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I'm a Work-from-Home Expert
Working from home. I like it…but I have to like it. I'm a voice actor! And if you don’t like working from home, it’s time to figure out how to navigate it. I've been working from home since 2006. That’s over 17 years. The pandemic forever changed how voice actors work. Before 2020, a lot of us would we would record from home a percentage of the time. Pre-COVID, I was recording from home about 2/3 of the time and the other 1/3 of the time I was going to local studios. Once COVID hit, I was recording from home 100% of the time. In late 2020, studios here in Manhattan started to open back up and I started going back to some of them. I haven't acted with a fellow voice actor live in a studio in almost three years, which breaks my heart.
"Any voice actor who's entering the industry now is going to be working from home pretty much the all the time." - Tom
The Reality of Working from Home
Any voice actor who's entering the industry now is going to be working from home pretty much the all the time. This means that you're home all day, five days a week. You are your boss and the person who creates the structure of your day, week, month, and year as a business. A 9-to-5 gives you tasks to do, a job description, delegates breaks, tells you when to clock in & clock out, when to go on vacations and all that stuff.
Breaking up with your 9-to-5
Once you starting working from home full time, all that's out the window. This transition can be rough for a lot of people who weren’t trained to have that level of prioritization, focus, self-discipline, and time management on their own. Other people thrive under the freedom. And some crumble because they find themselves doomscrolling on Instagram at 2pm or watching reruns of Reba, wondering what the hell happened to their productive day.
Learning to Plan & Prioritize
You have to learn to prioritize. This means knowing how much time should to spend on any given task. Auditioning, booking, invoicing, marketing, goal setting. The best way to do this is to have a plan. It shouldn't be a minute to minute plan because those are almost impossible to stick to. This should be an overall structure of what you’re doing for the upcoming day, week, quarter, and year. Have a plan, write it down, stick to it, and understand when you need to take breaks. Figuring out when you are creatively & vocally at your best will inform this plan. Observe yourself. Take notes on when you're feeling groggy vs. enthused, when you're sounding hoarse vs. when you can hit those high notes or low notes. Once you have an idea of when those pockets of time are, set up your working from home habits around them.
Keep Going - Watch this Next:
Make Working from Home Work
Struggling to run your business from home? Managing the day-to-day operations of a successful voiceover career can be rough. Tom offers solutions and advice about the critical aspects like invoicing, email communication, and keeping track of marketing efforts…
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He's the VO Strategist, a voice over business & marketing coach and demo producer since 2011. Tom Dheere is also a voice actor with over 25 years of experience who has narrated just about every type of voiceover you can think of. When not voicing or talking about voicing, Tom produces the sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.