The Harry Truth: No Excuses

Posted: 21st November 2014 by benztownvoiceover in Regular Features, The HARRY Truth

As I write this, I struggle with what type of tone I want to take… Part of me says to be nice and simply offer my advice – another part of me says to give some people a good kick in the ass… So, maybe I’ll land somewhere in between.

If you’re reading this, you are probably in radio and are doing or trying to do voiceover work. I have a good number of friends and acquaintances working in radio that continue to tell me they want to get into voiceover – for extra income and for more financial security from the unpredictable stability of employment in radio. They ask my advice and then months or years go by and they haven’t taken any significant action toward getting things going for themselves – taking VO coaching, putting together a professionally directed and produced demo (not something you slapped together from your station spots), learning to market and create a name for yourself and on and on. I certainly do not need to harp on what we all see everyday in the industry – downsizing. What I do need to yell and scream about is the fact that while you have your job, you need to take action. You have a paycheck and are in a better position to afford the coaching, demos, marketing, equipment and so on. The downward spiral occurs when you lose your job, sit at home frantically trying to find your next one AND you no longer have the cash flow to afford all the things necessary to start a career in VO. Plus it takes time to get things rolling – for some it may only be a handful of months…for others, maybe a year or two – there’s never a guarantee. But what I will guarantee is that sitting home unemployed and then trying to start is incredibly more difficult. It will be hard financially and it will be hard psychologically because the additional rejection in the VO world, as well as the probable slow start that it takes to build momentum and have substantial amounts of VO work coming your way, will only serve to make your unemployment situation even more difficult and depressing. I know, I know – everyone is wearing multiple hats nowadays and the work hours can be longer and longer – but those who get to stay at a station for 10, 15 and 20 years are few and far between. Your number is likely to come up for one reason or another. I might add that what I’m saying doesn’t apply to just voiceover – but to any extra endeavor you dream about doing to help solidify your life in this crazy business. So, no excuses – get off your ass and make things happen…now!

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