Recording from Home Etiquette
In an environment of your choice carefully blend:
1 quiet environment
1 home studio
A ton of dedication
1 supportive family
The hardest part about this recipe is obtaining the first ingredient. It’s one thing to have all the right equipment but it’s a completely different matter trying to get your environment to cooperate with you.
“Mom did you turn off the furnace again?” “Honey I told you I was recording, turn off the water!” “Just a minute until this truck goes by!” “Where is that noise coming from?”…If these kinds of comments are all too familiar in your house, then you must be a voice talent who works from home.
There are many things one doesn’t consider when first venturing into working from home as a voice talent. Once you accept the fact that you can work your own hours, you can live in your housecoat all day and you can be home to be there for your family, the rest of the reality kicks in. Most times it’s a blessing working from home, but there are many obstacles that come into play that you are not warned about in any manual.
It’s great that you can work your own hours, unless of course you have A.D.D. or little drive or follow through. As much as you make your own hours, you also have to stay focused enough to stay productive in the time you do devote, no matter what is going on at the house. I highly suggest keeping a schedule and a list of things to do each day. Keep your office and your computer organized so that you don’t get lost in all the overwhelming business needs that you will need to stay on top of.
I myself am a personal fan of the housecoat, until the cable guy shows up or someone comes over unexpectedly. Okay – lets face it – there is nothing wrong with living in your housecoat all day LOL. I love this part of my job.
At first I was thrilled to be working at home with my family near by. I love kids and I find raising them a blast. I hated working a 9-5 shift for many reasons. First I’m not a huge morning person, second I had to do it and I tend to work better under my own discipline and third I didn’t want to miss out on watching mid kids grow like most of us regular workers are faced with. The challenge however is that you are home and if you work from home and live in your housecoat on some days, then the rest of the family figures you have nothing but time on your hands.
If you’re home that means you can clean the house, do all the errands, get the kids where they need to go, prepare meals etc. UH – did I mention I work FULL TIME from home? It’s really hard for the family to understand that while you’re at home, you’re not at home. You still need to put in X amount of hours each day and need to be undisturbed while doing so. Many of you may wonder why I haven’t written a book yet (other than my workshop books and Voice Biz Handbook). The answer is simple – I work from home! Finding a dedicated amount of hours each day – UNDISTURBED – is next to impossible. If they see you there, they want your time.
It’s very hard for the family to understand this concept and it takes years to teach them. It’s important you educate your family on what you need from them and to find out what they need from you. As much as they want my time – I also have to recognize that I require a ton from them. I need them to understand when to leave me alone. I need them to tip toe around the house when I’m recording so the footsteps don’t bleed into the recording. I need them to not flush the toilet, do dishes or anything that has to do with running water when I’m recording. If their friends are over, I need them to go up a few floors so I can’t hear them through my microphone. I need them to bare with me for hours on end while I turn off the furnace fan so I can record. Or to listen to me over and over and over again; poor family!
I also require things of my neighborhood – MOWING LAWN, Skateboarding, woodworking etc., so it’s very important I’m considerate to them so they can be considerate right back.
The bottom line is that it’s not everyone's problem that you have to record, so you need to find a means to work in an environment that allows you to be focused and productive. So figure out how to make it work and don’t waste all your time, energy, and effort into all the reasons you can’t.
Until next time everyone,
VO Chef Deb