I'm not nearly as busy as I have been these last few weeks. But I'm managing to float by. One thing I have tried very hard to learn is how to get by during droughts. I have had to get a couple of check advances and/or title loan every once in a while to get by til paydays arrive. I try not to borrow more than a couple hundred dollars and immediately pay them completely off when I get paid. The best way not to lose your head is to pre-plan when you're supposed to be receiving checks. If you get an invoice, find out up front if it is to be paid net 15 or net 30 and check your calendar to see when you'll receive your check. Find out if it's direct deposit or being mailed. Keep an eye on your balance and your budget because you may have to re-arrange some bills in order to make it to payday. Always keep some savings in a secondary account. Having it in your primary account will cause the temptation to spend money you may need when work slows down. Always keep getting a temporary or part-time job open. Don't sit around and wait for agents or managers to send you work, keep on them and ask them for updates. Why aren't any auditions coming in? Do we need to re-make our brand? Do we need to re-make demos? Remember, they get paid when YOU get paid so keep on them without being annoying. Just drop them reminders every once in a while because it never hurts to ask "Sup?" When work is slow, find other means of making money. I sell on-line as well as make videos for YouTube. I made the equivalent of my MORTGAGE BILL from YouTube last month! That's pretty good! I also update my website and try to make it better and current. The extra time allows me to update my resume and links to spots/work I've done. The extra time off from work also allows me to check networks like VAU and LinkedIn or BranchOut which may lead to new work. It also gives me time to get caught up on what I've missed on Facebook and other forums I'm subscribed to. The best use of my time is spent with my family. Even working from home, it's very easy to ignore my family if I get busy. I have to remind myself that the most IMPORTANT benefit of having a home studio is that I'm right here if my family needs me. I'm really writing this more so for myself than for anyone else because it's very easy to slip into depression when work goes from being really busy to being completely non-existent. Thoughts start creeping in about whether or not this is the right career path or am I good enough to be doing this. Above all else, be patient and stay positive. It sounds simple but in reality, it's the hardest thing to do. Waiting to get paid while not booking anything can cause stress VERY quickly. Keep in mind also that most companies send out invoices bi-weekly so maybe I DID finish on something but the invoice just hasn't been written up and emailed yet. Usually, after all is said and done, I have worried for nothing and the money shows up and I book more work and I keep plugging away. I still love what I do but as a full-time voice actor I must say that going from a regular 9-5 job to doing this is a HUGE change and takes a LOT to get used to. I worked a regular clock-in/clock-out job for SO many years that I got almost addicted to that weekly or bi-weekly paycheck. We become dependent on that and it's a whole lot different going from something that we expect consistently at a certain date to not being certain when we're getting paid. It's probably the biggest challenge of being a full-time voiceover artist. But it can be done. Don't give up! Get out there and break a lip! Don't forget about sites like voices.com and voice123.com! If you can't do anything else, go FIND yourself some work! Also it really lifts my spirits when I run across a spot I did on-line or on tv. Makes me feel a whole lot better. I saw a spot I did for Straw Dogs today in my SonyPics YouTube subscription. I know for a fact I haven't gotten an invoice for it and I know others that I haven't gotten paid for yet so I know that the money is coming and I just have to be patient, spend conservatively and keep at it.

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Comment by Jon Bailey on October 13, 2011 at 9:30am
Thanks, Philip but I will admit that there's been a few occassions that I've shamelessly posted about booking some awesome work (although never about getting auditions because I could get 1000 auditions and not get a single gig!) but I don't think there's anything wrong with being proud of one's work or the fact that you're doing what you love as a career. I try very hard to post information that will either help or encourage because that's what I want to read. Thanks for the compliment.
Comment by Philip Banks on October 13, 2011 at 6:36am

I smile at the largely nonsense, self-promoting blogs and posts here and elsewhere by VOs.

"Woot awesome, I done 57 auditions and 28 national spots before breakfast" You know the type of thing.

Once in a while someone says something of real value to the people who do VO work in the real world; Jon is one them and for that he has my respect and thanks.

 

 

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