We love our pets, but like getting a new pet or going into voiceacting, we sometimes buy without considering the overall cost to maintain our new furry friends or a new business. If you’re a voice talent like me, we have to think about the long term. Will voiceacting return the love we put in it? Who can say? It’s kinda of like getting a new pet. Allow me to draw a few parallels in my story about investing in a pet, in this case a dog, and pursuing a voice-over career.
When New Things become New Headaches
I have a friend who was down in the dumps because his beloved new dog needed surgery. He adopted the dog from an animal shelter at the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdowns. My friend and the dog really hit it off. The pup was only a few years old and seemed to bring the companionship feeling that my friend longed. But, the animal had a few hidden health issues that have recently surfaced. So, my friend is struggling to keep his little canine healthy and happy.
Many voice actors have a great start and a honeymoon relationship with their career for the first couple of years or good jobs. Then, as it usually happens, the jobs start to become less and less as delivery styles change. As a result, the talent may struggle to stay sustainable in the voice-over industry. Now time and what little money is made may be spent on the wrong items. A person may start to feel hopeless and concerned that the pursuit of voiceovers was only a pipe dream.
How to keep New Things Feeling New
When it comes to pets, my friend does have some options. He is considering purchasing insurance for future bills or delaying the surgery for as long as he safely can for his pet. He enjoys his new dog and does not want to lose his new friend. My friend is also working a little overtime to help bring down the impending veterinarian debt. While finances are tight, he wants to keep his new four-legged companion.
Voice acting is incredibly rewarding and can allow a person to experience so much personal fulfillment. So, while voice actors are faced with challenges like automation and Artificial Intelligence voices, actors may still want to stay in business and find ways to adapt and evolve with the industry.
When It’s Time to Call It Quits
My friend is lucky because he wants to keep his dog, but he has admitted if his beloved pet suffers another financially burdening illness, he may need to give him up. Pets can be a lot of fun to have, but paying big bills and prolonged hospital stay costs may not be within the owners’ budget.
You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.” Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls
In voice-overs, when running a business becomes more of a burden than a job, or when it’s no longer fun, a voice actor must consider his future. While there is more work than ever, competition is more fierce that ever! Keeping up with the industry can seem like a foot race. Voice talent must stay in contact with their peer groups and industry leaders to keep up with what is happening as well as continue to train and adapt to industry changes.
So, the lesson of this little anecdote is to consider the cost of every choice, whether it’s a new pet or a new career. Like getting a furry new pet, the first few days or months after making a significant choice or decision may seem like a honeymoon, but only at first. Voice acting is a fun, fulfilling career, but it’s a lot of challenging work. Training is necessary. Good demos are necessary, and finding customers is a must.
We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ― Joseph Campbell
Think about your choices beyond the new, fun stage and into the long term of living with the selections you’ve made.
Keep breaking that lip.