So…everybody keeps telling you what a great job you have, how lucky you are to be doing what you do and OMG how can I get into something that cool??? But… you have been auditioning and auditioning and auditioning with no results. You’ve sent out what feels like 25 million emails with your demos attached and not ONE person has called you back!? You went to the most recent Chamber of Commerce after-hours networking event and it was chalk-full of great people…but they were all insurance agents and aren’t going to turn into major clients for you. Everybody else (on Facebook and Twitter) seems to be booking left and right! The fact is, you are questioning if you should even be doing this… Sound familiar? Then you, my friend, might have voice-over burnout. I write from experience. In fact, I was there just last year. I felt like I was spinning my wheels with no real results. Here are the 3 ways I survived voice-over burnout and got back to loving voice-over again:
Figure out your “why”. Why did you begin your voice-over journey in the first place? For fame? Fortune? Do you want to make your family proud of you? Do you like the way your voice sounds? Do you truly like to act? Is there no better feeling to you than when you can interpret the script exactly as the client intended and then make the content understandable to the target audience in ways that move them to act? There is no right or wrong answer to this question, other than to not have an answer. Figure out your guiding purpose so that when times get tough that purpose can help remind you “why” you are doing what you do.
Take a little break to re-evaluate. Ok. You’ve sent out tons of auditions and emails with little to no results… maybe, just maybe, you need to adjust your approach? Take a good listen to what you are actually sending out. Ask for help. Get a coach or another set of skilled, in the business, ears to evaluate your auditions. You might have developed some crazy habits you weren’t even aware of that are hindering your success…I had! Have a businessperson you trust look at those emails you are sending out to potential clients. What would they do if they received the email; open it? Or delete it? Use your resources to get some help. If something isn’t working, change it!
Voice something just for fun. At the biggest moment of my voice-over burnout I realized that I had not voiced anything that wasn’t either an audition or a client project in several years; either something that I was getting paid to do or something that I was hoping to get paid to do. Although I really love working with my clients and the money that is associated with my voice-over career, I missed the art of it. So, one day, during a Thunderstorm, when I was feeling particularly down, I picked one of my favorite poems, recorded it, and put it on my SoundCloud and other social mediums for others to hear. Just me. Just for the fun of it…and it renewed my love for my craft. You can listen to it by clicking here.
These are the ways I survived my most recent voice-over burnout. When it happens to you during your voice-over journey (and it will), I hope these ideas will be useful to you. If you haven’t already, please join me in discussing topics like this in our VO Pro Membership. Until then, I wish you the best of luck!
About the Author
Jillian Nielsen is an expressive voice talent with over 14 years of experience in radio and television commercial and promotional voice-overs.