Al Gore typifies my motto of “things happen for a reason.”
I like Al Gore, and I voted for him in the hotly-contested 2000 Presidential election. While millions of Americans were immensely disappointed and even angered that he didn’t win the election, we can see that it was better for him personally that he didn’t become the 43rd President of the United States.
If Gore had become President, he would not have had the time or energy to lead the crusade for the environment. In 2007, Gore has achieved rock star status. First, he won an Academy Award for his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, and now, Gore is the co-recipient of the coveted Nobel Peace Prize. You don’t have to agree with his assessments about the environment or his politics to be impressed by his monumental achievements.
So what do Al Gore and his push to save the environment have to do with you as a voice-over talent?
will prepare you for what is to come tomorrow.
EVERYTHING in Gore’s past – every class he took, every political office in which he served, every speech he gave, every decision he made – helped shape him as a person and give him the knowledge and contacts he needed to move his passion about the environment from his mind to the masses.
I think that we don’t realize and appreciate that every moment has meaning. We waste time moaning and groaning about current situations instead of reacting to them with gratitude. For instance, many voice-over talent complain about having a day job, when that job actually is a great blessing.
I had day jobs on my mind for a topic this afternoon because I listened to the .mp3 from my coach Nancy Wolfson and national voice talent Anna Vocino titled Acting for Advertising part 2. Anna made a point to say that you should not be ashamed to have a day job. It pays your bills, which helps prevent you from sounding desperate in your voice-over auditions and marketing efforts. As I have written previously on this blog, desperation is not an attractive quality!
Rather than feeling like the day job is keeping you from your voice-over activities, I would encourage you to look at the many other ways that a day job can benefit you:
- It can provide you with health insurance.
- It can bankroll your purchases for your studio equipment and your voice-over classes.
- Depending on where you work and your longevity there, you may be able to contribute to a 401K or other retirement plan. If your employer provides a matching donation, be sure to contribute at least as much as the percentage your employer will match. It’s a 100% return on your investment!
- You can gain computer, time management and networking skills that will help you with your voice work.
- You may gain subject matter expertise that will make you even more enticing as a voice actor. For instance, I have a MS degree in computer information systems and over 20 years of experience in the IT field. I can perform technical scripts with complete authenticity because the subject matter has been stamped on my brain. Walking out of an employer’s door doesn’t mean that the knowledge is forgotten; you take everything you learn with you.
- You don’t have to turn your world upside down to start your voice-over business. I think it would be extremely STRESSFUL to quit a job that is providing for your sustenance and lifestyle to embark on a new business venture. Any audition you perform while still employed elsewhere is done without pressure on your part to get the job. You can build your business gradually with the confidence that voice work will always be available.
- Get accustomed to thinking of yourself as a $100K a year voice actor who occasionally may work at another job. You need to have the mindset of your prosperity and goal achievement in place before it will ever occur in reality.
- Even if you never make the leap to a full-time voice-over career, your life is richer and fuller because you are following your dreams. No one said that following your dream means you must make any, much less your complete, income from it!
I love life/work coach Barbara Sher’s philosophy about having a day job, or what she calls the good-enough job:
I chose to use Al Gore as an example in this post because today is Blog Action Day, where bloggers are united to write about the environment. Obviously, his previous day jobs and his experiences have brought him to the attention of world leaders and concerned citizens today.
Since so many voice talent have day jobs, I have 5 suggestions for being more environmentally friendly on the day job:
1) Take public transportation or some other energy-conserving method to your job whenever possible. The money spent on gas could help fund your voice-over classes.
2) Ask your employer to work from home. (Ssshhh! Don’t tell your employer, but you just might be able to sneak in some voice-over auditions on those days!)
3) Ask for an alternate work schedule. I know some people who still work 80 hours over 2 weeks, but they do it in a different manner than 5, 8-hour days a week. They might work 10 hours a day for 4 days. Others work 8 9-hour days, 1 8-hour day and have a day off every other week. The days off are days that you can press into service for your voice-over marketing.
4) As a voice talent, you need to stay hydrated. Rather than buying water in plastic bottles that will end up in landfills, you can buy a Brita pitcher with water filter. Not only are you being environmentally conscious, but the money you save could be spent on your voice-over marketing or equipment!
5) Use less paper, and recycle the paper that you do use. Don’t print your e-mails and my blog entries unless you absolutely must. If you are allowed to use your work computer to print scripts for auditions, use recycled paper for that purpose. Also, your employer may have a recycling program for paper, soda cans, etc.
If you have more ideas how voice talent can help the environment from their day jobs or in general, please post a comment!
None of us — including Al Gore — could have predicted in 2000 the kind of year Gore would have in 2007. If you remember that every moment has meaning, including your time spent at a day job, you will have peace. Why be anxious about your voice-over career when you can be happy and actually enjoy your life?