My Son Hates When I Say Journey
I realized this year when my son had to do a rather grueling elimination diet that he hates when I say journey. Whether it is related to food, weight loss, his college search… it doesn’t matter. He hates if I say journey. I think it doesn’t resonate with him. He still thinks that where he is going, the end result, is the most important thing. As a mom of twins, I can say that I have learned I seldom end up where I thought I would. As a professional voice actor, I can say that this career path is for sure a journey and the opportunities that have unfolded since I started my career never cease to amaze me. The combination of passion and hard work seem to result in a delightful array of unexpected options, many of which I never anticipated.
A New Career
When I was in my mid 30s I decided to start my voice over business. I had to work with coaches all over the world to build my credentials. I needed tech training to learn to edit my audio. I had to build my studio. When I say I started then, I came to the industry with no experience. I never did school plays. I never did on-camera work. I took a leap of faith and invested in myself. I plunged in whole heartedly and the only option was to succeed. For six months before my business launched, I spent all day, every day, practicing and preparing. That is how my journey began. You might think that this was an easy choice? While my husband was extremely supportive, many in my family seemed to question my choices. Whether they outwardly remarked about my shift from a career in education to voice over or my snide remarks about how I could so easily “not use my degrees,” I understood the message. They questioned my choice to segue into voice over. Fortunately, the voice in my head propelling me towards VO was substantially louder than the many voices of doubt that surrounded me.
When I began my business, I understood that it was just that: a business. As a working creative, I wear many hats: mom, voice actor, voice over coach, demo producer, but always business owner. Over the years I’ve had to think a lot about my practices and policies. I’ve had to think about how the business choices I make inform the relationships I’m building. As I had a liberal arts education that focuses on Political Science and History, I really knew very little about business when I launched. Even though I am surrounded by a family of lawyers, I did not want to constantly rely on others for guidance. I have taken multiple classes to bolster my business and marketing knowledge. This has been very fulfilling. I enjoy all on-going professional development, but my learning in this area has been very valuable. Whether from a class, a conference, or a webinar, I am proud of the confidence I have in my choices. I also try to read continually about business released topics. This part of my journey has been a true joy.
Opportunity as Working Mom
I will say, that as a working mom, I am extremely thankful to be in voice over. Even as I write this blog, my dogs are sitting on either side of me. Often, I am able to take breaks from recording to have snacks with my kids or go for walks. Some days I schedule my coaching so that I can go to pick them up from school, other days my husband does it. As a working mom, voice over seems like the perfect fit.
New Ventures Within VO
There have been many surprises for me in voiceover. First, I work in many genres I never new existed when I started. This includes telephony, eLearning, and radio imaging. I never heard of any of those and learned about all of them from online webinars. I have been able to really build those areas of practice over the years.
Another big surprise for me has been voice over coaching and demo production. If you had asked me even three years ago if I’d be doing this, I would never have guess. But the truth is, the voice over coaching seems like the perfect fit for me as a former teacher. And most of those students need demos, so teaming up with All Systems Go AV to provide my students with what they need just makes sense.
Reflections on the Journey
So why they need to share these thoughts and feelings about my journey? Since I started coaching, quite a few students have asked for reassurance that they are not getting into VO too late. Hearing my story, how old I was, and that it was a second career for me too, has been comforting to them. Do I know where this journey will take me? No. But I sure am thankful for the opportunity to be on it.