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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Can You Do Voiceover Work Part-Time?

Any type of work from home attracts attention. Let’s face it, the majority of people like the idea of being able to roll out from under the covers – pajamas, bed head, and morning breath perfectly intact – and walk to the computer to put in a day’s work, no commute necessary. However, there are different challenges that come with working from home. Many positions, including that of voiceover profession, require the running of a business, because the majority of the work is independently contracted. The need to secure work in order to be paid scares people, for good reason. So, of course, the next best thing to working at home is working at home part time. Keep the paying job while you get the voiceover career rolling, right?

The trouble is that it can be very difficult to manage the demands of a VO career on a part-time basis, especially in the beginning. Why?

5 hours warm up (1 hour per day, five days per week): If you ask any professional VO artist how much time is spent lubricating and warming up his or her voice, and you will likely be told that they spend up to an hour each day, just trying to work the kinks out. You can spend long intervals of time in the recording studio, which is made much easier if your voice is ready to go when you step in the booth. This is something that will be consistently necessary throughout your voiceover career. In may case,  I usually can warm up my voice within 30 minutes each day, however, I find that if I'm not actually recording for a couple of hours, I have to warm up again.

5 hours training:
One of the most frequently recommended methods of improving your skill set and achieving more in the VO profession is to continue taking acting- and improv classes throughout your career. This takes time, five hours per week on average can be spent on training, listening to- and improving upon previous recordings, and just getting a better grasp of what it takes to be great at VO. This is especially true in the beginning, as you are trying to establish yourself.

10 hours marketing and networking:
Ten hours might sound like a lot, but this could be a drastic underestimation of how much time you will need to spend setting up and growing a website, as well as various social media accounts. A lot of your marketing and networking will be done online, but you have to be regularly present in order to respond to others and to grow your community. This can easily claim ten hours per week or more.

Total these figures out and you’ve already accounted for twenty hours – the typical part-time job – and there hasn’t even been time set aside for casting calls or for the recording studio. Treating VO as a part time job can be a big challenge, which is why many who try to do so never get the momentum that they had hoped to build. So, it does take some planning to transition from part time to full time.

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