Hey there! So this is just an update on my little VO biz. I haven't wrote in a while, so thought it would be a good time to let folks know what is going on! In short, I have been learning (reading books, listening to and practicing lessons from luminaries such as Pat Fraley), and of course, creating audiobooks! I also have dabbled in e-learning and even cut a few voiceover tracks for a progressive Dutch Rock band called the Aurora Project. I am, in short, constantly busy, and have a backlog of projects. I just started on my new audiobook project, On the Matter of the Red Hand.
Through this all, I've enjoyed each and every project I have been fortunate to work on. I have even learned to embrace the audition process, and even though I haven't been fortunate to pick up any commercial projects (I seem to be continually growing towards more narration and possibly animation projects in the future, which is what I love anyways), I have enjoyed attempting the process to the best of my ability.
My next goals are to refine more. I'll soon be adding more animation/video game demos (all those auditions really help in developing the tools necessary to pursue that further), and also expanding my social media presence more. I have learned one of these well (Twitter), but I have expanded my base to close to a couple thousand followers, so I may dust of the YouTube account and start adding content there too.
The thing is, and I'm sure people know this, it's a never ending, always learning process. You learn one thing well, and find five more things you can shore up and develop. What skills are up to snuff? What can get better (well, you can always get better, right)? How about networking? What is the plan? And what resources do you have to implement it?
For me, being at this only part time, presents challenges. On the one hand, I have a day job, so I'm not starving to death. On the other hand, I lack time, except in late evenings and weekends. I have to keep working on being very smart with my time. And I also have to learn the business more, and brush up on business skills (which was not historically my strong suit) Like many artists, I am more suited to being a creator than a small business owner. Alas, I need a patron! Where are the medieval kings of old?
It's one of the reasons I have been reading books on social media and time management and business as much (and sometimes more) than voiceover books. Creating for me (be it in voiceover or illustration or music) is relatively easy by comparison. But managing myself as a business with specific goals, marketing, accounting? A challenge. But I need to, and in some weird way, it's kind of fun.
Learning such skills may not be what we aspire to initially, but there is a thrill to learning things that we have a trepidation to, and find we can do them after all. It's very liberating!. Not that someday I wouldn't love to delegate some of these tasks to allow me to make more creative content! And yet by learning business skills, we are shown an excellent way of learning discipline. Also, if you learn how to do these things for yourself, even when you delegate you'll learn at least 2 valuable skills.. First, you'll learn empathy for those that help you, and secondly, you'll be much better equipped to know if the people you hire are truly helping and are good, honest and ethical in their dealings with you.
So these are my present challenges. At first it was setting up, then navigating, then finding work, any work. Then it becomes finding finding work that will grow and sustain a lifestyle until it becomes less a hobby that is treated like a business and becomes a business. And growing a network of fellow professionals that I can prove myself to and grow relationships with. And of course. seeking more guidance and honing my skills on a shoestring budget and squeezing formal training between projects. That is where I am now. I understand how things work, to an extent. But the next few years will be very telling. If I do it right, it will be incredibly gratifying. If not, well, it's just a little roadblock. I'll get there.
What about you? How far along are you? How is it going?