A conversation with a fellow voice actor underscored to me a hazard of the occupation…or rather occupations.

Like many people breaking into voice overs, my friend shares a predicament with me.  We’re maintaining full-time careers in a separate field, while aspiring to be full-time voice-actors.

My understanding is that there are more than a few of us out there.  In fact, I’ve heard more than once from wise mentors: “…don’t give up your day job when you start VO!!…”

To some extent, I concur.  But then it becomes a Catch-22.

The very job that is enabling me to pay the bills, buy my wife new furniture and send my kids to college, is also the job that is preventing me from growing much beyond the accomplishments thus far in my VO career.

The “day job” is interfering with progress in the freelance job.

THE LEAP

THIS is the moment of truth.  The LEAP.  Serving two masters will drive you nuts.  So when do you accept the challenge?  When is it time to jump into your destiny in VO?

My friend was relating to me how he just barely woke up in time to prevent his face from crashing into the keyboard while he was up past 2:30am serving his two masters.

I’m there.  Burning both ends of the candle often leads to the e-mail from a colleague that says:  “When DO you sleep??!!”

No one can make “the leap” decision for me.  There are many thorny considerations and vectors to this choice that are highly personal.  It’s not just me…there are 4 others who depend on my decision, and they’re all women.  I am not straying too far afield from accepted behavioral science to say that women are more hard-wired (in general) to place a higher value on issues of health, welfare and safety in the family setting than are men.  The leap threatens that.

“THE LEAP” by Tom Ashbrook examines this predicament through the course of telling his story during the dot-com boom.  I’m reminded of that while I consider the pros and cons of my own “leap”.

THE CHALLENGE

I know my time is not ready.  I have yet to play out some eventualities in my “day job”.

In the meantime, my challenge in THAT job is….to find a challenge.

Why?

When a job stops being a joy and a passion, complacency sets in.  Complacency leads to laziness (cutting corners), and when laziness takes over, the work gets sloppy.

I can’t afford that.  I can NEVER afford to be sloppy.  Sloppy in one area of life will bleed into another.

“Sloppy” can be seen as your signature if you don’t catch it in time.  Sloppy becomes the enemy of integrity.

So I’m challenging myself to find a challenge.  It’s a daily mountain to climb.  Luckily the energy I get from my passion for voice overs fuels my energy level elsewhere, and I know I’m protecting my integrity.

‘Cause at the end of the day…what do you have if you don’t have your integrity?

CourVO

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