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Welcome to the new domain for all things Joshua Alexander: www.supervoiceover.com! Now back to our regularly-scheduled program already in progress....
What to do when it all turns to crap
Used by permission from WikiImages via Pixabay
I am one who prefers to sculpt my blogs from life experiences, and then neatly tie it all together with the voiceover spectrum, through the prism of satire. That is my chosen method of writing. Others write differently. They are wrong.
KIDDING! I am actually quite in awe of my fellow VO bloggers, and I greatly appreciate their contributions to the VO world. Weekly I get to see what fiendish schemes are brewing in the heads of my compatriots, and call the police before they attempt it. I jest again, but honestly: it is utterly refreshing to see life through the eyes of my esteemed colleagues: to experience shared victories and defeats, joys and pains, creatively expressed. After all, as every single coronavirus commercial since March of 2020 has dutifully and compellingly reassured us, “We’re all in this together...in these unprecedented times." *cue reverby piano music.*
My most recent unprecedented time came when Armageddon decided to mercilessly descend upon the Alexander household. Here I do not refer to when Cutco showed up to sell us even more knives. No. It was the weather. The wind whipped up, the rains abated not, and I am fairly certain that was a cow that just flew past my window. It was all very Biblical! Pretty sure I also saw some dude in a robe.
It all started when I awoke at 3am on Monday November 15th with a sore throat. For whatever reason, the nefarious nocturnal demons of the night (which is what nocturnal means) decided to lay waste to my lymph nodes. As a Voiceover Artist, this is what we all refer to as OCS, or "Oh Crap Status." I quickly rushed for the Throat Coat Tea, and brewed myself up a nice cuppa to soothe away my hurt. By hurt I mean how my cat was meowing incessantly, which I took to mean that he would like for us to sell him. He is also starting to look like Wilford Brimley, so I had to act.
I muscled through eight auditions before I was toast, at which point I made some toast.
However, a client had emailed me on Sunday night asking for a directed session early Monday morning. By early Monday morning I mean Sunday evening. I assured him that I do actually have a life and was not prepared to face the watery eyes of my children who would not be able to wrestle with Dada this evening because the Cat in the Cradle had struck again, this time on a Sunday night in the middle of wrestling time and sometimes my sentences grow to a state where they are overlong and oh look at that you are napping.
As I was saying, this customer had needs, and as I am a card-carrying member of the Fulfillment of Needs Through Voiceovers club, I had to answer the call. Just…on Monday morning. He obliged, and we were scheduled for 9am Monday morning.
So, the kids and I had fun wrestling after all. Or whatever it is that you call it when two sugar-crazed juveniles decide to jointly pack hunt and assassinate their father by flying through the air and landing on the sensitive parts of his body.
Just Another Manic Monday
Used by permission from AlexAntropov86 via Pixabay
After my Monday toast, I went back to bed to get some rest before my 9am session, asking my wife to make sure I woke up at 8:20 in case my alarm failed.
When I awoke, I happened to take a cursory glance out the front window to the street. By cursory, I mean the quick uncaring kind performed by your average politician who is not truly concerned with what is happening in the world.
To my dismay, there was the recycling bin way out on the street, overturned on its side, spewing the last two recyclable weeks of our life all the way to Serbia on the angry wings of angry winds that were angrily whipping.
Thankfully, I noticed my neighbor Roland was out there, graciously collecting it all for me. So I sent him a quick “you got this, good lookin' out!” text and went back to bed. KIDDING AGAIN! I threw on some shorts and rushed out to help him.
You know that acute realization you get of how out of shape you are when you run out half-naked on a groggy, sick morning and collect sharp can lids still covered in wet dog food ooze, mixed with Styrofoam, small Amazon packages, paper copies of bills (“Honey, who spent $4700 on Cutco???"), and everything else you've amassed over the past 14 days? No? Just me then.
My hair all puffy and askew, I somehow managed to right the recycle bin, and then remembered to zip up my shorts zipper, which I had forgotten in my haste. Roland thanked me for doing that. We taped down the lid, hoping against hope that:
- The wind would not knock it down again and spill the contents once more
- The garbage gods would show us mercy and accept our recycled offerings even though the bin lid was taped shut
- Roland and I could soon move to a place where there was no wind
- I would always remember to zip up my shorts for the love of God
I went through my directed session, it was just fine, and I worked as long as I could through flickering power levels. I published my Monday blog and switched everything over from my old site to my newly acquired supervoiceover.com domain which I was finally able to wrest out from under a domain squatter for the bargain price of I am not telling you. I did a few more auditions, and then called it a day at about 2:30pm.
Allow me to correct myself. I was forced to call it a day at 2:30pm, because the power finally gave up the ghost, and there goes that cow I mentioned. Our canopy, which usually shields our bikes from the rain in the backyard, was in the front yard. Oh and it was upside down. Which does not help our bikes. Limbs and branches were everywhere. At this point all we needed to do was just wait for the nuclear warheads to drop.
We shut down the computers and bailed for a few hours, my wife hanging out in the church kids room with our boys while I had a pre-appointed meeting with my Pastor to determine best practices on how to exorcise angry wind demons. We picked up a gourmet meal on the way home (Taco Bell), ate at the dining room table (in the dark with a few candles), let the boys play with flashlights (all batteries are now all dead), and then called it a day.
One frustrating, auditionless, half-naked, garbage-collecting, windy, zipper-down, cough-and-cold, scorched-earth end-of-the-world voiceoverless day.
But believe me when I say that you have not lived until you have eaten Taco Bell by candlelight.
“All’s Well As Ends Better.”
Used by permission from quangle via Pixabay
Old Gaffer Gamgee said that, and I believe it, because it is true.
A lot can go wrong in your VO day. The Voiceover Armageddon will strike when and where and how it wants to.
Here are just some common foes that are all-too-familiar for voice talent:
- Coughs & Colds
- Slow internet
- NO internet
- Power outages
- Confusing Scripts
- Getting cast…and then getting UN-cast
- Lowballing clients
- Lowballing colleagues that create lowballing clients
- Spinning our wheels on editing
- Getting stuck waiting to be cast for “that one dream role”
- Customers ghosting us on payment
- Difficulty untethering
- Equipment malfunctions
- External or internal studio noise
- Lack of broadcast sound
- Scheduling difficulties in terms of auditioning
- Lack of startup funds
- Lack of business acumen
And here are some submitted by my voiceover colleagues:
- Moxie LaBouche says “Maintaining a social media presence”
- Tom Aglio says “Time management and having a firm cutoff time when work mode turns off and family mode turns on”
- Charlie Emmeline Albers says, “Trying to get my kids to comprehend that I’m WORKING from home. Not home to taxi them around or play chef all day”
- Jason Kappus says, “Being a West Coast talent and NOT a morning person”
- Casey Raiha says, “Getting training at school for being an Actor, an Artist, and having to learn/figure out the business side of things on my own”
- Ben Dykstra says, “Getting others outside immediate friends and family to check out your content”
- Isabella Tugman says, “My biggest challenge is always how to optimize my time to connect the most people in a quality way to lead to bookings and repeat bookings”
- Mike Ciporkin says, “I need a better accountability system for logging and being reminded to complete tasks"
- Stacey Kimble says, “Being held self-accountable for all of the many things. It’s a daily struggle to not want to play hooky! So having ideas and someone who knows the drill is important”
- Amy Weis says, “Finding the time to work ON my business when the day is filled working on paid projects. Decision makers change, preferences change, there’s attrition in any business so it’s key to keep bringing new business in. Many days there’s just no time for that”
- James Cheatham says, “Things outside of my control when I record audiobooks. ie construction next door, lawnmowers, snow-blowers, dogs, crop dusters, young kids with wanna-be race cars with far too loud mufflers on their cars”
A lot can go wrong at any given time. We need to plan for the unplanned. Prepare for the accidents, the damages, the outages, the shortages. I have always loved the saying “Plan for the best; prepare for the worst.” So true! Catastrophe does not pertain only to Plains, Trains and Automobiles. Murphy’s Law is no respecter of voiceover studios.
Keep a bit in the kitty. Hold some back for taxes. Save for a rainy day. Reach out to colleagues if you are struggling. Make sure you have a backup mic, interface and computer. Make sure you have an online computer backup. Get a laptop. Backup again. And again. Make sure you've been marketing, casting that line, throwing that net, planting those seeds so your harvest is still approaching.
Ultimately, you can ride out the storm. Ultimately, you will ride out the storm. How you choose to do that is up to you, but please know that the doors to our church kids room are always open. I call dibs on the crayons in these unprecedented times.
YOU HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END, AND I SALUTE YOU.
- Like this blog? My children are counting on you to put bread on our table through the purchase of one of my books. Do it for the children.
- NOTE: This blog is purely for commentary / educational / entertainment purposes. I am looking at YOU, PicRights & Higbee. I make no money from these blogs; though I do not refuse large cash gifts if it means I can pretend I am a church
- Check out my whole UNIVERSE of blogs right HERE!
- This is a fourth bullet point.
AND HEY! WAIT JUST A S.E.C.!
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Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire