What in the World is My Actual Job?
You've all seen it, right? The hilarious challenge that's been slurking around the interwebs for a few years now? Describe your job ... badly.
Teachers have joked that they stand in front of a room of children who are on their smartphones while the teacher talks to him/her self. Doctors joke about making people pee in cups. Anesthesiologists joke about knocking people out.
Me? I sit in a closet and talk to myself all day.
No, really. That's how I make a majority of my income.
As a kid, I always read books aloud and practiced reading the character voices. Sometimes I'd read the whole book with an accent. I was quite the little bookworm as a child, and I'm happy to say not much has changed. Little did I know, Little Lindsay was prepping me for a career as a voice over actor.
I fell into it. It wasn't something I actively pursued at first. I was working at a software company as an animator and they needed someone to be the voice of one of the characters. I've been singing my whole life, so I wasn't a stranger to a recording studio, but I HATED my speaking voice. Nails-on-a-chalkboard level hate. So when they asked me to record, I was hesitant. But they basically gave me no choice. And this character was in a bunch of stuff . . . so I found myself recording a lot.
Little by little, I started to learn technique. I also learned to like my own voice. And I found that voice over is very well suited to a perfectionist personality.
Eventually I decided to try doing voice over as a side hustle. So I turned my closet into a studio, bought a decent starter mic and audio interface, and upgraded my laptop. I put myself on a few of the well-known voice over sites and waited. Nothing happened for a long time. And I was fine with that, because I had a more-than-full-time job and I was also acting part time. Life was busy.
But one day I booked a gig. And then another. And another. It snowballed. And I started making pretty decent money. So that became my "fun" money.
Cut to early 2020. I was BURNT OUT, friends. Fried, frazzled, frantic, and fatigued. I was working way too many hours at my job, doing three shows at once, trying to maintain all my voice over jobs in the middle of the night, and I was NOT taking care of myself. No time for sleep. No time for anything. I reached a breaking point in February. I finally surveyed my life and noticed how overworked I was. After talking to a trusted friend about my life, they helped me realize I was making enough with my voice over side hustle to quit my full-time job.
So I did.
Riiiight before COVID-19 stopped the world.
I went from booking a job a day (on average) to booking a job every few weeks. I had just dumped a chunk of cash into upgrading my sound equipment. I thought I'd made a huge mistake.
But slowly and surely, the world is waking back up. And the jobs are coming back.
And you know what? I'm really glad I get to sit in my closet and talk to myself all day.