The freelance life! If you’re a freelancer with any sort of success you can probably relate to the fact that it’s an awesome way to make a living. But it’s definitely not for everyone. And there are many people who strongly prefer to work a 9-5 and have a consistent income, great benefits, and work with a reputable company doing a job that will always be in demand. You don’t have those securities when you’re a freelancer. But what you do have is some flexibility in your schedule, tons of passion for what you do, and the final word on everything thing that happens in your career. Remember you’re the boss!
So what does it mean to be the boss in voice over? Don’t get me wrong…you still have clients to answer to in voice over. While technically they are not your boss, they do pay your bills so it’s important to tend to those relationships.
But it’s important to understand that you run your own company. You get to decide how you want the product you’re selling to work and who you wanna sell it to. Not your friends, family, or even your agents. If someone doesn’t wanna buy or sell your product…that’s ok! You don’t have to be loved by everybody. If 50% of the people you come across like your work and wanna hire you…you’re gonna be very successful!
If someone is working with you it should be because they love what you bring to the table. And you should already have brought that to the table…that’s hopefully why they hired you. If you’re working with someone and they are giving you are hard time where it’s stressing you out to the point of being unhealthy…sometimes it’s best to walk away. We’ve all toughed out those jobs with clients who are borderline abusive because we needed the money. But at some point all the money in the world isn’t worth not being able to sleep at night. There will always be better clients…but you only have one body to keep in good health!
If you’re in a session and the client is insistent on the read they want by all means give it to them. That’s your job. BUT…when all is said and done at the end of the session if I don’t think I was able to give the read I thought works best…I will usually ask if I can do two takes that are a different style then the direction they took me. Very rarely do they say no. And a lot of the time they actually end up going with the reads that I offered up at the end of the session.
If you’re recording a demo, by all means have trust that the producer you hire knows what they’re doing. But don’t be afraid to offer up your own insights. It should be a collaborative effort. And in the end it’s your demo and you’re the one paying for it so you get the final say.
For some voice actors it’s hard to deal with the business end of things. I try to look at it almost like you have two different positions in your company. Well…maybe more like three. You’re the artist, the engineer, and the CEO. The artist specializes in performance. The engineer knows how to record good clean audio. The CEO makes sure you are profitable. I guess it’s like you have to be multiple people. But hey you’re a voice actor…you get paid to play different people, lol.
If you can learn to be independent in the way you run your business you’ll never have to be concerned about other people telling you how to run your business.This isn’t to say you shouldn’t seek advice from others.You absolutely should!But it’s just advice.Use what you like, discard what you don’t like.Afterall, you’re the boss.Take control.It’s not easy to have the final say.But it’s yours…so make it work for you.