Psychologically, the end of the year brings with it the potential to start feeling negative about working in the voice over industry. There is typically a business slow-down, while people doing the hiring enjoy the holidays. Business slow-downs are not easy for creative, energetic voice talent, who are ready to work at anytime.
What I wish to give to you are positive ways to take inventory of the past year, and a 'belief system' that used to get me through the holidays, while working as a voice talent in New York City:
- 1. Take care of the bills first:
Around this time of year Voice123 is emailed consistently asking for receipts of payment by those looking to gather information to do taxes in the first month of the year. Knowing this career is not about 'steady paychecks', it gives peace of mind to know that finances are managed before going into the holidays. Stress has been known to affect a person's body physically, and we all want to be healthy and ready to start 2010.
I also tried something a few times that gained me experience I consider priceless. If money is really tight, find a part-time 'holiday season' job. This was something I used to do in New York City to keep my spirits up during December. Being around those who are smiling and enjoying the holiday season rubbed off on me, while working part-time jobs in Times Square, or FAO Schwarz. When the season was done, I also had a nice paycheck to handle some minor bills going into 2010, and literally, I felt like I was paid to be part of a month-long holiday party. I also made some great connections in the voice over field because the people I worked with were also voice talent. In addition, I was learning how to sell products that gave me experience towards future voice over jobs I booked. Selling over 400 Incredible Hulk action figures to kids in an 8-hour shift is not easy. Knowing 'how to sound' played a part in it.
Some may not see how that is related to voice overs, but being that we all 'sell' with our voice, I found a way to apply it to my voice over career. The opportunities for voice over work will always be there. December is just typically a slower month. It is best to emerge from December, in shape and ready to go for January 2010.
- 2. Take note of the amount of voice over contacts you have met this year, online and offline: Contacts are essential to this industry. Feeling like you have a large group of people to start working with in 2010, makes 2009 feel like a success.
- 3. Take an honest look at what helped you get voice over work in 2009:
Life is all about decision-making. Some decisions maybe did not turn out the way we had hoped, and some were surprisingly successful. The importance of taking a look back at decisions during the past year is to leave behind what did not work, and most importantly, build on what worked for you in the voice over industry to have a fresh start to 2010.
This leads into creating a 'belief system' for yourself as a voice over talent for 2010:'Success' is usually determined by how well a person learns from mistakes they have made, even if at times, they seemed like the right thing to do. The one great thing that makes being a voice over talent so great is that you are your own boss, in control of what you decide to do to get work. Bosses make mistakes, too! Do not beat yourself up over something you decided to with great intention, and found it was not the right move to make.