Now that you know that PLAY is the first essential in creating longevity for your voice over career, what’s the next ingredient that has to be a part of the mix? Simple. You have to have the TIME in your life to make this work. You can’t squeeze it in between lunch breaks. You can’t only be available after 4PM, nor can you be available only on Tuesdays and Fridays. You have to be ready to roll pretty much whenever your agent or the client with whom you are working wants you. You have to be able to say “Yes,” 99% of the time when you are asked to audition, and 100% of the time when you are booked for a job. If you think you are just going to fit this career neatly around your regular 9-5, think again.
You are going to need to have a lifestyle that accommodates last minute auditions and date changes for gigs. This means that you can control your work hours and your lunch hours; that your schedule is malleable and workable enough that you never have to say no to an audition. If you are able to do this, two things will happen: you obviously will go on more auditions than if you had to turn down any because of work conflicts; and because you go on every audition that comes your way, you will get more work. Yes, you will book more often. This happens for a number of reasons.
First, you become more of a known quantity. “Oh, yes, that’s Joe’s voice. We know him. He’s easy to work with.” Second, the more auditions you go on, the easier and more enjoyable the experience becomes. You drop any self-consciousness you may have had and you begin to relish your audition time as an oasis in which all you are asked to do is play: play with your voice, your character, the script and what it’s asking of you, possible intonation and emphasis, the inherent humor (or lack of) in the copy. Personally, I love going on auditions. It’s a chance for me to share my creativity with others, even possibly make new “warm” connections that will help me down the line. The more auditions you go on the less “important” each one will be. You don’t want to go into an audition with that voice in the back of your head saying, “I need this job. I have to book this audition.” Because 99 times out of 100, with that frame of mind, you won’t. You’ll be too worried, too demanding of yourself and the audition itself to relax into that place of play that makes it possible for you to really book that job.
So, having the time to say yes in your life to all the auditions that come your way increases exponentially your chances of booking more work. More work means more exposure. More exposure means more of a rep in the industry. Your services become a trusted and wanted commodity.
If you are serious about making a career (or even half a career) from voice over work, then you better organize your life in such a way that time is not a problem. Find a job where you can make your own hours, become an entrepreneur, a sole proprietor, an independent contractor. Work your way up the corporate ladder so that you can give yourself “audition breaks” whenever the need may arise. Become friendly with your boss, so he/she knows that this a part of your life but that it won’t impinge on the excellent work you are doing for them everyday (and while we’re at it, how about that raise). Find a job that has flex hours or flex days.
When your agent calls you for an audition it is very often on 24 hours notice; if you’re lucky maybe 48 hours. Every once in a while, there will even be a same day audition. Are you going to be able to rearrange your schedule to make that audition?
My point is that you should begin thinking now, if you do not have a work life that allows you to get to an audition at a moments notice, about how you are going to reorganize your life to include this essential aspect of your voice over career. Remember: Don’t ever let voice over be a hindrance – find a solution that allows your work and your voice over career to coexist.
- Missed Part 1 this blog series? Follow the link and give it a read to get all of the great advice!
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