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One of the questions I get most often is how to find time for voice over when you have a full time job already. I get it, even if your dream is to be a full-time voice actor, no one wants to leave a stable job unless they’re making the income in voice acting. I’ve been there, and totally understand. Some people out there say that you HAVE to go all in on voice acting if you want to make it work. While it’s true to some degree, I think you can start out doing voice acting part time and be very successful. But you have to WORK for it.
Even if you’re doing voice acting in your spare time, if you’re getting paid for your voice over work, you’re a professional. Act like it! Remember, each job you get (and each client you can make into a recurring client) is one step closer to being able to do voice acting full time.
I wasn’t a full time voice actor when I first started. I had a full time office job where I worked for 8 hours. It wasn’t a passion, but it paid the bills. I’d hustle at voice over during my lunch breaks, responding to emails on my phone, and worked many hours almost every night and weekend. I worked hard to make connections and add clients. Once I got to the point where I was making almost as much as my full time job, I felt secure and confident that I could leave that job, knowing if I had even more hours in the day to find voice over work, I’d make even more money.
The reason that you can make voice over work as a side hustle is that most of voice over is finding the work. For every hour of recording sessions I book, I probably spent 3-4 hours marketing to get that hour of work. You’re going to get a lot more no’s (or no response) than Yes’s. You can do marketing any time of day. A lot of times, auditions are posted and you have time to submit that audition. Yes, sometimes there is a quick turn around, and you’ll miss that audition if you’re not able to submit within a couple of hours. But that’s rare, and you’re not guaranteed that job anyway!
Most recording sessions I do are on my own time, so when I had a full time job I was able to record when I got home and just make sure I sent it back before the next business day. If you do have a client who needs a live session to record at a certain time, try your best to schedule it as late in the day as possible, therefore giving you an opportunity to maybe make it home. This worked great for me with west coast clients, since they were 3 hours behind. A 3 pm session for them was 6 pm for me. If you have no control over the time, then that’s where you have to decide if it’s worth it for you to take a half day. Do what you have to do to get it done.
What does all of this mean? I hate to break it to you, but you have to have the drive and motivation to spend the hours of marketing during your free time in order to book work in the first place. When you’re first starting out, you could have a few weeks where you market and audition, and don’t book anything. It’s discouraging, but maybe it’s just a slow time in the industry. But if you keep on planting the seeds and spreading your name around to potential clients, they’ll think of you when they do get work and all of a sudden you get a lot of jobs at once, making all of your work worth it.
Keep your head down and do you. Stick to your plan and continue to execute it… the key to this industry is consistency!
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