“Doing voice overs makes me happy, but writing makes me happier.”
I know it’s a weird thing to say for someone who makes a living talking into a microphone and who’s coaching others to do the same.
Allow me to explain.
I proudly call myself an independent contractor, but as a voice over, I know I’ll always depend on others to give me work and send me money. I have to deal with THEIR deadlines, THEIR scripts, and THEIR conditions.
As a writer I can do whatever I want, whenever I want it. Rather than being dependent on lines others feed me, I come up with my own. Writing is about creation. Doing voice overs is often about re-creation.
Most days, the creative fire that is burning inside wants to paint outside the lines and come up with new content. I don’t get that satisfaction from talking into a microphone, repeating other people’s words.
THE GLORIOUS PAST
There was a time when every new client and every new project was exciting. I still remember my first national commercial, my first international industrial, my first time making thousands of dollars for saying ten words. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it was all made out of thin air, and quickly forgotten.
Every once in a while I stumble upon something I had done many years ago. I listen to myself as if I’m listening to a stranger. Is that really me? I can’t even remember I recorded that, and you know what? It doesn’t matter because it is completely irrelevant. And that’s the last thing I want to be: irrelevant.
At least writing gives me a sense of relevancy. I tell myself that what I’m doing has some weight and is meaningful, and that it may have a positive effect on a few people based on the feedback I’ve received. I’m not just putting words on paper to please myself. Relevancy is about connections and relations.
But writing does not pay the rent, and so I have thought about monetizing this blog. I could put up a paywall and see how many people are willing to spend money on my thoughts. If I could get a thousand people to pay a dollar a week, that would be a nice start. But something tells me that in the age of FREE and EASY, I won’t stand a chance. Publishing a book seems a much safer bet, but there are not too many authors who can live off of their book sales.
If you have any thoughts on the above, please share them in the comments. I’m not sure which direction to take. Part of me wants to keep offering my musings for free, but part of me also tells me that if something is seen as valuable, it’s okay to put a small price on it to show support and appreciation. I’d prefer to be supported by my readers, rather than by a group of sponsors like companies that make microphones or produce demos. I wish to avoid any conflicts of interest.
So, I record voice overs to generate an income, even though it’s not as fun as it used to be. There are worse things to do, professionally speaking. Who says your work has to be FUN and EXCITING all the time? Maybe this is just a natural progression… something that was once a passion of mine, has become a regular job.
As a VO I’m very lucky to like what I do for a living, although the love I used to feel, is slowly fading away.
Am I the only one to feel like this, or can you relate? I’d love to hear your thoughts!