Having Tough Skin To Conquer this Industry!
Finding Your Place & Fighting For It!
Some Honest Soul Food for Working in the Voiceover Industry
If you’ve joined the world of the arts, you’ve signed up for a very unpredictable journey that will take you in many directions. You will be on the highest of highs and the lowest of lows many times in your career. The more I watch other actors; both famous and otherwise, I see the same pattern. It’s a very unpredictable pattern but it’s a pattern nonetheless. In fact it carries out into any career in the arts industry. You have to love this industry to pursue it.
While this can be an amazing job, in fact I’d rank it high up there as one of the best jobs in the world, it can have many challenges that can take a toll on the artist/performer. Even the top celebrities will face these same challenges, just at different scales.
The obvious thing that comes to mind is income. The bottom line is you never know your income from one month to the next. Whether you make a ton or just a tiny bit, it’s always unpredictable. That can be hard on a person, never-mind making it hard for a business to survive. Do you ever notice that a lot of the Executive Producers on TV Shows and Movies are the celebrities themselves? They are creating their own work so this allows them to keep top of mind and keep making money. They are always investing in their craft; promotional material, acting/artist tools, events, training etc.
The other side to this industry that can be very hard on the artist/performer is the constant no’s and almost’s. Hopefully you’ve been successful enough in your craft already to experience some great opportunities, but I’m sure you have had more no’s than yes’s no matter who you are. In fact many of us have “no slumps”. You’ll be the raving hit of the month/year, and then suddenly used on nothing. It’s important you stay strong and use your support group through these times. This can be hard on the ego. Artist’s usually need recognition to keep moving forward, but there is also a common drive to fight the odds and try even when others think you’re wasting your time.
Which brings us to another point, having enough support in your life to encourage you to keep pursuing your dreams. Not just emotional, but financial. How can you even afford to pursue the arts? There can be money to be made, but most just get by, so support is necessary. You also need a group of people who believe in you and make you feel good that you are pursuing your dreams. There will be many who will challenge you, but you have to rise to the challenge and prove to yourself that you can do this. You have to be willing to risk all and do WHATEVER it takes to make it happen for yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, there are MANY positives to this job, but if you go in blind and don’t prepare for unhappy clients, poor direction, unpredictable income, ego blows about your talent, people who judge you etc., then you won’t be ready for what you have to face in this industry. You need to learn not to take it personally. The world hires artists. Artists can make money. Those that succeed usually had to face even tougher challenges than this, so consider that the struggle, the highs and lows, are all part of the package. If you prepare for them, they are a little easier to deal with.
So keep yourself realistic, always keep working for the next big job, and never stop giving up on you. If it’s time to throw in the towel then maybe you aren’t willing to work hard enough to make it happen – and that’s okay too. Who wants to sign up for insecurity. But if you do, then fight for you. Find your place and make it work. Trust your instinct and prove to yourself that you can do it.
Until next time everyone
All my best
VOChef Deb – aka Deb Munro