I know.