So it’s 2023! Cheers to all of you who weathered the storm of COVID, natural disasters, and airline cancelations. Now it’s a good time to re-evaluate and take stock of what you really want to do this year.
Ah, yes – New Year’s resolutions. How many of those of have you kept? That’s okay. I often think it takes a couple of weeks to jump back into the New Year, wrapping up travel and getting back to it. I often think mid-January is when I start to apply my resolutions. So, let’s jump in…
- With each new season I do what is called my five minutes a day. If I’m consistent, that five minutes can grow into 15 minutes, and then 30 minutes. And once I’m in “the zone,” it might even turn into an hour.
- I encourage people to start with 15-minute increments for voiceover work. An hour can be hard on your voice. You might want to do 15 minutes twice a day. Here are some tangible, reachable goals you might consider:
- Start doing vocal warm ups again as well as exercise goals. Your voice is an instrument, and it’s so easy to fall into bad habits, especially as a pro, and just jump in and do an audition or job without warming up your voice. Exercise is also important for breath support and overall healthy living.
- Experiment with placing your voice when developing characters. Depending on what kind of character you’re playing, it might be placed at the back of the throat, the front, nasally, etc. For great tips on how that’s done, tune into my podcast, “In My Voice,” and hear how a master cartoon voice actor, Pat Fraley, explains it.
- Another reachable goal, is getting a one-minute voiceover demo done. If you have a one-minute commercial demo, you might want to add another demo to showcase your skills for animation, promo, or audio books. Remember: Each genre in voiceover has a separate demo. You should never put a compilation of these genres together. The standard is one minute for a commercial demo, up to one min, 15 seconds for animation, or one and a half minutes audio books. Demos are your calling card. Whether you’re trying to find an agent or pitch yourself directly to a company to do their VO work, a demo is a must -have. Like I said, easy, reachable goals. The only thing about demos is that they can be costly. Save up your money, however, because without the demo you’ll never get off the launch pad – and having a pro help you with your demo is invaluable. I do not suggest doing it yourself or having a friend who’s not a pro, even if it’s your first demo. In fact, make sure they are a voiceover specialist. It’s a competitive market and it’s better to wait until you’re ready.
Lastly, set your goals, then back it up to take the steps you need to achieve them. For example, if making a demo is your goal, take the steps to find demo producers, vocal coaches, etc., to help you achieve that goal. Talk to colleagues and agents to see who they recommend.
To achieve your goals, also write down each step to get there and give yourself a timeline to achieve it!