Never Say Never
I never wanted to be a public speaker. I also never wanted the massive responsibility and terrifying tax implications of being my own boss. Now I’m a full-time voiceover artist.
Never wanted to be a writer. Yet here I am, writing a series of epic fantasy novels. Oh, and doing a bit of blogging.
Was never the motherly type who wanted kids--ok, let’s not get too crazy. That's still not happening.
Things can change, sometimes in an instant. Sometimes it takes a little longer to realize happiness is in another castle.
What was it that nudged me from the somewhat predictable, sometimes entertaining life of a courtroom clerk with a stable paycheck, retirement, and health benefits?
Answer: Watching someone play video games on YouTube. Hold on, don’t change the channel yet!
The way I decompressed from clerking a high volume criminal courtroom was by watching someone else play video games. It sounds a little less stressful than actually playing them, doesn’t it? Some of you feel my pain.
Enter a YouTuber named Gopher. He was in the middle of a very entertaining playthrough of Skyrim at the time. In one of his videos, he instructed us, his loyal minions, to go assist a team of modders. This merry band of modders were re-making a game called Morrowind in a newer game engine.
He wanted to play Skywind, and we wanted to watch him play it. So, what could a casual gamer who hates math do to help a handful of people neck deep in codes, scripts, and other complicated, mathy looking things?
I noticed that there was roughly a gaggle of guys vying to re-voice all the male characters. But there was only one, count ‘em, one female character filled at the time. I'm pretty sure it was an orc. Now, I had done some theater back in my younger days. Mind you, my first on-stage role was not voluntary. I didn't pass out from stage fright, so I stuck with it through my college years. Fast forward to 2013, with strict orders from Gopher to help these creative whippersnappers finish this massive undertaking. I held my breath, stuck my neck out there and said, “hey guys! I don’t know what I’m doing, but I did some theater in college. How can I help?” They said, “great! Go buy a Samson Go Mic, take your laptop to your car, and record all the female characters.”
(Not an actual picture of me recording in my car. Courtesy of Pixabay.)
Alrighty then. So there I was, with a tiny $20 mic plugged into my laptop in the back of a Subaru Outback screaming, "this is the end of you, s'wit!" I'm sure the neighbors wondered where the rabid Klingon in my garage suddenly came from, but I was having a blast!
The more fun I had, the more I wanted to learn about it, and how to do it better. As I figured out what I was doing, I noticed that people actually did this thing called voiceover for a LIVING. And a very comfortable living, at that.
We’ve come a long way since those days in my garage in 2013. I’ve learned a ton and have had a lot of fun working with fantastic coaches and colleagues. My skills and gear have progressed wonderfully over the years. I graduated from my car to my closet to a fully treated vocal booth. That itty bitty Go Mic upgraded to a Rode NT USB, to a CAD e100s, to a Neumann TLM 103. I was able to resign from the court and make the jump to full-time voiceovers as of January 29, 2021. The Skywind team has more than one female voice talent working with them now, and they may even be able to finish before Elder Scrolls VI releases.
That’s a big but.
It wasn’t just voice acting and gear that I was learning about over the years. I was a graphic designer for a family-owned sign shop before I worked for the government. And if you recall me saying a few minutes ago, I never wanted to be my own boss before. I had a lot of hurdles to crawl over and under and around to change my mindset about running my own business, marketing, and most importantly, money.
Stay tuned for the next episode, where I’ll chat a little bit about making a very important “millionaire mindset” shift.
Please feel free to comment and ask questions, and I'll be happy to answer them in upcoming episodes!
If you'd like to book me for your next voiceover project, head on over to voicesbystorm.com or contact me directly at: email@example.com
Note/disclaimer: When recording in your car, do not leave your car running. Especially if you're parked in your garage. I feel like this goes without saying, but, you know, Tide Pods and all. ;)