Maintaining our sanity, let alone our performance skills, has been a real challenge since this crisis started. Nevertheless, we need to remain sharp even when production is down.
Truth be told, we grapple with this beast every year even when times are good. And, I get it, motivation is unevenly disbursed among (voice) actors; not everyone is blessed with this virtue. Yet, if you hope to be ready when opportunity presents itself, and it will most certainly will when you least expect it and sooner than you might think, then you need a routine and a few attainable goals to accomplish each week to remain sane while still creating the career you always intended. Your clients and talent agents alike will thank you profusely if you do.
To begin, give yourself a healthy routine to follow and do it EVERYDAY!
Here’s what we suggest:
1. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time. I realize this is easier said than done, and it may take a couple weeks to accomplish, but it’s well worth it. You need real rest to recharge and be at your best. Make it your mission.
2. Drink a LOT of water.
3. Move your body. Stretch for no less than 15-20 minutes a day, then walk, workout, swim, run, jog, hike, climb, dance, do yoga or Tai Chi, but get moving for at least a half hour.
4. Dedicate yourself to our exclusive Vocal Warm Up every single day! If it typically takes 2 weeks to create a habit, then it probably takes 4-6 weeks when it comes to acting. Follow our FREE half hour recording while watching yourself in the bathroom mirror. You’re developing proper muscle memory when it comes to your diction, articulation, and enunciation. Make it second nature!
5. Prepare and/or maintain your audition space. Test it out with people who know what’s needed and wanted from you. Your auditions from home must become seamless. The goal is to ultimately keep your attention concentrated on your performance, but to achieve this you have to create a tech routine for yourself, so you aren’t fumbling around trying to fix something that should have been thought out well in advance. Now’s your chance. OWN your space. Road test it to give yourself a fighting chance at booking projects from your “home studio”. It’ll give you confidence.
6. TRAIN. Let’s face it you probably haven’t trained in ages, possibly well before the pandemic hit! If you’ve sidestepped coaching for a year or more, now’s your chance to really work on your skills with a private coach! Time to get in some real one-on-one time with an amazing coach you’ve been meaning to work with. (Namely: Jeff and me!)
Before you ignore or dismiss this key point as a sell-job, I can read your mind from way over here! If you’re thinking, “But, I’m broke!” To that I say, what else is new? That’s been your excuse since… fricken always! You’ve managed to talk yourself out of developing new skills and furthering your career by upholding this life-sucking mantra for far too long. You need to acknowledge it as a form of mental conditioning, and it needs to stop if you hope to move forward in this field. No one achieves success without investing in themselves and taking some simple calculated risk. That means training.
If you want to get back to business, then GET BACK TO BUSINESS!
7. Update your voiceover demos, your headshots (if applicable), and various essential promotional materials. If they don’t represent your very best efforts (as anyone who receives them will assume is your intent), then they’re undermining your reputation and career.
8. Practice, practice, practice. THAT’S how you get to Carnegie Hall… and build a career you can be proud of. (And I don’t mean only for one hour once a week for a month and then drop the ball again for another year… or two… or… never mind. Game over.) You need a routine to develop constructive performance and production skills, including when recording your auditions.
9. Pursue representation until you’re getting between 3-5 voiceover auditions a week per agent. We not only guide you through the often-confusing process of landing an agent when we coach and produce your demos, we wrote the book on it.
10. Study a LOT of great media. Expose yourself to a wide variety of work from commercials, to film, podcasts, TV series, games and animated projects. Its imperative you FEED YOUR READ. By having a voracious appetite for a variety of media, you can’t help but feed your imagination and broaden the backstory of your performances. It falls to you to maintain a steady diet of extraordinary productions among your frame of reference.
Taste test any one of our remarkable (previously recorded) voice over centric Masterclass Webinars. We cover everything from diction and elocution, how to secure a talent agent, to social media, to demo production, mastering character voices, and so much more!
Divide and conquer!
Each Webinar runs between an hour and a half to 2 hours long, making these extraordinary tutorials some of the best-kept secrets in the voiceover industry from a few of the most seasoned, insightful experts in the business and for the lowest cost you’ll likely find for expertise this specific.
Other than that, commit to learning a new skill, no matter how humble: keep training.
And when you become overwhelmed, ask yourself, “What on this list can I do?” Remember, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit, “ as the man said.
Be good to yourself.
Copyright © 2020 by Kate McClanaghan. All Rights Reserved.