By Stephanie Ciccarelli
July 22, 2011
Have you ever considered retirement and what that might look like for a professional voice talent?
Most people retire from their labors after a certain amount of time, and although this isn't as common for creative types, it is worth thinking about.
In today's VOX Daily, we'll take a look at some reasons for why a voice artist might retire and also discuss how you might go about it.
Putting The Mic Away (or on eBay)
When is it time to put the microphone away? While many voice talent choose not to retire and pursue their art for as long as humanly possible, you might find that after decades of work retirement looks like a wonderful avenue to explore.
Some reasons why a voice talent might choose to retire include:
à¹ Ready for a change
à¹ Health issues
à¹ Voice has changed dramatically (due to aging or health problems)
Why Retire? I Mean Really...Why?
You might be thinking that the topic of retirement is irrelevant if you work in the arts and there's definitely a place for working in this industry until the day you die. Many voice artists have done so. Don LaFontaine worked well into his late 60s until he passed from a medical complication after having surgery.
Others such have lived longer, others have lived shorter, but for the most part voice actors tend to pass on before they pass over the mic.
Voice talent Herb Merriweather, an artist very much still alive, was recently quoted as saying, "ŽThey'll have to pry the mic from my cold, dead fingers."
Now that's dedication for you!
Talent and producer Scott Fortney agrees, saying "I'm with Herb. We don't do this just for money. It's a passion. Taking it away is like cutting a piece out of us. We would not be whole. I will voice whatever comes to my microphone until I cannot speak."
If Voiceover Is Something You Love, Why Stop?
Ryan Satterfield put it this way, "Why should we 'retire'? If you love something you shouldn't give it up due to age. I will never stop doing Voice Overs. I love Voice Overs, because I can truly be myself. I can be silly, goofy, I can express what is in my soul... if you retire from Voice Overs you retire your soul. That is the Opinion of one who doesn't find Voice Overs as work, but one who has always been doing Voice Overs since elementary school, I just didn't know I could record them and get paid!"
Some People Do Stop And Here's Why
Dan Popp provided some insight in response to Ryan Satterfield's comments, saying, "People have health issues as they get older. That could be one reason to retire. And not everyone has the same outlook as you - or as you do *now.* People who have been in any field a long time may find that they're frustrated with having to fight the same battles they fought 40 years ago, and having less fun. If they have money saved up and want to do something else, they might retire - or just become very selective about the jobs they accept.
I have known both types of former voiceoverists."
Doing VoiceOver To Supplement Income During Retirement
Experimentation with and the pursuit of voiceover work can start at any point in time and doesn't need to have been a lifelong career in order to enjoy it in your golden years as a form of additional income.
Chris Hiler wrote, "I'm hoping to learn enough in the coming years to be able to add income in my retirement by doing voiceover work."
Hiler isn't the only one who is looking at voiceover as an enjoyable way to spend their retirement while making some extra money.
When asked if she would ever stop doing voiceovers, voice artist Audrina Phillips remarked, "This is my planned retirement!"
I'm sure there are many people out there who plan on doing voiceovers for as long as they possibly can. While retirement is an option, semi-retirement may be a more fulfilling decision for those on the fence allowing for whatever work you can handle while still doing what you love when you can.
What About You?
Have you been giving this any thought? I'd love to hear what your plans are!