Unlike a lot of freelance entrepreneurs living that #LaptopLifestyle, as voice-over artists, we need more than just a hot cup of coffee and a laptop to create a nomadic work life. However, it’s not a total impossibility, just because we have a few more pieces to the puzzle.
One of my goals when starting this journey of becoming my own boss about five years ago, was to be able to travel and work and visit new places. For a few years, I scheduled around voice-over projects, putting myself “out of office” when traveling and, sadly, missing out on interesting projects. A little over a year ago I was traveling and had to turn down several radio commercials that came my way because I didn’t have equipment with me.
That’s when I finally realized – I could travel more AND make more money if I invested just a bit in getting the right equipment for the road. So, I finally took the plunge. I bought a portable vocal booth that folds up into a nice flat square and is within carry-on requirements for airplane travel. I also got a hard case that locks for my equipment. Now I can take my microphone, telescoping mic stand, pop filter and phone holder with me wherever I go. I never miss a contract or disappoint a client.
Let me be clear – I still do take actual vacations where I unplug from work, disconnect from the internet and spend time with family and in nature. I don’t condone a 24/7 work ethic – we know that’s not healthy in the long run. BUT, I get to travel more while working because of the flexibility of my studio, work, and accessibility that the wonderful world of the internet provides.
My on-the-go studio came from VocalBooth2Go.com. Their booths are compatible with any equipment you may have already. I know there are other ones that are good (this isn’t a paid sponsorship), but that’s what’s worked best for me.
However, recording on the go can be tricky so here are a few pointers if you decide to try it out:
Works Best with SHORT Projects
If you’re in the middle of a long narration and switch recording spaces, it will sound different. I do not recommend this. In fact, full disclosure, I’ve had to re-record a large portion of TWO audiobooks due to inconsistencies in recording spaces. I definitely don’t wish this upon you. Nomadic recording is best for shorter projects, in my experience, depending on how long you’ll be in one place.
So, before you start your nomadic studio life:
- Wrap up any long projects you have in progress
- Check your travel dates with your producer to make sure you’ll be home before pickups are due
- Make sure your trip is so long and marvelous, you’ll be able to record your upcoming projects in your new space in their entirety
Pick Your Space (and Time) with Care
Just like a recording space at home, be choosy about where you set up your on-the-go studio. A closet is best, preferably one that doesn’t share a wall with the outside or a bathroom (plumbing can be loud). A garage or shed will work if the weather’s nice and you can guarantee a quiet atmosphere. In a pinch, the corner of a small room will definitely suffice – just make sure it’s carpeted so sound doesn’t bounce around too much.
Also, take into account other activity in the space – are there kids or others on this adventure with you? If so, when can you guarantee quiet work hours? Perhaps your studio needs to only exist after bedtime, during naptime or arrange for other responsible adults to take the kids on outings a few afternoons a week so you can catch up on your client work.
Enjoy WHERE You Are
Don’t forget that the whole point of traveling is to explore and enjoy new places. Taking your studio on the go means you have the freedom to work AND travel – so don’t lock yourself away in a closet and forget to explore town, put your toes in the surf or climb the mountains. Schedule time to work AND time to play so it’s worth the price of the plane ticket!😊
Caroline Turner Cole is a storyteller from Dallas, TX. Find out more at www.carolinecolestories.com or follow her on social media @carolinecolestories on Instagram and @ccolestories on Twitter.