Redefining Terms

by | Jun 9, 2014 | VO Business

photo(6)-aMy inauspicious return from a week “off” in the Midwest was rudely interrupted by a phone call Sunday afternoon.

To explain…I had returned Saturday night for the express reason that I wanted a “buffer day” before I had to go back to work at the TV station on Monday.

Then the boss called 1pm Sunday.

5 people shot dead…two of them policemen.  Can I come in to help with special coverage?

There goes the buffer.

But really, even during my “down-time” in the Midwest (farm picture above), I had the good fortune of being contacted for 4 new VO jobs.  Luckily, I had my trusty ZOOM H6n along for the ride, and was able to meet the call.

I understand, support, and have written passionately about the need for downtime, away-time, or being able to find rest for the mind.  It’s essential.  Personally, I find  the phrase any change from routine to be an excellent definition of vacation.  I see each vacation I have as a peek into “retirement”.  But what a confusing term that is these days!  Why?  Three reasons:

  • most people find retirement frustrating and unfulfilling
  • economic failures force more “retirees” to stay in the workforce
  • lack of activity hastens one’s demise

My sisters and I own the farm where I visited.  One of my sisters has been retired for some 10 years.  After toiling away as a HS Art teacher for 30 years, she’d certainly earned it.  Her husband gave up his corporate job for an early retirement, and what they make from their pension plan sustains them.

Pension plan?  What’s that?

I’ll tell you what it is:  it’s a term that is largely unknown in the world of broadcast TV or freelance voice-over work (unless you’re one of the estimated 5% who qualify for the SAG-AFTRA P&H).

Therefore (as I told my sister this visit) “retirement” is a term that I’m not that comfortable with.  Will I ever retire from my TV News job?   Yes.  Will I ever stop working?  No.

The freelance freedom that I desire, and  bidding farewell to the grinding TV News schedule I’m currently beholden to, will inexorably lead me back to my definition of vacation: any change from routine.

No…full-time freelance VO will not be retirement, but it should be anything but routine.  And after reporting all day (almost every day), on the horrors of what passes for local news, it will SEEM like the idyllic notion of “retirement” to me.




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