2019 – I’m coming to get ya!
Whether your goals are large or small, it’s good to have them. To keep you on track. To keep you steaming ahead. To neatly tick them off a list using a red sparkly pen if that makes you content. Or as a reminder of what’s important to you and what makes you feel like you’re progressing in your career and personal life. So here, in no particular order are my voiceover goals for 2019.
In and out of the booth. It’s so easy to get into a routine of doing the same old thing and sticking to it because it’s where we feel comfortable and safe. Like that chair you always choose in your favourite café. Or the space in the back-left corner of the yoga class you rush to put your mat down. Or your same voice style or genre just because that’s what you’re best at. I’m guilty of it too.
So one goal I aspire to this year is getting creative in and out of the booth. Going for those auditions that I would usually avoid as they take me out of my comfort zone. Playing with different genre in warm-ups, practise sessions, personal demos. Adopting creative ideas for marketing and “putting myself out there”. And perhaps, if I’m feeling daring, changing spot in my favourite café (although this will prove tricky as it really is the most comfortable chair….)
I think our natural human tendency is to take criticism about our work “personally”. Whether you clean the streets or run a multi-million pound company for a living, if you take pride in what you do then criticism can often be difficult to swallow. In the performance world – dancers, actors, comedians, voice actors to name but a few – have a harder job to be subjective as it’s literally “you” being criticised and not something you’ve produced or created. However, this means it’s even more important to learn to be objective about your performance, your work, if you hope to survive and have a healthy career.
If feedback from a client isn’t all roses don’t become defensive and write a hasty, emotional response. Put yourself in the client’s shoes. Review what she/he had requested and listen back over your work. Did it reach the standard it should have? Was it in the style, tone, pace the client had asked for? Was it the very best you could have done? Even if you can say yes to all these points, take the feedback onboard (even if it wasn’t delivered in the most constructive way) and think that what you produced isn’t what the client is looking for rather than “I’m rubbish” or even worse “my way is the only way”.
Generally I take feedback well but certainly can still improve.
This goes hand in hand with being objective. We all have bad days, so perhaps that abrupt, slightly aggressive client has too? And how should we handle it? By being aggressive in return? No.
By showing kindness. More than you would to the other client who’s always kind to you. It’ll make you feel better and it may, just may, make the client feel better too.
If it doesn’t, and they’re still abrupt and aggressive then you can weigh up the pros and cons about sticking with them or walking away but always staying calm and kind (she types while gritting her teeth and swearing at the hamster….)
Aggghhh the bane of my life! And I’m doing it again. Hiding it in the middle of this post to try and pretend it’s not there.
I. Am. Not. Consistent. I actually think it’s one of my biggest flaws. One day I’m super efficient finishing all my voiceover jobs before midday, finding time for marketing, a little exercise and off we go and the next I haven’t achieved anything and it’s already 5pm………Another example is with planning and lists. I may go for 2 months planning very well then for no apparent reason it all goes to pot and I don’t know where I am.
I need to find a happy place between being meticulously efficient (as I don’t think it’s sustainable) and sluggishly inefficient and be consistent there.
Apply the brakes
Following a severe fall at the end of 2018 where I found myself with a fractured wrist and my arm in plaster for 6 weeks, I was forced to apply the brakes. I had to do things more slowly to begin with as had very limited use of my left hand and many day-to-day things I couldn’t do at all. I couldn’t drive when usually depend on my car on a daily basis. Thankfully, I could continue working, recording and editing voiceovers and responding to clients and enquiries as my right is my dominant hand.
At first I thought it would be a disaster but it actually made me react and respond to situations more calmly with less haste and more thought. Less robotic and more humane.
I obviously want to avoid serious injury as a method for applying the brakes in the future but I would like to think that I can to avoid rushing ahead without time for thought or reflection.
Self employed people should never underestimate networking for generating new contacts and potential clients and for voiceover artists networking also provides a vital opportunity. Getting out of the booth! Avoiding cabin fever! Talking to other human beings instead of a microphone!
So in 2019, I aim to pencil in more networking events than I’m able to attend to make sure I do attend regularly. Armed of course with my fabulous business cards to remind myself that the aim is to promote my services and not to cry on the shoulder of a stranger as I’m so happy to have some human company……
Nowadays there are countless opportunities to continue learning and I don’t intend to stop. In 2018, I completed 4 voiceover courses including the Expert edition of a highly acclaimed course run by Guy Michaels (a British voiceover legend).
In 2019 I intend to continue with regular vocal training but also want to take some time to improve my knowledge of digital marketing and sound engineering. Did you know that being a voiceover artist means needing to have skill in sound, finance, marketing, admin, branding as well as voice?
I made some serious voiceover investments in 2018.
I purchased a DemVox sound isolation booth; upgraded my mic to a Shure SM7b; upgraded my PC to a MacBook Air; upgraded my recording software to Adobe Audition and purchased a Rode PSA1 mic stand , not to mention the hours of time invested in further learning, auditions and recording personal demos.
But I also invested in me. In the things that keep me running and performing as well as I can. I aim to continue with both in 2019.
If you’d like to learn more about me, my services, rates and experience, don’t hesitate to contact me for further information.