Suck it up Buttercup!


The business of voice over is hard. Like many other creative endeavors, you are a Freelancer in the open market. There can be thousands of people out there vying for the same work that you are and, in many cases, undercutting your rates. Many people get disillusioned with this daunting prospect. They start to think “woe is me”, “life’s unfair”, “I’ll never make it in this world”. Well, suck it up Buttercup! The other thousands of people are thinking exactly the same as you.

Getting in a funk happens to the best of us. We are human and it is nearly impossible to stay focused and positive all the time. In you didn’t have bad times, how on earth could you celebrate the good times. They wouldn’t mean as much. Think about it. The average voice over wins 3-5% of their online auditions. So, if you auditioned 100 times, the expectation is that you would lose 97 jobs. Many people would see that ratio and think “screw this! I’m giving up”. I see it from a different perspective. Winning those three out of 100 hundred jobs gives me a huge reason to celebrate. To really pat myself on the back and tell myself what a good job I did. When you win a job, understand that you succeeded where all those others that had auditioned failed. Be very, very proud of that.

If it’s broke – fix it stoopid. My favorite motivational quote of all time is “The definition of ‘insanity’ is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Have you seen a drop in your rate of audition likes or booked job ratios lately? If so, and if you have ruled out other external factors like time of year, etc. then look at changing something up. If you have stopped coaching with someone, pick up a new coach. If you have been coaching with someone for a while, try working with someone else for a change up. If you have let your direct marketing slow down, focus on creating a new marketing campaign to get in touch with new clients. If you have been losing jobs as you aren’t good at accents, look into hiring an accent coach. There is ALWAYS something you can be doing to change things up and work towards success in any business.

Do you think those who are successful in our business were just lucky? It always amazes me that there are many people out there who think successful people did not earn their success. Whenever there is an overnight success story, if you look into things a little deeper, most times you will find a huge amount of effort was applied before the success came. Look at Jim Carrie. He worked his ass off before he finally got a break in Ace Ventura. Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV had no one watching for 18 months before it became a success. James Dyson knows a thing or two about “overnight success” -- there were 5,127 failed prototypes before his first vacuum model was proven successful. The point is, everyone fails, everyone struggles. It’s those who don’t give up and keep on trying that tend to succeed.

So, next time you feel like your voice over career is not heading in the right direction, understand that it is natural. It will likely pass. Today, I wasn’t feeling it in the studio. I could tell my reads were off. Did I let this get to me? No. I worked on my marketing plan for next week and finished writing this blog instead. Maybe I’ll go back in the studio later and see if I get myself back in the game. Hopefully there’s a script waiting that has the phrase “suck it up Buttercup!”.