When Should You Call It Quits?
When Should You Call It Quits?
What a title. I must admit I debated the title of this article for some time. I seem to have a very optimistic point of view to most things in life, and Voice Acting is no exception. Many will warn you NOT to join this industry and it’s expensive to learn, extremely competitive and only a handful truly make it full time. Are these thoughts true? Absolutely! So with these kinds of odds why would I remain optimistic about newbies joining the industry? I am a firm believer in following your passion. Do what you love and the money will follow. I truly believe that anyone who has a voice and decent reading skills, no serious speech impediments and the willingness to learn can make it in this industry, however it’s all in their hands.
I have many people contact me asking me if they should invest in this industry or not. It’s not as easy a question to answer as they think. Here are some things to consider when asking yourself this question:
- First of all the fact that you’re asking isn’t a good sign. This tells me you do not have the upmost passion for the industry. Perhaps you’re not in it for the right reasons
- Are you attempting this industry because someone has told you that you should, or because you genuinely want to? Many of you were scouted by someone who told you that you should join this industry, either because you have a unique voice or because of your personality, experience or connections. This isn’t always the right reason to join. This can be a very trying industry. It takes a long time to succeed (A LONG TIME). You will get more ‘no’s’ than you will ever get ‘yes’s’, and over time it can get very expensive and demanding.
- Are you joining this industry to get rich? If you are joining this industry to make good cash and not really for any other reason, I would highly recommend considering another get rich quick scheme that would be much easier to obtain.
- Are you working diligently as if putting in a full or part time amount of hours each week to make it work? Are you spending money and time on educating yourself and yet getting zero results? If you are truly putting in the time and efforts it takes to make this a career and you are not seeing ANY progression, no matter who teaches you or what you invest? Are you marketing yourself DAILY and seeing nothing in return? This is a sign that this might not be the best career for you
- Are you like MOST talent out there who complain that you’re not getting anywhere, yet you’re only putting in a couple hours a week, not educating, not working hard to find the right coach, connections etc,. If this is you – like a great majority of those trying to enter this field – it’s important that you are realistic of what you are putting in before you judge what you are putting back. I work over 40 hours a week some weeks. Some of this time is paid time and much of this time is educating, practice, marketing and more. If I have to put in these kinds of hours to stay full time and prosperous, then why shouldn’t you.
The bottom line is this, NO ONE can tell you when to throw in the towel but you! It is very rare I will suggest a talent NOT do this industry because I think nearly anyone has the potential, it’s whether they are willing to do the work it takes to make it happen. I don’t sugar coat for my students. It’s important we are realistic when we join. This takes most people YEARS to succeed enough to make just a bit of money back, and that all depends on how aggressive you are and how well trained or naturally talented you are.
This is a career that is full of judgment, stereotypes, fussy clients, technology nightmares, risk, insecurity and blows to the ego. Doesn’t sound so enticing does it? But it’s the realism of the industry. You truly need to possess some kind of passion in order to put yourself through this type of career. Anything in the arts is risky. You will never know your income from one month to the next. You will more than likely have to continuously market yourself to maintain growth. You will have to put up with things that will try your emotions. You WILL deal with technology break downs etc (as an at-home talent) and more. So you have to be driven, have tough skin, have a good or trained business mind and find a way to love what you do, even when It’s not so fun.
On the flip side, I get to work my own hours, I get paid to read out loud, I get paid to talk, I work from home, I get to find a home for all the voices in my head, I run my own business with tons of write off’s, I get to learn each and every day, I get to work with someone different all the time and I truly love what I do. Why on earth would I throw in the towel? Yes, it’s a struggle at times and it’s not easy, but what job is. I find it worth it and I will continue to work hard until the last voice track I record.
This is a serious decision, so do it on the side until the industry requires something more from you. Love what you do and want it as bad as I do, or you just might be wasting your time.
If you need help with this decision, I’d be happy to provide any guidance I can. Just trust that the answer is within you!
Until next time everyone
All my best
VO Chef Deb – Deb Munro