A while back I got a call from a potential new client. It was a very pleasant call, asking about my rates and availability. And then, as is often the case in IVR/MOH work they asked how long I’d been doing this work, and basically whether I planned on being around to complete any updates they may requires months, or years down the line. I told them that this is what I do.
I’m a full time voice talent. I don’t have a “day-job.” This IS my job.
There was silence on the other end of the line.
Then a sigh.
Then “Wow…that must be nice.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my job. I really can’t see myself doing anything else. BUT, when I get this reaction, I really think people think that we Voice Talent have it so “easy.”
Sure, all we do is get paid to talk all day, right?
Sure, we get paid to talk.
But we don’t get paid to market our services.
We don’t get paid to attend networking events.
We don’t get paid to spend hours on the Internet and on the phone prospecting for new clients.
It’s all part of the job – which I actually enjoy – but non-VOs just don’t take this into account.
We also all have our own personal crosses to bear.
Whether it be the “normal” responsibilities of raising children.
The added issues of a child needing extra medical care, or – as is my case – an aging and disabled parent that is approaching the end of life.
Some talent even have their own personal medical issues that they deal with and overcome everyday.
We don’t get paid when we can’t work because our charges get sick. We certainly don’t get paid when WE get sick and sound like we have a frog that has taken up residence in the folds of our vocal chords!
Voice talent are just like everyone else running their own business. We just happen to be “creative” and so are somehow put in another sphere.
There are MANY voice talents that I look up to. (Bob Souer, Moe Egan, DB Cooper, Harlan Hogan, Philip Banks, Frank Frederick, Peter O’Connell to name but a few!)
Many have become great friends, and are very successful.
When I look at them, I count myself lucky to be in such great company.
But I also know that they are just like me. They are thrilled to be doing what they love to do all day. They have good days and bad days. Productive days, and some less so.
I have stopped comparing myself to others because their lives are different than mine.
Their path to VO was different than mine, and that’s just fine!
There is no “magic” to success in VO. Just like there is no magic to success in any other field of endeavor.
Learn. Practice. Train. Make friends. Get out there. Train some more. Be nice. Do a good job. Rinse and Repeat.
Yep. This really is a great job.
If you want to succeed, step out of the shade and you’ll see that your side may be just as green. It may just need some watering.
The sun feel good, doesn’t it?