You know you love your work when you wake up on a Monday morning looking forward to your day! I’m happy to say that for the most part I get really excited to start my week. Doing what you love for a living is no doubt a rarity. I know many people who dread their work weeks and come home in a bad mood every night. Not me. I love my work! I’m obsessed with my work. Perhaps to the point of being a workaholic but…it’s an addiction I live with!
When I was a kid and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an actor. When you’re a kid I don’t think people take you that seriously because a lot of kids say they wanna be something and most of the time that never comes to be. But as I went through school my answer never really changed.
One thing I didn’t know as a kid was what type of an actor I would be. In all honesty I loved film and tv. Never had much of a passion for acting on stage but I enjoyed seeing theatre. I also spent a lot of time recording myself on a little boom box. At the time it was just fun. Who knew using my voice would eventually lead me to become a voice actor!
Now make no mistake…my road to voice over was not an over night success. I started at a very young age…21. This was at the tail end of my college years studying acting at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts. But when I moved to LA to pursue acting and voice acting it was challenging to get started. Voice over was slowly starting to take flight on the internet, though it was in the very early stages. And actually that was a good thing for me because I got in to voice over at the very beginning of what is now a voice over world that runs primarily through the internet and home studios. Which I love!
By the age of 27 I was doing VO full time and had a fully functional home studio set up in a very tiny closet of my studio apartment. But…I spent about 5 years working in telemarketing before being able to pursue VO full time. It was a long and sometimes daunting road. I had many bumps along the way. And even when I made the choice to quit my telemarketing job it was really scary.
Looking back, when I quit my day job, I’m not sure how confident I was that I wouldn’t have to go to back to telemarketing, lol. Luckily a couple months after committing to VO full time I signed a contract to continue voicing “My First Place” on HGTV which I had been doing before I quit my day job.
The voice over industry has changed a lot over the years. Especially within the last few years. Now everything is really based out of the home studio. Occasionally I go in to record at a studio in LA or audition at my agent’s office or an outside casting director. But generally I do about 95% of my work from home. Each day I wake up wondering what cool VO job I will audition for. Maybe a national commercial, the voice of a network, or the voice of a new house hunting show. I’m extremely thankful that I get to do what I love for a living!
If I could give anyone some advice who truly loves voice over, acting, or really anything…I would say…pursue it! Yes it’s hard. Yes you may not make a living at it. But the payoff if you do is extraordinarily worth it! And you never know unless you try! Each day I spent telemarketing was worth every rotten hang up I got. Every bad day where I didn’t sell anything. And had it not worked out I would have found my way in life doing something I loved. I truly believe that. I’m just not someone who can do something they don’t enjoy day in and day out.
Some people may tell you that in life you have to do things you don’t wanna do. And while of course there’s truth to that…remember that life is a one shot deal. You can’t start over. So I say…pursue what you love! You can always change course if things don’t work out with you first passion. I know many actor friends at NYU who didn’t become working actors. But they used their skills as actors to pursue other professions. Professions that they still love.
Sometimes it’s hard to ignore the negative energy in the world. You’re gonna meet people with egos, people with agendas. Especially in the entertainment biz. But ya know what…I paved my own way in VO. I had some help along my journey, but I carved a lot of paths by myself. And now I get to wake up in the morning knowing that my work is my life’s passion.
So get out there and find your passion. Pursue your passion! If anything, you’ll at least enjoy the ride along the way. Wherever that may take you!