Life in the Voiceover Business: Does my glass ever look half empty?

Oh- That Kind of Day

Professional Voice Actress - Laura SchriberIn a business that’s feast or famine, what happens during a dry patch?

You must be thinking, is she always like that? Is that girl always so —-ing bubbly? Well, as a matter of fact no. Some days, much like the rest of the world, I want to binge watch “Downton Abby,” eat chocolate, and kvetch to anyone who will listen. So if, on top of actually being normal and being effected by the world around me, my voiceover business hits a slow patch in an industry that is know to be feast or famine, my glass begins to look half empty, how does my perspective shift and how do I get back on track?

Did you see HER post??

Sometimes being on Facebook and Instagram can be fantastic because you feel part of a wonderful community. Other times, when other voiceover talents are posting about their bookings and their new clients when you are in a slump, which does happen to the best of us, it can be quite isolating. While of course we are excited for our friends when they book work, and it is nice to think that we book the work that we are meant to book, if you aren’t booking and you go on Facebook and hear about everyone else’s bookings, it can exacerbate the glass half empty scenario.

Another issue with social media is that it can potentially be quite distracting. While I am always drawn in because I love the sense of community and feeling a part of something bigger than I am, we can easily be pulled of course and fall down an unintended rabbit hole. Sometimes I hear about other projects or new demos that friends are doing and before I know it I have spend hours researching something and then missed multiple auditions. While I certainly enjoy my time on social media, I might be in need of some sort of timer with a loud alarm!

I thought I had it figured out…

Sometimes there is a rhythm to professional voiceover work. Sometimes just when you actually expect your work to be quiet and you leave your studio you end up with a flood of bookings. Yes, of course this is a good problem to have, but it also points to how unpredictable our industry is.

One way to try to stay on top of work and even out this feast or famine is to use a CRM to keep track of work and correspondence with clients and prospects. I obsessively love voice overview, a CRM created for professional voiceover talents. I know a lot of other people use Nimble. When things look particularly bleak, taking the time to reach out to clients by using the reminders I have set helps to make me feel hopeful and does often bring in work.

This March I attended VO Atlanta, the biggest voiceover conference of the year, for the first time. When of the general sessions that I attended was given by Rachel Naylor. She said something that blew my mind a little bit. Rachel said, when your doing well, it’s your fault. But, when you have these down times, that’s your fault too. She said that we need to stop making excuses about the forces that we can’t control and figure out a way around them. Every single “glass half empty day” I have, Rachel’s voice echoes in my mind.

I have spent a lot of time since March thinking about what I do well and what I can do better. On good days I am optimistic. On glass half empty days, I wonder how to stay on top of an industry that is both volatile and involves so much hustle. The hustle I can bank on because that comes from me. The rest I do worry about.

What comes into the booth

I used to have an amazing spin instructor who would started each class by saying that all of the stress of the week had to stay outside of the class and we were not to carry it with us on our bikes. I feel the same way about my recording studio. No matter what is going on in my life, no matter what my perspective on the world is, and no matter how I am feeling about my voiceover career, all of that must stay outside of the booth. The mic, afterall, pics up everything. Instead, I mark my scripts, assume the characters, and get to work. As a professional voiceover talent. my job in large part is to audition, so what chance do I have if I bring all of my worries into the booth?

In the end, I think it is normal to have some days that are glass half empty. But, in the final analysis, I think only an optimist could actually pursue voiceover. There is so much rejection in our daily life. We spend ours and days going after work. the audition is the job, and, well- you know about actors and auditions? So in truth, a person who is truly glass half empty, could not have my job. So lucky me:) I’m super happy to be pursuing my dreams.