Building a voice over business is hard. Don’t kid yourself that your performances and skills will lead you down a path ladened with gold. That work will just appear in your inbox every morning like magic. Your agent will send you 5 figure gigs everyday that you will book constantly. Yes, I suppose for some people, this may be the case (insert envious feelings here!). I have yet to find them though and all of the successful talent that I know and talk to say the same thing. You have to work your butt off.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to scare anybody off! Quite the contrary. Being a success at anything means that you have worked damn hard to get to where you are. A professional athlete must put the effort in nearly everyday or someone else will surpass them. An artist must stretch and practice their artform to push the limits of what is possible. And a voice actor must understand that the business of voice over can be more important than the performance itself.
It will make you feel good. Well, it should anyway. One of the greatest satisfactions you can get from being a successful voice actor is that you built your business yourself. Yes, you may have taken lots of advice from many people who are smarter than you, but you turned that advice into action and made something happen from it. Celebrate your victories. EVERY victory. If an existing client sends you an email with a job, stop for a moment. Take a minute and understand what YOU did to make that happen. First, you cultivated that client in the first place. Second, you did such a great job the last time you worked with them that they still want to work with you. Third, they must appreciate your voice acting skills. Fourth, you made their life easy enough that they want to trust you with another project.
If it wasn’t hard then success wouldn’t feel as sweet. I used to play football (soccer) as part of a local team. If we were playing a team, we knew we were much better than, sometimes we would take our foot off the gas and cruise to a win. The feeling after these wins was kind of meh! Yet, if we were playing a team that were better than us, we would put in much more effort and if we won, WOW, those celebrations were so much sweeter! This is the same for any business. Understand that building your business can be painfully hard, require patience and fortitude and a lot of determination. But when you book that job through that hard work, well, it is so much more gratifying.
So, don’t be put off by the hard work. Understand that behind every successful voice actor, is someone who has put in an enormous number of hours, days, weeks, and years building their career. Rarely will you find an overnight success. And that’s OK. You’ve got this. Trust in yourself and your hard work. Add a little patience and then a sprinkle of your skill and eventually, things will start to happen for you. When it does, please let me know how good it made you feel.