The “Day Job Juggle” as a Voice Talent
Image brought to you by Pixabay and my favorite color.
Ok ok, I’ve been a voice actor since 2013, and blessedly “full-time” for one year, 8 months and 10 days as of the minute (or so) that I’m writing this, but who’s counting.
How often have we grudgingly trundled our way to work, lamenting the lack of time to devote to our voice over craft? If we only had that precious time during the day that we’re forced to give to someone else, to market and audition for our own businesses.
I remember the juggle struggle well. I’ve come home exhausted, hoovered dinner, and then gone right back to work again until the wee hours. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Speaking of coming home exhausted, you do know that the old 8-5 line is fake news, right? Hell, even 9-5 is a lie. As of the time of this writing, we cannot yet teleport ourselves to and from work Starship Enterprise style. Dammit, Jim.
In the real world (where, for the lack of a transporter, gas prices in my town are currently the breadth of the last hair off of a bald man’s head under $7.00), working that other job doesn't just take up 8 or 9 hours out of the day. By the time you get up, commute, pretend to be productive until lunch, snarf down an artery-clogging lunch and inject another dose of caffeine into the veins in order to make up for not being productive in the morning, only to be even more tired and unproductive until quitting time, then finally get to commute back home, we're talking somewhere closer to 11-12 hours. 5 days out of 7. And you may or may not get paid holidays or sick leave.
Yes, on one hand, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to devote to OUR businesses, families, AND maintain a healthy work-life balance on top of all of that. Getting more than 4 hours of sleep should also be squeezed into the margins of that list, somewhere.
On the other hand, it can bring our priorities front and center real quick. It can tell us whether we’re truly serious about working in this field, if we’re willing and able to put in the extra extra work to get the training and coaching, to always be learning, to improve our performance and gear, and more.
Say “I Have a Day Job” Without Saying “I Have a Day Job”
“........Um. AM or PM?”
“Saturday would be great!”
Availability issues are fun. Not really.
There’s nothing we’d love more than to be available during “normal” business hours, but there’s just no getting around it sometimes. It’s not something I ever explained to my clients, because at the end of the day, they want their file, not my life story. I never apologized for it, because that would imply that there was something wrong with having a busy schedule. I’ve had to schedule directed sessions at odd hours or on weekends. There were times when I raced home during the lunch hour to record a pick-up, and raced back to the day job with no time left to eat, just to make sure a client had what they needed when they needed it.
I’m thankful those days are behind me, but my A1C level never forgives or forgets.
Be Nice, We’re All Doing Our Best
I bristle when I see an attitude equating part-time with being “just a hobbyist,” as if elevating one’s full-time self over part-time colleagues just for having those few extra hours in the day. I have seen it, thankfully not often in our mostly-helpful and generous voiceover community. I’m not one to tell anyone how to live their lives or run their business, but in my opinion, there’s never a need to imply part-time somehow equates to lesser quality or ability, or less of a desire to provide top notch customer service in any field.
Hard Help is Good to Find
Whether we’re full-time or not yet, we’ll bend over backward to help crush those tight deadlines. Don’t let ‘em know you’re sweating. There’s no need to give a play-by-play of your day when asked for an ETA, all you gotta say is yea or nay.
Dang, I’d drop the mic after dropping those sick rhymes, but…
No I wouldn’t. Those things are expensive, please stop saying “mic drop”. It makes my eye do that twitchy thing.
Look at me, using those H title thingies and all that fancy SEO stuff.
Anyhoo, I don’t really have final thoughts about anything. That would imply that my brain is no longer thinking thoughts at all, which would in turn indicate that I was actually deceased.
I will say that in the time I’ve been a full-time voice actor and loving every minute of it, I have actually learned that having that precious, elusive extra time isn’t the end-all-be-all we believed it would be back when we didn’t have it.
As Spock once said, (or will say?) “having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting.”
I mean, I'm totally not going to go knocking on the door of my old job or anything, but I’m saving that little teaser for another episode. I’ve been trying a few things out, and may have finally found a pleasant and productive compromise between my inner night owl and, well… the entire rest of the planet.
If you'd like to book me for your next voiceover project, head on over tovoicesbystorm.com or contact me directly at: email@example.com