Passions do Matter
It’s that time of year again when flash cards come out and multiple trips to the library and books stores all over town are a must: it’s term paper season. My twins are fortunate, the History teacher this year and the teacher the had in Middle school are both outstanding, so the kids have learned how to do research. Still, as the mom of two dyslexic kids, they need help. Time management, sorting through the material, and making sure they are on the right track are not skills that come easily to most teenagers, and especially to kids with learning differences.
As a full-time working mom, I spend a lot of time at nights and on the weekends doing work with the kids and I look forward to our time together. My daughter Emma is much more a math and science kid, so when a huge research project came her way in History this year she was less than thrilled. One Sunday in the den with my sister, Emma had a tearful outburst and said “I just want to write about macaroons!” We got it. She spends hours a day doing homework and she wants to work on something she loves, and you know what, Emma LOVES eating macaroons. Smart girl, right?
So, we began searching on line, and learned that Catherine de Medici, the Italian Queen of France, brought Macaroons to France! She also brought the fork, cigarettes, and the side saddle, along with numerous other significant cultural contributions, but this is not about the Medici Queen, it’s about my sweet and smart daughter Emma pursuing her passions. Once we focussed on a subject that Emma loved and cared about, the term paper became a joy and something she was happy and proud to work on.
So, what on earth does this have to do with my professional voiceover career? Everything! Just as pursuing her passions academically makes all the difference for Emma, pursuing my passion for voiceover all day every day is extremely meaningful and fulfilling for me. I had been home with my twins when they were young, and the only way I could go back to work full time was to go after something as wonderful as, well, macaroons!
I think one of the reasons I love working in voiceover so much is that it provides such a creative outlet. Between the auditions and my bookings, every day’s work is very different in that regard. I love having fun with the reads and trying to think of an approach that others won’t come up with. I am enthusiastic and passionate and voiceover work is upbeat and happy most of the time. I am really thankful that I spend so much of my time doing something so creative.
Sometimes clients are not sure what they are looking for. I love helping make suggestions and providing alternate reads so that they have options for their project. It is extremely rewarding to bring something to life.
Working From Home is a Gift
Before I had my kids I taught Middle and Upper School History at an all girls school in New York City. The thought of commuting now and being so far from my kids makes my stomach turn. I want to be the one who is here when they are home sick. I want to attend the school science fair and parent teacher conferences. I want to pick them up in the afternoon and hear all about their day. I can still work an 8 hour day and do all of these things. One of the benefits of being a solopreneur is that I create and manage my schedule. I lose no time commuting and my studio life is a delight. My studio dog Violet is by my side every minute and she is a love. Her presence is calming and fuels my joy.
Being a Working Mom Ain’t Easy
My voiceover tasks don’t vary much day to day. On a daily basis, I work on my bookings, try to always do at least 20 auditions, work in marketing outreach and client correspondance, and do bookkeeping. I also have to maintain my social media content. It fills the day and the work day goes by in the blink of an eye.
While I am preoccupied with my voiceover work, all of my tasks as a wife and mom sit. When my sister and I were little we loved the old fable The Elves and the Shoemaker. Oh how I wish there were elves that would sneak into my house to tidy up and do the laundry or the dishes! I find tasks like cooking dinner and preparing lunch for the kids to be the most challenging because I try so hard to make our food healthy and well-balanced and it is hard to do that quickly and last minute. If I were not spending my day doing what I love, it would be quite frustrating to feel so challenged all the time.
Learning from my kids
My kids are young enough still that they do not keep their feelings bottled up. Instead, we know just how they feel in the moment. The blessing of that, though, is that the kids don’t ignore their passions. They pursue them whole-heartedly. This is a wonderful example to live by. Our lives go by so quickly. As Plato said, “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”