By Lin Parkin
February 14, 2013
I have been using my voice to pay the bills since I got my first on-air radio gig in 1990. In the last 22 years I have done it all, across Canada. From the midnight shift to mornings, top 40 to country, and just about everything in between. There was even a brief stint in "classic country"... Eke!
As any radio person will tell you, part of the job is voice production. Every day after your on-air shift, you trundle down the hall to the production booth and are handed a stack of scripts. At some point during a radio career, it occurs to you that, outside of the radio walls, there are people who are making money at this.
Wouldn't it be neat to be one of them!
Sometimes we all just need a little kick to take that first step. My kick came in the form of "termination." They don't call it "fired" or "laid off" anymore. Now they say "you are terminated." I have got to tell you, it doesn't make it any less painful. It's a pretty tough shot to the ego.
After 22 years in radio and 12 years hosting my own morning show, I was about to be suddenly unemployed. Now doing freelance voice work started to seem like less of a neat idea, and more of a way to pay the mortgage.
I invested in a good quality microphone, made some investments in computer hardware, software, and with the help of some foam rubber doubling as sound proofing, turned the 15 square foot closet in the basement into a pretty great recording studio.Then I paid for my first month subscription to Voices.com. Now...let the cash start rolling in!
Initially the plan was to "test the waters," and after two weeks, the water seemed to be pretty cold. In the first week I had probably completed about 50 custom auditions. Nothing. By the second week, that number was up to almost 100. Still nothing. After week three I was beginning to think that the investments I had made and the continuing investment of my time might have been in vain.
Then I received an e-mail from Voices.com asking how my subscription was going and if I was prepared to renew my membership, or better yet, upgrade to a Premium subscription. The e-mail I sent back was...blunt, to say the least, but cut me some slack, I was starting to get a little depressed.
A short time later I received an e-mail from Kelly at Voices with some tips on increasing my visibility within the website, the importance of a complete profile and some other simple things I can do to be more successful. A few day after that I received a phone call from the staff at Voices.com. Actually, it was at 12 noon of Christmas eve. I remember thinking, "this person cares enough to make just one more phone call before leaving the office to spend time with her family." I was impressed!
I decided to use the tips I had received and give Voices.com "one more month".
Within a week, I had booked my first job! The next week, I booked three more.
It occurred to me that I didn't need to try and do this alone. There are people on the other side of this website who WANT me to succeed and are willing to lend me a hand however they can.
So when the opportunity came up to participate in a Voices.com webinar with the top 'favourited' talent J. Michael Collins, I signed up immediately. He spoke about the importance of being quick with the audition process, why it is important to have as many demos as possible in as many different categories as possible. He shared ideas on marketing yourself, managing client's expectations and professionalism. But the thing he said that inspired me most was, that it took him a MONTH before he booked his first job.
Just like me!
Book More Work Through Voices.com | YouTube
I actually missed some of the webinar because I booked a job during the chat that required my immediate attention. The moral of the story is: You will probably not find immediate success, but don't give up.
If you can invest the time and energy, it will find you!
Eastwood Audio Productions
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Becoming a voice actor, working from your own home recording studio and auditioning for voice-over jobs is within your reach!