Voice acting is a great gig. I love it. But I never committed fully to it because I always had a full time job and a family. It was good extra money when I got it, but because I was always busy, I didn’t fully commit. It was easy to put my voiceover career on the back burner because I had another job.
The recession changed things. Now I can either commit or live in my car. I think I’ll commit.
But it didn’t have to be one or the other back then. All it would have taken was a half hour of marketing every day, and my voice career wouldn’t have had so many stops and starts.
I used to go to events, meet people in the business and think, Yeah, I’ll get back to them, then wait weeks before I did, if I did. That’s not good business. I went to an audiobook event last night where I met tons of great people who I will contact today.
If you just contact five people every day about doing voice work for them, at the end of the week, you’ll have made 25 contacts. Even one person every day is better than no one. It takes a few minutes to email someone and it does add up! And you can do that on your lunch hour if you have another job.
Producers do remember people who want to work. And they do call them. Sometimes it takes a while, but they do! And connect with fellow VO actors too. You never know when they might be able to refer you for something they heard about that’s not right for them!
It takes hustle, but you can have a full time job (if your employer is flexible) and a voiceover career. It’s scary to just quit your job and say, “OK, I’m doing VO full-time now.” That may not be feasible for you, But you can do it and keep your day job. Lots of people have started that way. Just be sure to take at least a half hour every day promoting yourself. (It’s not called commitment for nothing.)
If you were selling eggs, you wouldn’t say, “Hey, I’m selling eggs,” then walk away. You’d keep contacting people. It’s the same with Voiceover. Treat it like a business you’re committed to and you’ll reap the benefits. Treat it like a sideline and it’ll remain a sideline.
Every successful voice actor I’ve talked to has said the same thing; “I decided to devote myself to this and I’m getting work.” They didn’t say, “I squeeze it in when I can,” they committed.
This is one of those times when it’s actually good to put all your eggs in one basket. But no one says you can only have one basket.