When you’re your own boss, you make the rules. When, where, and how hard you work are entirely up to you. It’s honestly wonderful! I run my life entirely on my own schedule. But some days, my schedule looks more like:
10:00 – Wake up
10:15 – Scroll twitter
11:00 – Make breakfast
11:30 – Scroll instagram
1:00 – Stare at to-do list
3:00 – Drag myself into the studio to finally start recording
4:30 – Day is done. Time to relax!
I wish I was being hyperbolic about that, but sometimes it happens. While I do believe that it’s every voice-over actor’s responsibility to take care of themselves and take time off to avoid burnout, there does come a time where we need to get in the booth and get to work.
Accountability is everything in this career. That means both holding yourself accountable for auditioning and consistently putting yourself out there, delivering work to clients before deadlines, and delivering quality work every time. All of this together is what makes for a well respected, notable, and talented actor.
Let’s talk about consistent auditioning. It’s easy to come up with one million excuses to not do the work. To pass up on auditions, call it quits early, or just stop auditioning all together. But auditioning is a fundamental part of our job and one that we need to hold ourselves to!
I am a to-do list person – if I write it down on my planner, it gives me immense satisfaction to cross off the task. I make myself a weekly goal of auditions to record. I work full time at this, so for me, that looks like 45 auditions weekly. Pick a number that you know you can handle without sacrificing the quality of your work and stick to it. Write it down somewhere – a sticky note in the bathroom mirror maybe – and reward yourself when you hit that goal! (A Ben and Jerry’s pint of cookie dough, perhaps?)
I try to avoid a daily goal as sometimes my days are unpredictable. Give yourself a goal that allows you some daily wiggle room! Weekly or even monthly audition quotas are best. That way, you can still take a day or two off when you need it 🙂
Ok, so we’ve set our auditioning goal and are promising to stick to it. And now that we’re putting ourselves out there, we’re seeing the fruits of our labor come in the form of bookings! The next step in voice-over accountability is following through with the gigs you book in a timely and professional manner. You are a business and should treat yourself as one, which means maintaining professionalism when working with clients. Being polite, respectful, and communicative is how you’ll keep them coming back!
Above all, deliver your work prior to deadlines. Missing recording deadlines could cost you an otherwise profitable new relationship with a client, so it is critical to make sure you can deliver!
Finally, the work you are delivering both in your auditions and in projects you’ve booked should be top sound and performance quality. Like I mentioned, if you can’t do more than three auditions a day before your voice starts to break and you’re too tired to give the script the energy it needs, that’s ok! Let three auditions per day be your goal then. Don’t push yourself to put out more than that if it’s not your best work. You probably won’t book those gigs anyways. Know your limits and hold yourself accountable, even when that means it’s time to leave the booth for the day. The same thing applies for the gigs you book: don’t rush through the script – give it a thoughtful, appropriate, and top-notch read.
Accountability is easy once you set your mind to it. Take breaks and take care of yourself, and then get in that booth and give it your all! I believe in you!
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