I’ve been away a while. Apologies, apologies and more apologies. But I’ve been VERY busy, which is what I like. And I’ll be glad to share the progress in posts yet to come. Still with me? Bless you!
Believe it or not only a certain amount of people can have the luxury of making voice over a full-time business in a matter of a few short years or even decades. Because of this, I decided to write a blog post about part-time careers or jobs that my colleagues have had while working their way to full-time.
For those who have asked, I have quite a few part-time careers going on, not just to make money but to have back-up opportunities when VO work is slow, or when I need more training, more demos, studio upgrades, etc. Because, let’s face it, we need money to keep VO going in our lives.
It got me thinking about other VO talent and how their journeys led them to where they are. So I asked quite a few talent and here’s what they shared with me:
Yoga Instructor (I’m certified)
Emergency substitute teacher
Independent Contractor at Radio Promotions
Social worker/Supervisor/Guidance Counselor/Rare Book Dealer
Baker/Pastry Chef/Cake Decorator (I’m experimenting with this)
Jeweler/Jewelry Designer; Interior (re)Design/Staging; Copy Editing/Writing
Being an extra in movies and on TV shows (I’ve done LOTS)
Real Estate Agent (I know many actors in this field)
Tutor for kids with learning disabilities
Client Relations for a Creative Agency
Freelance Food Stylist
Radio Traffic Reporter
Historical Consultant for a Heritage Organization
Travel Writer for tours and content provider to their websites (something I’m very interested in as a hobby and part-time career)
Assistant at Conventions and Fundraisers
Massage Therapist (I’m considering adding this to my resume)
Dog Walker/Pet Sitter
Professional Mermaid (I’m on my way towards this as well)
Or reviewer of free items on apps like Influenstar
Extra for movies (sometimes $58 to $75 per 8 or 12 hour days with meals provided) or commercials filming in town – You don’t necessarily need a talent agent for finding extra work. However, quite a few casting directors I know who book extra work on SAG commercials (which usually pay a little over $300 for 10 hours on set) use talent agents because they trust the professionalism of the actors with that agent. There are people who can make a decent living being professional extras for movies and commercials. But you have to be available for a full day, possibly an overnight shoot or multiple days at a time. Often you’ll be asked a day or two before production and saying “maybe” can cost you future opportunities.
Pretty much the key word to hold to is: freelance. However, also keep in mind that freelance isn’t for the faint of heart. You work every day trying to attract business opportunities which is the absolute same in voice over. Depending on what you want to do, remember that some part-time careers and jobs require certifications, licenses, and expenses for advertising (websites, business cards, attending conventions, etc.).
Yet again, like in Voice Over, in order to succeed, you MUST know your competition. There are always going to be others who are not necessarily better but definitely more experienced. Then ask yourself questions like: What do you do differently than other brands? Why should the client put their trust in you? Will it support you through bills, taxes and family members?
Build your reputation by being a trustworthy source to those who need your talents, and then keep in touch with them with an occasional email asking how they are, and politely offering your services if they ever have a need for them. They might provide you with testimonials for your website or referrals which can lead to greater jobs.
If none of the above interests you in part-time work, then research some more. Google can be your friend if you let it. And yes, it’s easy to be discouraged, we all go through it. But know that life isn’t meant to be comfortable. Comfortable is the death of creativity. Without challenges, we as artists and human beings don’t grow and change to better ourselves and our talents.
I love discovering new hobbies and I encourage others to take leaps into unusual territories, not because I want to discourage you from pursuing voice over, but because whatever you learn outside of voice over might help you in your journey. If you love reading books aloud, maybe volunteer as a reader for https://www.learningally.org/. If you love art make a montage of screenshots and share bits of trivia through narration, then put it on YouTube. Or if you love talking about crafts, make up, recipes, then make instructional videos and put them out there!