Becoming A Better Voice Actor #1: Build Systems

This is the first in a short series of posts where I’m putting down what I would travel back through time to tell myself, in order to become a voice actor/voice over artist/person who talks in front of a microphone and gets paid for the privilege QUICKER.

Everything written here comes with a big caveat: it’s what worked for me, and it’s my answer so far. It may not work for you, and I may have an epiphany next Thursday that throws everything here out the window. If said epiphany comes, I promise to let you know.

This first post is about what I think is the first, most critical step to lay infrastructure down for moving forward as quickly as you can:

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The Jenga of Managing Energy

Last week was AWESOME. It was an absolute prince of weeks where a number of great opportunities presented themselves unsolicited, I had some great training sessions with vocal coaches, took part in a week-long marathon of classes at the Actor’s Lab, and got to catch up with some of my favourite people. I’ve been steadily building my regular practice brick by brick, adding components as they’re suggested by mentors. I’d included (I thought) care and maintenance to make sure that I can keep the engine running, as well.

But on the Saturday at the end of that week, I got knocked down with food poisoning. It’s most likely a coincidence, as it’s difficult to give yourself food poisoning, but the timing bears thinking about. Many years ago, when I was a rather different person, I might have taken a few mental health days at the end of a stretch like that to hide away and recover; recharge the batteries. But that’s most definitely not the person I am now. Losing three days to feeling horrible and doing nothing sucked, to be frank, and I wanted– no, needed to spin back up all of the plates I had in motion and get into the thick of things.

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Thoughts On Being A Good Freelancer

Freelancer video game box art

Recently for a project with a regular, well-loved client I needed to subcontract some recording out for a voice type I couldn’t provide myself. The recording was done interstate by a contact I’d provided voice over for in the past, leaving me a step removed from the whole process.

While the client was satisfied with the end result, getting there was long and frustrating. So I wanted to turn the situation on its head, and look at some rules to keep in mind when dealing with clients as a freelancer. I’m by no means perfect with these myself, so this is as much for me as it is for you.

If You Have To Email Me, I’m Not Doing My Job

This is a game I play with client communication normally. While you don’t want to overwhelm the client with the minutiae of a job’s progress, if a client needs to reach out to me to find out what’s happening, I’m not doing my job. If a client has to email me twice to get an answer, I’m really dropping the ball.
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